Titled “We Will Vote,” the ad blasted Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that he wants to delay the November contest because he is worried about his electoral prospects.
The minute-long video clip also featured flashing images of civil rights leaders, including late Democratic Rep. John Lewis, protesting for the right to vote.
“Now a failed president faces defeat, with millions out of work and tens of thousands dying from his incompetence and neglect, threatening the very foundations of democracy,” the advertisement said.
“We voted during wars, we voted in the Great Depression, we voted when civil unrest swept the country.”
The ad concluded that Trump is trying to “stop the election he can’t win.”
In a tweet on Thursday, Trump suggested delaying the 2020 presidential election over concerns regarding public health and mail-in voting.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Democrats have pushed to expand vote-by-mail programs, but the president and his allies have long opposed such initiatives, claiming that they would lead to widespread fraud.
Even Republicans expressed opposition to Trump’s idea. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and dozens of others all rejected the president’s suggestion.
Trump does not have the authority to move or delay elections. He would need approval from both the Republican-controlled Senate and the Democratic-controlled lower chamber.
In a statement, Reed Galen, co-founder of The Lincoln Project, said that America is “past the red line.”
“But Americans will not be bullied by a tyrant. We’ve made it through tough elections before and we’ll do it again — this time, Trump will lose,” Galen said.
As The Hill noted, The Lincoln Project, a group formed by conservatives opposed to Trump, has launched dozens of similar advertisements over the past months. The organization recently revealed that it raised $16.8 million in the second quarter of the year.
Following criticism, Trump backtracked on his Thursday suggestion, but nevertheless railed against vote-by-mail.
In an interview with Fox News, White House adviser Stephen Miller did the same, suggesting that postal voting would allow foreign entities to meddle in U.S. elections, since “nobody who mails in a ballot has their identity confirmed.”
On Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi suggested that Trump’s Thursday tweet was a form of voter suppression.