Biden campaign and Trump PAC release dueling ads on immigration

WASHINGTON — The Biden campaign and a pro-Trump super PAC are out with competing ads on immigration that paint vastly different pictures of an issue that’s expected to affect turnout in November.

The advertisement from President Joe Biden’s campaign largely focuses on Latino Americans but also goes after former President Donald Trump and his rhetoric.

“Now he says immigrants are poisoning the blood of our country,” Biden says in the 30-second spot, which appears to use his remarks from a campaign event this week in Phoenix. “What the hell was he talking about?”

The ad is the second Latino-focused one this week, the Biden campaign said. It will air on digital platforms in English and Spanish across more than half a dozen battleground states.

“Let’s call Trump’s words and actions what they are: anti-Latino, anti-immigrant, and anti-American,” said the Biden campaign’s Hispanic media director Maca Casado in a statement.

In a 15-second ad released by the pro-Trump super PAC called MAGA Inc., audio of Biden criticizing the border wall is played over video of migrants pushing through part of a border fence.

“There will not be another foot of wall constructed in my administration,” the ad shows Biden saying. It appears to be the same line Biden said to NPR before winning the 2020 election.

“The daily chaos at the border is the fault of one man — Joe Biden,” said MAGA Inc. spokesperson Alex Pfeiffer in a statement. “Biden reversed the Trump policies that stopped illegal immigration.”

The ad, which Trump posted to his Truth Social account with the words “Biden’s Invasion,” was not in response to Biden’s, said Pfeiffer, who declined to preview the PAC’s further plans for the ad.

The two advertisements highlight a critical issue for the campaigns. About 28% of Americans named immigration as the most important problem facing the U.S., according to a Gallup survey conducted in February.

Trump held a 35-point lead over Biden when voters were asked which candidate would be better at securing the border and controlling immigration, according to an NBC News poll conducted in January. However, Biden held a 17-point lead over Trump when voters were asked which candidate would be better at treating immigrants humanely and protecting immigrant rights.

The Biden campaign has frequently slammed Trump’s comments about migrants, whom the former president has compared to the character Hannibal Lecter in “The Silence of the Lambs.”

The new Biden ad also features a 2015 clip of Trump from his presidential bid announcement when he referred to Mexican migrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”

The ads aren’t the first time the two candidates have gone head to head on immigration issues on the same day. In a split-screen moment last month, Biden and Trump visited the southern border and spoke at the same time in different locations. During the visit, Biden asked Trump to join him in passing a bipartisan border bill that was negotiated in the Senate but later spiked by Republicans after Trump’s criticism. Meanwhile, Trump called the situation at the border a “Joe Biden invasion.”

Megan Lebowitz

Megan Lebowitz is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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