Preserve America, an outside group supporting Trump’s reelection, announced Thursday another $25 million in spending in seven states, with a new suite of ads that feature direct-to-camera testimonials from military veterans denouncing Biden’s foreign policy record.
The funds for digital and television ads, following a $30 million ad campaign over the past two weeks in the same states, make clear that deep pocketed Republicans are putting up serious money in the final months of the presidential campaign. The $25 million will be spent over the next two weeks, suggesting that the group will announce more spending as Election Day approaches.
The group, helmed by veteran Republican strategists John Ashbrook and Chris LaCivita, has not disclosed its donors, but they are expected to include well-known names in Republican fundraising, including Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. The ads will run in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, Iowa and Georgia.
Like the first slate of ads, the new campaign is focused on direct-to-camera testimonials. One of the new ads features a retired Army captain and double amputee who denounces Biden’s skepticism of Trump’s order to kill Iranian Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Biden said in January that he would not have ordered the strike without clear evidence that Soleimani was planning an imminent attack on U.S. interests.
Another spot features the parents of Kayla Mueller, a former American hostage of the Islamic State, who was captured in Syria and later killed. The parents, who played a role in the Republican convention, blame President Barack Obama and Biden for refusing negotiations to free Mueller and delaying a raid to free her.
Obama said after Mueller’s death that the U.S. government had done “everything we could” to free her, including launching a military rescue mission that was unsuccessful. Obama did not depart from U.S. policy against paying ransom money for American hostages. In 2015, Biden tweeted a tribute to Mueller, after her death was confirmed: “Deeply moved by the life of Kayla Mueller,” it read. “Our nation is stronger than any enemy can understand.”
A third spot features a Medal of Honor winner and former army ranger, who lost a hand in combat in Afghanistan, who criticizes Biden for being “too silent” on recent riots against police misconduct and for opposing the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the former leader of al-Qaeda. Biden has opposed violence during protests against police misconduct.
During a 2011 national security strategy meeting, Biden recommended that Obama wait for further confirmation before launching a raid against bin Laden, he has said. Biden said he later told Obama to follow his instincts.
Leroy Petry, who addresses the camera directly, was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2011 from Obama for picking up a grenade and throwing it away from other U.S. soldiers during a battle in Paktia Province.