Maryland gubernatorial candidate Richard S. Madaleno Jr. is launching an ad that highlights several ways he’s stood up to President Trump — a far better punching bag among the state’s Democrats than highly popular Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.
The ad ends with an on-screen gesture designed to irritate Trump’s conservative base: a lip-smacking kiss between Madaleno, a longtime state senator who if elected would be the state’s first openly gay governor, and his husband, Mark Hodge.
The ad is slated to run starting Thursday in the D.C. area during “Fox & Friends,” which the president spends a lot of time watching. It will also rotate among the ads the campaign is already running on a handful of cable channels in Montgomery County, which contains Madaleno’s legislative district.
“I’m running for governor to deliver progressive results and to stand up to Donald Trump,” Madaleno says in the intro. “Here are a few of the things that I’ve done that already infuriate him.”
He touts legislation he sponsored last year that would provide money to Planned Parenthood clinics if Congress cut funding, and a young woman chimes in, “Take that, Trump.”
He touts 2013 legislation he co-sponsored that banned assault weapons in Maryland, and a boy holding a “Stop Gun Violence Now” sign says: “Take that, NRA.”
He touts his support for public schools over vouchers alongside kids on a playground. A girl says: “Take that, Trump.” And a boy adds: “And Betsy DeVos” — Trump’s education secretary.
“And what’s the No. 1 way I piss off Donald Trump and the Republicans?” Madaleno asks, as he, his husband and their two children smile into the camera.
Then Hodge and Madaleno, who led Maryland’s push to legalize same-sex marriage and was the first openly gay member of the General Assembly, give each other an audible kiss on the lips.
“Take that, Trump,” Madaleno says.
Before the 2016 election, many LGBT advocates held hopes for Trump, who as a candidate once posed with a pride flag. But during his campaign, Trump also criticized the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage and told “Fox News Sunday” that if elected, he would “strongly consider” appointing judges inclined to overrule it.
In office, Trump has tried to ban transgender people from the military. His administration sided with a Colorado baker the Supreme Court ruled in favor of this week after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. And for the second year in a row, Trump’s Twitter stream has so far omitted any acknowledgment of June as Pride Month.