President Trump’s campaign has released an ad titled “Joe Biden Malfunctions” that mocks the idea of a virtual debate after Trump rejected that format for the second presidential debate. (That rejection led the Commission on Presidential Debates to pull the plug; see “Second presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump canceled,” per USA Today.)
The spot, released Sunday on YouTube, cobbles together old footage to show Trump at a debate podium while Joe Biden appears on the screen of an old-school cathode-ray tube TV perched on the other podium. Clips of Fox News’ Chris Wallace, the moderator of the first presidential debate, are repurposed to make it seems like he’s trying to maintain control over a rambling, interruption-prone Biden (using out-of-context clips from past, non-debate Biden news-show soundbites). In stark contrast to his performance during the first debate, Trump remains entirely silent here.
Thirty-three seconds into the ad, Biden’s video feed starts glitching Max Headroom-style and his monitor starts sparking and then stops working altogether. A clip of Wallace declaring that “Now the decision is up to you” closes out the spot.
For those a little slow on the uptake, an all-caps disclaimer appears along the bottom of the screen during most of the ad: “THIS VIDEO IS SATIRE. THE CONVERSATIONS DEPICTED DID NOT OCCUR.”