In May, as Ad Age reported, conservative PAC The Lincoln Project released “Mourning in America,” an anti-Trump commercial that echoed one of the most famous political ads of the modern era, 1984’s “Morning in America” from Ronald Reagan’s campaign (see “The Ad That Helped Reagan Sell Good Times to an Uncertain Nation,” via The New York Times). The bleak “Mourning”—the polar opposite of sunny, hopeful “Morning”—attacked President Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lay responsibility for “the worst economy in decades” at his feet.
Now, with Election Day less than two weeks away, TLP has customized “Mourning in America” for key swing states: Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa.
Like its immediate predecessor, “Mourning in Pennsylvania” (below) serves up grim scenes of shuttered factories and shots of people wearing masks. Underscored by plaintive classical music, an announcer says,
There’s mourning in Pennsylvania. Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored, praising China’s response instead of heeding the warnings—then blaming them to cover his own failures. With the economy in shambles, people across Pennsylvania are still out of work—one of the worst economies in decades. This afternoon, millions of Americans will apply for unemployment. And with their savings run out, many are giving up hope. Millions worry that a loved one won’t survive COVID-19. There’s mourning in Pennsylvania, and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our state is weaker and sicker and poorer. And now, Americans are asking, if we have another four years like this, will there even be an America?
President Trump delivered a campaign speech in Erie, Pennsylvania last night, and as Erie News Now reports, he made a point of saying that he was only visiting because of his faltering re-election campaign:
Trump said before the pandemic hit, he had no plans to visit Erie. “Before the plague came in, I had it made,” said Trump. “I wasn’t coming to Erie. I mean, I have to be honest, there was no way I was coming. I didn’t have to. I would’ve called you and said, ‘Hey, Erie. You know, if you have a chance, get out and vote.’ We had this thing won.”
Scroll past “Mourning in Pennsylvania” below to watch “Mourning in Ohio” and “Mourning in Iowa.”
As Ad Age previously reported, The Lincoln Project launched in December with an op-ed in The New York Times headlined “We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated” (subhead: “The president and his enablers have replaced conservatism with an empty faith led by a bogus prophet”). The NYT bio line for the op-ed’s authors—George T. Conway III, Steve Schmidt, John Weaver and Rick Wilson—noted that they “have worked for and supported Republican campaigns.”