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Trump camp complains about Biden’s health ads

Gregory Korte and Bill Allison

The Biden campaign dramatically cut back on negative ads after the president was diagnosed with coronavirus, but the Trump campaign isn’t happy with the ads that are still running.

After Trump announced he had contracted the coronavirus, the Biden campaign pledged to pull all negative advertising. The Trump campaign complained Monday morning that the Democratic challenger was “still running negative ads.”

According to data from Advertising Analytics, the Biden campaign ran ads drawing contrasts between him and the president 7,125 times while negative ads ran 324 times on Thursday, before the president tweeted that he had the coronavirus. By Sunday, those numbers had fallen to 908 and 17, respectively, while positive ads touting Biden climbed from 2,106 spots on Thursday to 5,053 Sunday.

Jill Biden moves her husband, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, back from members of the media as he speaks outside his campaign plane at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Del., Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, to travel to Miami for campaign events.

Some stations can be slow to pull ads in response to requests from campaigns. None of the negative ads that aired over the weekend were being broadcast on Monday as of 6 a.m.

“We think it’s inappropriate to use the president’s illness to score political points on our opponent, which is why we unilaterally took down our negative ads,” said Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo, in response to the Trump team’s complaint.

Some of the pulled ads barely mention Trump. A 60-second spot that ran 290 times on Sunday traces Biden’s views on health insurance, beginning with the car accident that killed his first wife and daughter up through his support for the Affordable Care Act. It includes a seven-second sentence that says Trump supports a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act during a public health crisis.