The teens running former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel’s presidential campaign have made their first national television ad buy, a scathing anti-Joe Biden spot set to air Friday during one of MSNBC’s popular political talk shows.
“Is this the best our party has to offer?” the ad’s text reads, as footage highlights the current 2020 front-runner’s prior positions on criminal justice, the Iraq War, and reproductive rights. The minute-long spot ends with a picture of the 89-year-old Gravel smiling and holding a dove, an appeal to send him to the next Democratic debate at the end of July.
The ad is scheduled to run during Friday’s edition of Deadline: White House, a 4 p.m. hour political panel show hosted by Nicolle Wallace. That MSNBC program, seen largely as a bastion of centrist and “Never Trump” punditry, has beaten its CNN and Fox News competitors in total viewership over the past several months.
“Our goal has always been to draw attention to the flaws of centrists like Joe Biden who masquerade as ‘progressives’ and peddle a made-up argument of ‘electability,’” campaign manager David Oks said. “Senator Gravel called out Biden for his right-wing policies in the 2008 debates and is prepared to do so again in the July debate. If a few Iowans see this and discover that Biden is hardly a Democrat or that his flip-flopping makes him an incredibly vulnerable potential nominee, and we see his poll numbers go down in a few weeks, this will have been a success.”
The total ad purchase was for around $30,000, according to Oks, and aside from the MSNBC slot the commercial will air locally on five TV stations in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, Iowa.
The ad comes as Oks and Henry Williams—the teenagers responsible for cajoling Gravel into running if only to appear on a debate stage—are attempting to hit the donor threshold necessary for CNN’s debates later this month.
They are expected to wind down the campaign in the next month, however, and distribute the leftover money to various causes. The campaign said in a release on Wednesday that it had 55,000 unique donors as of Tuesday—just 10,000 short of the necessary minimum. Though with 20 spots available, they would also need to meet the polling qualifications. The campaign also said another thousand-plus contributions have come in as of Wednesday.
The Gravel campaign was recently boosted by a joint fundraising effort from fellow longshot candidate Marianne Williamson and are set to do another with Andrew Yang. They have spent $100,000 on Facebook and Instagram ads as well.