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‘Mourning in America’: a conservative group’s harsh new political ad takes on Trump’s coronavirus response

Ad Age 04 May 2020 04:26

A conservative political advocacy group is taking on President Donald Trump’s leadership surrounding the coronavirus pandemic in a harsh new ad titled “Mourning in America.” The title of the spot is, of course, a play on one of the most famous political ads of the modern era, 1984’s “Morning in America” from President Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign (see “The Ad That Helped Reagan Sell Good Times to an Uncertain Nation,” via The New York Times).

In contrast to “Morning in America,” The Lincoln Project’s “Mourning in America” is relentlessly bleak. Against a backdrop of scenes of empty streets and shots of people wearing masks, and underscored by plaintive classical music, an announcer says (in a script that directly echoes that of "Morning in America"),

There’s mourning in America. Today, more than 60,000 Americans have died from a deadly virus Donald Trump ignored. With the economy in shambles, more than 26 million Americans are out of work—the  worst economy in decades. Trump bailed out Wall Street, but not Main Street. This afternoon, millions of Americans will apply for unemployment, and with their saving run out, many are giving up hope. Millions worry that a loved one won’t survive COVID-19. There’s mourning in America, and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our country 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?

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.”

Conway is married to Kellyanne Conway, who serves as counselor to the president in the Trump Administration. 

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