As the 2020 race heats up, the Trump campaign has seemingly arrived at what it thinks is a winning strategy: to say presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is mentally compromised.
"Here's a guy that doesn't talk. Nobody hears him and whenever he does talk he can't put two sentences together," President Donald Trump said of Biden Thursday night at a FOX News Town Hall.
A series of pro-Trump television ads have strung together some Biden gaffes - or comments taken out of context - to make Biden look foolish at best.
One campaign ad from a Trump-supporting PAC shows Biden stumbling over his words, then asks if Biden "has dementia." It later states that "Biden is clearly diminished."
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Another ad is edited to have Biden saying, "Sometimes I wake up and I think it's 1920."
"It's standard political playbook for an incumbent who is struggling to try to turn the spotlight on his opponent," New Hampshire Journal's Michael Graham said Friday.
Graham said the attacks, while mean-spirited, maybe all Trump has given the economic devastation, the COVID-19 crisis and racial unrest that's gripping the country.
"Because if it is a referendum on Trump, he probably doesn't do very well," Graham added.
At the same time, some Trump opponents are giving it right back.
An ad from the Lincoln Project portrays Trump as equally unfit to be president saying, "We've seen that you're shaky… Sad, weak, low energy. Just like your presidency, just like you."
It is a strategy that has eclipsed what is typically the centerpiece of a presidential campaign, issues related to healthcare, tax reform or foreign policy, which many find unfortunate to think that the next leader of the free world could win on a strategy of a race to the bottom of who is less mentally incapacitated.
"They're not saying, 'boy, my opponent's policies are crazy.' It's 'they need to be medicated and put in a room,' and that’s a new level of attacks," Graham said.