Is it even a Democratic function without unwanted commentary from Trump? Thought so. Despite being en route to Japan for the G-20 Summit, President Donald Trump took time out of his busy schedule to fire off tweets about the first night of the Democratic primary debates, held in Miami, Florida on June 26. Trump went on the defense after the debate began, and in typical fashion, he did not hold back on Twitter — even though he told Sean Hannity the week prior that he wasn’t “planning” on tweeting. Rather than go on a rant, though, he kept his Twitter reaction (at least thus far) to a single word: “boring.”
Innocuous, even tame, until you realize that he fired off the tweet the exact moment that the NBC debate moderators began to ask the candidates about the haunting image of a father and his toddler daughter washed up dead on the shore of the Rio Grande after trying desperately to cross into the United States. The man, just 25-years-old, died attempting to save his daughter after she jumped into the river after him when he attempted to help her mother cross. Trump’s indifference about the crisis at the border that claims the lives of children every day at ICE-run concentration camps is appalling, even for him.
And Trump made sure to get a word in even before the June 26 debate happened, buying full-page, colored reelection campaign ads that morning in two different Miami newspapers. Ads for “Latinos for Trump” ran in The Miami Herald, and its Spanish language counterpart, El Nuevo Herald. The campaign ads, tweeted out by Trump campaign rapid response director Andrew Clark, read “Latinos flourish in Trump economy” and “best economy in decades.” They also say “President Trump is clear on immigration. Millions have followed the law to come to America, new immigrants should too.” They also say that Trump is “standing up to tyrants in Cuba & Venezuela.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019
Because the US is violating its own laws and not allowing refugees to lawfully apply for asylum at a point of entry, this family swam, father and daughter first.
The toddler followed her dad back into the water. She was swept away and they both drowned. https://t.co/eOhf8zbQqc
— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) June 26, 2019
A Trump campaign spokesperson told The Hill that “President Trump has a lot of accomplishments to share with Latinos from the historic low unemployment rates to his message of freedom and prosperity prevailing over socialism and government takeovers.” It’s no coincidence that these ads ran the same day of the first Democratic debate. The Trump campaign also bought YouTube’s masthead — the ads at the top of the homepage — meaning that anyone who visits the site will immediately see pro-Trump advertising.
Daniel Scarvalone, senior director of research and data at Democratic communications and strategy firm Bully Pulpit Interactive, told Recode that the buy likely cost the Trump campaign between $500,000 and $1 million, and will reach more than twice the viewers of the Democratic debates.