Biden campaign announces July strategy with battleground state stops, $50M ad blitz


(WASHINGTON) — As President Joe Biden faces mounting calls from within the Democratic Party to step aside as its nominee in the wake of his debate performance, the campaign on Friday announced a strategy for the rest of this month that will include visits to key battleground states and a $50 million paid media blitz.

Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentlemen Doug Emhoff will all be on the trail this month with an aggressive travel schedule, a memo on the strategy said.

“All in all, over the course of July, the four principals will travel to every battleground state,” the Biden campaign memo said.

The July-only $50 million paid media blitz is on top of the already $50 million spent on a June-only media campaign launched ahead of last Thursday’s debate.

The ads will air online as well as on television and radio and will have heavy play during highly watched programming including the Olympics Games and the Republican National Convention, the campaign said. The ads will look to leverage “high-impact” moments on key issues including: abortion, the economy and the “threat” former President Donald Trump “poses to our democracy,” according to the campaign.

Notably, with Biden under pressure to answer questions and make unscripted remarks, the memo announcing the ad buy said Biden is “expected to engage in frequent off-the-cuff moments over the course of the month, as he has consistently throughout this campaign.”

And with some Democrats calling on Biden to publicly prove his mental and physical fitness, he has a sit-down interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Friday. The first excerpts will air on “World News Tonight” and then the interview will be broadcast in its entirety in a prime-time ABC network special on Friday evening at 8 p.m. ET.

Following Biden’s poor debate performance, the president — who prior to the debate was neck-and-neck with Trump in polls — is lagging behind Trump in what is the largest gap between the two since 538’s national polling average began early this year. Biden trails Trump 39% to 42%, according to the 538 polling average.

Sources told ABC News on Wednesday that Biden has privately acknowledged that the next few days are critical to determining whether he can stay in the race for a second term — something the White House denied. The White House has repeated this week that Biden is not considering stepping down.

In response to pressure from some in his own party to step aside, Biden called an all-staff campaign meeting on Wednesday and met with more than 20 Democratic governors in an effort to quell fears about his ability to lead the ticket come November.

The campaign memo also detailed plans for a $17 million investment in a canvassing program that aims to knock on more than 3 million doors in July and August.

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