How a Misleading Biden Video Spread
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Ad of the week: Another candidate confronts the N.R.A.
They’re haunting scenes: teenagers holding one another’s shoulders, being marched out of a school after a shooting. More students boarding a bus under the watchful guard of an armed law enforcement officer.
Gun control has seemingly taken a back seat as an issue in the Democratic primary, which has been dominated by impeachment in Washington, conflict in Iran and sprawling debates over health care and wine caves. But a super PAC supporting Joe Biden began airing a new ad on New Year’s Day, taking on the National Rifle Association.
Images of the aftermath of school shootings are spliced with darkly lit, empty school hallways, as on-screen text promotes Mr. Biden’s record on guns: “He passed background checks” and “He passed an assault weapons ban.” Mr. Biden did help pass federal background checks in 1993 and was an architect of an assault weapons ban that passed in 1994.
In the background, set against echoing piano chords and strings, is Mr. Biden’s voice: “It took me seven years to get the first ban put in place. We should not stop; 100,000 people are gunned down in America in the last decade. I refuse to give up.”
It’s a sobering take on a popular line in Mr. Biden’s stump speech: that he will take the fight directly to the N.R.A.
Mr. Biden, like many of the Democratic presidential candidates, is being outspent on the airwaves by Michael Bloomberg, notably in Super Tuesday states like California, where Mr. Bloomberg is often the only candidate advertising.
Mr. Bloomberg routinely points to his work on gun control. He has sought to counterbalance the N.R.A. through his work with national groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, and he spent more than $100 million to elect candidates with similar gun safety positions in the 2018 midterms. His campaign released an ad on Tuesday featuring a testimonial from Colin Goddard, a survivor of the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, about Mr. Bloomberg’s record on gun safety.
The ad from Unite the Country, the super PAC that formed to help shore up Mr. Biden amid his fund-raising struggles last year, helps the candidate stay in the gun rights conversation.
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