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How the Biden campaign quickly mobilized on Trump’s abortion stance


WASHINGTON — When Donald Trump released a video about his abortion stance Monday morning, President Joe Biden’s campaign was ready to pounce, launching an aggressive strategy to pin the presumptive Republican nominee down on his record and amplifying his desire to take credit for overturning Roe v. Wade.  

The re-election effort said that over the last two days, it has mobilized every tool at its disposal to take the fight directly to Trump on an issue it believes will be most mobilizing for voters in November, acting faster than it has in other key moments in the post-Roe era.

The more aggressive strategy highlights how the Biden campaign plans to go on offense on reproductive freedom, a larger effort that has publicly been led by Vice President Kamala Harris.  

Within hours of Trump’s saying it should be up to the states to decide abortion policy — while declining to say whether he would sign a national abortion ban if he is elected president — Biden had already shot a direct-to-camera response video, recorded at his home in Wilmington, Delaware, before he departed for a day trip to the Midwest. 

In a coordinated rollout, the Biden campaign then released a 60-second ad featuring a Texas woman who nearly died twice from a miscarriage because she was denied care. It ended with a slate that read: “Donald Trump did this.” 

Now, after the Arizona Supreme Court upheld a near-total abortion ban from 1864, the Biden campaign plans to increase its paid media in the state with more abortion-specific ads, a source familiar with the plan shared first with NBC News. 

A senior spokesperson for the campaign, Sarafina Chitika, said, “Trump is scrambling because he knows voters are going to hold him accountable for his extreme record on abortion — we’re not giving him an inch.”

Last week, Harris had already told her aides that she wanted to do an abortion rights event in Arizona, given the ruling was likely to come this week, a person familiar with the discussions said. 

After the Trump video came out Monday, Harris emphasized the need to act quickly, and her team scrambled to stand something up in Tucson on Friday with the mayor and advocates for abortion rights.

But unlike previous reproductive freedom events that Harris has headlined on the official side, this one will be organized by the campaign, by design, so she can more forcefully go after Trump and brand him as being responsible for the patchwork of abortion laws in the country, the person familiar with the strategy said. 

Harris herself told aides that she wants to be able to lean in more aggressively on the issue and doesn’t want to “waste any time” in this critical moment, the person added.  

Last week, in anticipation of the likely Arizona decision, Harris recorded some videos about the specifics of the 160-year-old abortion law so the content would be ready to go in an instant. She wrote them herself, this source said. 

On Tuesday, Harris called Arizona’s attorney general and applauded her for “holding the line” and refusing to enforce the 1864 ban, the person added.  

While Harris will travel later in the week, the Biden campaign and state parties have also organized news conferences throughout the country “highlighting Donald Trump’s dangerous record on abortion,” particularly in battleground states like Arizona, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina and New Hampshire. 

The campaign plans to deploy Amanda Zurawski and Kaitlyn Joshua, two women who were directly affected by abortion bans, to North Carolina on Wednesday and Wisconsin next week. 

The Biden team ad that features Zurawski, titled “Trump Did This,” is part of a $30 million ad campaign, and it had 35% more engagement on X than Trump’s original video on Truth Social, according to the campaign. 

The ad has more than 58,000 combined likes and reposts, compared to 43,000 combined likes and reposts for Trump’s four-minute message.  

In total, the Biden campaign posted about reproductive rights nearly 70 times in the 24 hours after Trump’s video was posted, getting more than 10.4 million views, a campaign official said. 

A clip in which Trump brags about his direct involvement in ending Roe because of the Supreme Court justices he appointed has generated more than 3.7 million views alone on X. 

“Trump is responsible for overturning Roe, for Arizona’s extreme ban, and for cruel abortion bans across the country that rip away women’s freedom — and he’s proud of it,” Chitika said. “We’ll be working around the clock through November to make sure voters know it too.”


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