Team Biden targets Latino men with ad about Trump’s fake toughness

A new ad unveiled by President Biden’s re-election campaign on Friday shows how it plans to incorporate men in the fight against restrictive anti-abortion laws and other policies that undermine women’s rights.

Republicans have made inroads with some Latino voters by falsely implying — if not outright alleging — that liberals want government crackdowns on civil rights that resemble those of oppressive South American regimes throughout history. This new ad pushes back forcefully against that line of attack by framing Trump’s misogyny as an attack on women’s freedom.

And as I argued in a post back in March,the campaign needs to craft culturallyspecific messaging to target men — and specifically the hypermasculine id that drives some men into conservative politics. This ad is a prime example.

Reuters got the exclusive on the ad, titled “Tough,” which is reportedly part of the campaign’s attempt to mobilize Latino men voters. Running in English and Spanish in battleground states starting this month, the ad features a Latino veteran and carpenter named Cesar Carreon — and it gets straight to the point. 

“I’m a Marine. I know what tough is. And a guy like Donald Trump — that attacks women and brags about it — that’s not tough,” Carreon says. “I’m with Joe Biden because he’ll give my daughters their freedom back.”

It’s pretty direct, no? You get an appeal to authority in having an archetypal tough guy — a former Marine — attacking Trump, a former draft-dodger, for his performative toughness and braggadocio. Trump, after all, has mocked and tried to silence at least one of his sexual assault victims, and he’s repeatedly bragged about his central role in shaping the Supreme Court that overturned the federal right to abortion.

The “Tough” ad is smart politics. Team Biden would be wise to create similar culturally conscious ads targeting men of other races and ethnicities, too.