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Swift Boat ad guru, top GOP donors launch new pro-Trump super PAC to counter Biden air attacks

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth was an effort in 2004 to discredit John Kerry's claims about his military service in the Vietnam War.

Donald Trump
Donald Trump campaigning in 2016 in Arizona to become president
(CAITLIN O'HARA/AFP via Getty Images)
Updated: August 31, 2020 - 12:09pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Top Republican donors are launching a new super PAC to ramp up the advertising effort on behalf of President Trump.

The effort is being led by Chris LaCivita, the mind behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the effort to undermine 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry's stories about his time in the Vietnam War.  

The new organization, Preserve America, will spend an initial $30 million on an immediate advertising blitz to counter an onslaught of ads from the Biden camp. Politico reports that PAC organizers expect the support of a wide array of GOP megadonors, including Sheldon Adelson and Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus.  

Trump is now getting massively outspent by the Biden campaign on TV ads. Advertising Analytics, a media tracking firm, reported that Trump was outspent 8-to-1 this month in Wisconsin and 3-to1 in Florida, both battleground states.

Preserve America will air its first commercials Tuesday in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. 

The ads will initially focus on the president's renewed law-and-order platform, amid the social justice protests of recent months that have often turned violent.

Some of the ads will feature direct-to-camera testimonials from families of slain law enforcement officers and children killed by gang violence.

"Joe Biden is not going to take a stand. He can't do the tough things, he's too worried about popular opinion. That's his character," says John Gillis, a retired L.A. police lieutenant whose daughter was murdered by a gang member.

"If we don't go with the president we have now, I think we're really in trouble as a nation," he continues.

LaCivita, who has worked in Republican politics for 30 years, said of the new PAC's efforts: "The radical left-wing mob is trying to destroy our country from within, and Joe Biden is too weak to stop them. It's a concern shared by a growing number of Americans, and we intend to spread their message far and wide over the coming months." 

In the final weeks of the 2016 campaign, a similar pro-Trump PAC — Future45 — was launched, to spend millions of last-minute dollars on behalf of the GOP candidate's White House bid. 

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