A veterans' non-profit has issued a pointed television advertisement urging President Donald Trump to give up his administration's efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to place travel bans on certain Muslim-majority countries. The advertisement's release was timed for a political talk show that the president watches every morning (video below).
On Feb. 6, a television advertisement by VoteVets.org aired during MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
The ad features a veteran performing a series of squats despite missing a limb. The narrator, presumably the exercising veteran himself, speaks directly to the president.
"President Trump, I hear you watch the morning shows," the narrator says. "Here's what I do every morning."
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The narrator proceeds to blast Trump for his perceived unpopularity, from his loss in the 2016 popular vote to the size of his inauguration crowd.
"But kicking thousands of my fellow veterans off of their health insurance by killing the ACA and banning Muslims won't help," the narrator continues. "That's not the America I sacrificed for. You want to be a legitimate president, sir? Then act like one."
The advertisement was timed to air during the morning political talk show because Trump reportedly watches it every morning. Several anonymous Trump advisers told Axios that the president spends the early hours of most mornings watching "Morning Joe" and "Fox and Friends."
The president reportedly fires off his morning tweets in response to the commentary from these programs, the bulk of his social media output often coinciding with their airtime.
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VoteVets.org issued a statement explaining that the group wanted to send a message to the president on a platform where he was most likely to see it.
"Since the White House comment line is down, and Donald Trump hasn't set up that veterans hotline he promised, we're going to go where we know Donald Trump is listening -- 'Morning Joe,' and the other shows that he obsesses over," said VoteVets Vice Chair Peter Kauffmann "He's going to hear the message of this ad again and again. We're officially putting Mr. Trump on notice."
On Feb. 6, Trump took to social media to accuse poll data of not reflecting his true popularity.
"Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election," Trump tweeted out. "Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting."
Chris Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax Media, believes that the president actually takes polling more seriously than he lets on and that negative polling could influence the future of his executive order placing a travel ban on citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.
"I think, in his mind, the success of this is going to be the poll numbers," Ruddy told The New York Times. "If they continue to be weak or lower, then somebody's going to have to bear some responsibility for that."