With the adamant declaration that “America is back,” President Joe Biden will launch two campaign ads in Pittsburgh on Tuesday that label him an economic warrior in the face of long odds.

In a memo exclusively obtained by the Pittsburgh Union Progress, the Democratic National Committee deemed the television ad buy — part of a larger $25 million blitz in battleground states — a pitch to Pennsylvanians that Biden is delivering for them as president.

The advertisements lean into the themes of American exceptionalism and resilience, insisting that the U.S. has bounced back from the economic downturn it experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Biden deserves credit for the economic revival, the ads say, pointing to his work fixing supply chains, advocating for lowering the cost of medicine by law, and making the country more energy independent.

In a direct shot at Biden’s likely Republican opponent in 2024, one of the ads flashes an image of former President Donald Trump, saying, “There are some who say America is failing.”

“Not Joe Biden,” the narrator reads. “He believes our best days are ahead because he believes in the American people.”

Recent reporting suggests Biden’s ad blitz is specifically targeted at Americans who remain concerned about the state of the economy.

More than half of the respondents polled in a CNN survey last month said they think the economy is still in a downturn or getting worse — and 37% said they approved of Biden’s handling of the economy.

A Wall Street Journal poll in the last week of August pinned Biden’s overall job approval rating at 42%, with 57% disapproving.

According to CNN, the president’s ad campaign started early last month before the first Republican debate. Similar ads are running in battlegrounds Arizona, Nevada, North Carolina, Wisconsin and others.

Pennsylvania was key to Biden’s win in 2020. Its 20 electoral votes pushed him over the 270 mark, giving him an official victory over the incumbent Trump. Biden flipped Erie and Northampton and exceeded expectations in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

This time, he will need to convince voters that his first term benefited their pocketbooks, and these two advertisements serve as an opening argument. One of the ads notes that inflation is down to 3%, which is accurate. In July, inflation reached its lowest point in more than two years, with prices slowing across the board.

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said in a statement that Biden recognizes that to build an economy that works for everyone, “we need to cut costs, invest in our workers and spur transformational economic development.”

“At every step, President Biden has had Pennsylvanians’ backs, delivering the resources we need to rebuild I-95, repair our roads and bridges, expand access to broadband, and deliver clean water to Pennsylvania families — creating thousands of good-paying, family-sustaining jobs in the process,” Shapiro said.

“We need a partner in the White House who will continue to support Pennsylvania, and that’s why we need to reelect President Biden and Vice President Harris,” he added.

The Republicans will hold their first caucuses on Jan. 15 in Iowa, followed by the Democratic primary in South Carolina in early February.

Julian is the Western Pennsylvania politics and government bureau chief at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike.

Julian Routh

Julian is the Western Pennsylvania politics and government bureau chief at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike.