A pro-Israel Democratic super PAC is expected to release an attack ad Wednesday targeting 2020 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., citing his recent heart attack on the campaign trail, according to reports.
The ad, funded by the Democratic Majority for Israel, shows voters from Iowa arguing why Sanders will be unable to beat President Trump in the November general election, The New York Times reported.
“I like Bernie, I think he has great ideas, but in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Iowa, they’re just not going to vote for a socialist,” a voter reportedly says in the ad. “I just don’t think Bernie can beat Trump.”
Another voter brings up Sanders’ heart attack, which he suffered in Las Vegas last October, according to The Times.
“I do have some concerns about Bernie Sanders’ health, considering the fact that he did have a heart attack,” the person reportedly says.
Mark Mellman, president of the Democratic Majority for Israel, told The Times that the ad is intended to address voters’ concerns that Sanders is in a “uniquely bad position” to defeat Trump.
“For many months people were saying he really didn’t have much of a chance, but you have to look at the data now and say he does have a realistic chance of winning Iowa and potentially the nomination,” Mellman said. “This is the point at which there could be room for someone else to make their case and have a better candidate emerge.”
Politico, citing the Advertising Analytics, reports that the anti-Sanders ad cost more than $680,000 to produce.
Anticipating blowback from the ad, Sanders released a counterattack video on Tuesday, arguing that the billionaire class is “getting nervous” that his campaign is gaining ground.
“It’s no secret that we’re taking on the political establishment and the big money interests, who are now running attack ads against us in Iowa,” Sanders tweeted along with a minute and a half video. “But we have the people, and our grassroots movement will prevail.”
The attack comes amid a Real Clear Politics (RCP) poll on Tuesday showing sanders leading his Democratic rivals ahead of the Iowa causes.