Biden Floods Fox News with Abortion Rights Ads Before First Republican Debate

“Get real, Jack. I’m bringing Roe back,” states an ad featuring iconic “Dark Brandon” imagery—though no trace of the word “abortion," sadly.

Biden Floods Fox News with Abortion Rights Ads Before First Republican Debate

President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is getting creative ahead of the first Republican presidential primary debate that will air on Fox News on Wednesday evening, rolling out a significant ad buy across the network’s website featuring abortion rights ads stylized with the iconic “Dark Brandon” meme. (“Dark Brandon,” for my less online friends, is the edgy digital alter ego of the president created by young progressives, drawing on the right’s running “Let’s Go Brandon” joke—there’s layers to this!)

“Get real, Jack. I’m bringing Roe back,” states an ad featuring featuring Mr. Dark Brandon himself, grinning widely, eyes menacingly flashing red.

I, for one, love a good rhyme, and I appreciate that Biden’s campaign is clear-eyed about abortion being the winning issue—across the country—that it absolutely is. This ad buy comes fresh off the decisive victory for abortion rights in Ohio earlier this month, when voters turned out in massive numbers in the middle of August to defeat a purposely confusing anti-abortion ballot measure. Abortion rights have won every single ballot measure they’ve been up for in the last year, including in Montana, Kentucky, Michigan, Kansas, California, and Vermont, before Ohio. Even Republican leaders and conservative anchors have spoken candidly about the existential threat that the “abortion issue” poses to their party.

That being said, given the popularity of abortion rights—as Fox News’ own polls have shown—would it kill Biden to say the word “abortion” in his edgy little pro-choice guerilla ad buy? Biden deputy campaign manager Rob Flaherty specifically told People the ad buy is meant to “[speak] to the sort of strided, swaggy Dark Brandon personality of, ‘Yeah, we’re going to go on Fox News and talk about protecting and restoring Roe.’” In my humble opinion, a real “strided, swaggy Dark Brandon” wouldn’t shy from speaking plainly about a popular, existential issue like abortion—certainly by saying the word!

This has historically been a problem for the president, who’s notoriously avoided saying “abortion” at all costs until finally saying the word last summer shortly after Roe was overturned. Speaking plainly about abortion—especially from Democratic leaders—and foregoing the usual euphemisms is a helpful step toward destigmatizing a normal, albeit embattled health care procedure. And it’s also important to acknowledge that as Roe itself was never enough, codifying the original decision won’t be enough, either. Abortion has always been inaccessible, people have always been criminalized for abortion and other pregnancy outcomes, and we all deserve so much more than the low bar that the Roe precedent set.

To be clear, I’m glad to see Biden’s campaign get adventurous and wade into hostile territory—certainly ahead of a debate that will inevitably take us to the depths of hell on the candidates’ abortion stances. But I’d like to believe the real Dark Brandon might be less timid and apologetic on this issue that deeply affects us all.

As for where we might see this ad or others like it in addition to Fox News’ website: “I think it fits both the president’s ethos of going everywhere and not writing off any voters,” Flaherty told People. “Only Dark Brandon knows where he’ll appear.” Truth Social next, perhaps??

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