President Donald Trump, the darling of evangelicals despite his decidedly ungodly behavior, has put out a new campaign ad that mocks former Vice President Joe Biden for praying.
Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee to face Trump in the upcoming election, is shown with his head down wearing a mask and clasping his hands. The candidate is praying inside the historic Black Bethel AME church in Delaware in the photo.
“Deep in the heart of Delaware Joe Biden sits in his basement, alone, hiding, diminished,” the ad begins.
Five seconds into the ad, a photo of Biden sitting on the floor by himself is shown with the line, but the Iowa newspaper The Gazette has come forward to say that the photo was taken by their reporter and had been dramatically manipulated.
In the original photo, Biden is surrounded by reporters and supporters in the home of Coralville, Iowa Mayor John Lundell. Approximately three dozen people were in the room, according to the newspaper.
Biden sat on the floor after giving up his seat so someone else could sit there.
But the Trump campaign’s manipulation of footage of the former vice president praying has drawn particularly sharp rebukes from both conservatives and liberals.
“Donald Trump is the only president in our history to tear gas peaceful Americans and kick a priest out of their church so he could profane it for a photo op,” Biden’s Director of Rapid Response said in an emailed statement. “Which makes it unsurprising – but no less sickening – that the Trump campaign just denigrated Joe Biden for praying.”
While prominent religious leaders and activists like Tony Perkins, head of the anti-LGBTQ hate group Family Research Council, have given Trump “a mulligan” several times over, will they stomach Trump mocking a Catholic man for praying in a church?
If their response on social media to the mockery is any indication, they’re the only Christians who aren’t outraged.
Deep in the heart of Delaware, Joe Biden sits in his basement.
Alone. Hiding. Diminished. pic.twitter.com/0QVsbp2iis
— Team Trump (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TeamTrump) August 5, 2020
The new Trump ad accidentally shows just how few photos/how little b-roll Biden has produced since March. An image meant to make him look defeated/old is of him praying in church! pic.twitter.com/f7F9MNCLve
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) August 5, 2020
When asked Trump couldn’t recite one quote from the Bible.
He didn’t know the difference between the Old Testament & New Testament.
Trump is as about as versed with the Bible as he is with the Constitution.#PackYourBags 🧳
— Sally DeHart (@salart60) August 5, 2020
So now Trump Republicans are against prayer?
— Synnøve Stewart (@synnovestewart) August 5, 2020