So it’s no surprise that former President Trump this past week went up with an ad titled “Failure” which uses a montage of video clips and still photos to criticize Biden over this summer’s lightning fast takeover of Afghanistan by repressive Taliban forces and the hastily organized evacuation at Kabul’s international airport to airlift Americans and their Afghan allies out of the warn torn Central Asian country.
The spot – backed by a very modest ad buy – ran briefly on cable TV, according to officials with Trump’s Save America PAC, which produced the commercial. And Save America is currently fundraising off the ad.
In a fundraising email this weekend, the moderator in what appears to be a newer version of the spot charges “we told you Joe Biden was not up to the job. Now we’re seeing the devastating consequences of his incompetence.”
Since the end of his administration seven and a half months ago, Trump has repeatedly teased making another White House run in 2024. If he follows through on his flirtations, the spot could be seen as the first ad of the next presidential campaign.
“I think it’s an issue that Americans are going to care about for a long time,” a source in Trump’s political orbit told Fox News when asked about the Afghanistan themed ad.
Biden has been facing a barrage of bipartisan criticism for weeks for his handling of the hastily organized evacuation efforts.
While the president has repeatedly declared the withdrawal and evacuation a success – the U.S. airlifted roughly 120,000 people including more than 5,500 Americans, after the fall of Kabul through the end of August – he’s been accused by both Republicans and some Democrats for underestimating the Taliban and overestimating the strength of the now collapsed U.S. backed Afghan government and military.
And polls conducted the past couple of weeks indicate that the rocky exit from Afghanistan, ending a two-decade U.S. military presence in the war-torn Central Asian country, is taking a toll on the president’s political standing.
Biden has pointed fingers at his predecessor in the White House. The Trump administration in February of last year struck a deal with the Taliban that called for all U.S. troops to depart Afghanistan by May 2021. Trump, during his watch, reduced U.S. forces to their lowest level in Afghanistan in two decades. And last year the Afghan government released thousands of Taliban prisoners, many of whom likely once again took up arms against the U.S.-backed forces.
But Biden, who reversed many Trump polices upon taking office in January, didn’t scrap Trump’s agreement with the Taliban, although he extended the U.S. withdrawal deadline to the end of August.
An email this weekend from the Save America PAC argues “Make no mistake: this is Joe Biden’s failure and his alone.”
TRUMP PLANNING IOWA STOP
Trump says that he’ll return to Iowa for the first time since the 2020 election.
A trip by Trump to the Hawkeye State, whose caucuses for half a century have kicked off the presidential nominating calendar, will fuel even more speculation over the likelihood of a third straight White House run by the former president.
Trump indicated his intentions to return to Iowa during an interview last week on the “Todd Starnes Show.” Discussing his recent rallies in Alabama and Ohio this summer, he said he would be doing more, adding “we’re going to Iowa. We’re going to Georgia. We’re going to some others.”
A source in the former president’s political orbit confirmed to Fox News that initial conversations about a trip to Iowa have begun.
POMPEO’S HAT TRICK
In ice hockey and field hockey, a hat trick is when a player scores three goals in a single game.
In campaign politics, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also scored a hat trick, making stops so far this year in the first three states to hold contests in the Republican presidential nominating calendar.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo headlines an event for a GOP candidate running in a special legislative election, in Bedford N.H. on August 31, 2021 (CAVPAC )
Pompeo, an Army veteran and former congressman from Kansas who served as CIA director and then America’s top diplomat during the Trump administration, made a jam-packed one day swing on Tuesday through New Hampshire, the state that for a century’s held the first primary in the race for the White House.
He’s flirted with a possible White House run and pundits see Pompeo as a potential contender for the GOP presidential nomination, especially if Trump doesn’t run again in 2024. His trip to New Hampshire comes after he’s already made two stops this year in Iowa and one in South Carolina, which votes third in the GOP primaries and caucuses.
Pompeo’s been crisscrossing the country, helping Republicans running in elections this year and in the 2022 midterms. While that was at the top of his agenda during his day in New Hampshire, Pompeo also met privately with a group of influential Republican activists and leaders before headlining a state party luncheon, and the trip understandably once again sparked 2024 speculation.
Asked about 2024, Pompeo told Fox News that he’s working “really hard between now and November of next year. And then there’ll be some decisions that everyone has to make, including myself and my wife. And we’ll do that on the right timetable.”
Pompeo appears to become the second potential Republican 2024 White House hopeful to visit Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina so far this year, following former Vice President Mike Pence.
RUBIO RETURNS TO IOWA
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida returned to Iowa this past week for his first visit since his 2016 bid for the Republican presidential nomination, with a busy itinerary Monday and Tuesday that focused on helping fellow Republicans running in 2022.
The two-term senator who came in third in the 2016 Iowa Republican presidential caucuses behind Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Trump, faces a potentially challenging reelection next year, and that’s his campaign focus.
“Having done this once, there’s no purpose of being coy about it, I’m running for reelection in Florida to serve in the United States Senate,” he told reporters after attending a GOP fundraiser in Mason City, Iowa. “I’m not having any conversations about running for president, but I have friends here.”
Rubio told Fox News in an interview this spring that while he’s not currently thinking about another White House run, he’s not closing the door entirely to a second presidential bid. And he stayed on message with reporters during his Iowa swing.
“Ultimately, I don’t know what the future will hold or what my life would look like in two years — or not to mention four years from now,” Rubio said. “If I had described the world five years ago to any of you, you wouldn’t believe half the things that have happened in the last five years.”
Rubio’s trip to Iowa followed directly after a two day swing by Cruz in Iowa, which Fox News covered last weekend. Click here for a look at what the two-term senator from Texas and conservative firebrand told Fox News about 2024.