The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

The Brexit Enters America’s 2016 Ad Wars

Hillary Clinton uses Donald Trump’s comments on Britain’s recent vote to exit the EU in a new attack ad.

TrumpGolf
TrumpGolf

It’s been said that American politics stops at the water’s edge, but if anything, Britain’s shocking vote last week to exit the European Union shows how easily it races across the pond — and back again.

With global markets and U.K. citizens still reeling, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is using rival Donald Trump’s comments in Scotland the day the results came in as part of a new attack ad suggesting a Trump presidency would knock the world even more off-kilter.

“Every president is tested by world events,” a dramatic male voice-over ubiquitous to presidential campaign advertising says. The 30-second spot runs over dramatic headlines about the Brexit, worried pundits, timelapses of the White House facade, and footage of the Manhattan real-estate magnate taking a golf swing. “But Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them.”

It’s been said that American politics stops at the water’s edge, but if anything, Britain’s shocking vote last week to exit the European Union shows how easily it races across the pond — and back again.

With global markets and U.K. citizens still reeling, presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is using rival Donald Trump’s comments in Scotland the day the results came in as part of a new attack ad suggesting a Trump presidency would knock the world even more off-kilter.

“Every president is tested by world events,” a dramatic male voice-over ubiquitous to presidential campaign advertising says. The 30-second spot runs over dramatic headlines about the Brexit, worried pundits, timelapses of the White House facade, and footage of the Manhattan real-estate magnate taking a golf swing. “But Donald Trump thinks about how his golf resort can profit from them.”

The video cuts to Trump’s visit last week to Turnberry, his golf resort in Scotland, where he praised the Brexit results despite the fact that Scottish citizens voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and may soon get the chance to vote (again) on declaring independence from the U.K.

“When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry,” the ad shows Trump saying in his press conference in Scotland, with a typical self-congratulatory air.

The dramatic voiceover in the ad finishes: “In a volatile world, the last thing we need is a volatile president.”

The British currency suffered its biggest decline since 1985 as the world woke up to the results last Friday. That decline is already causing chaos around the globe, but Trump focused on the fact that a weaker pound would make vacations to his resort much cheaper. The presumptive GOP nominee said there is a “big parallel” with the Brexit and his own unexpectedly successful presidential run, because people everywhere “want to take their country back.”

Watch the ad here:

The ad is intended to “make clear that Donald Trump failed to provide the steady leadership needed instead proving he is temperamentally unfit to be president of the United States and that he is in it for no one but himself,” Clinton’s campaign said in a statement Sunday that accompanied the commercial’s release online.

Clinton has consistently hit the attack line against Trump that he fails the commander in chief test, previewing their inevitable general election matchup. Trump has shot back with the fond nickname of “Lying Crooked Hillary,” and stressing that the former secretary of state, and her judgment, cannot be trusted.

Trump’s own campaign plugged the Brexit in a fundraising email Friday, saying, “These voters stood up for their nation – they put the United Kingdom first, and they took their country back. With your help, we’re going to do the exact same thing on Election Day 2016 here in the United States of America.”

The Clinton campaign ad will be aired on cable television nationwide beginning this week.

Photo credit: Jeff J Mitchell / Staff

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.