Bloomberg News was forced to correct an article after they reported that the “cash poor” Trump campaign had pulled all of its advertising in Florida, a key battleground state in the 2020 election.
With just a week away from the voting day, Bloomberg News ran a story titled “Trump Pulls Florida Ads as Cash-Poor Campaign Enters Final Week.” The report was debunked as soon as it ran by Trump campaign staffers, journalists, and an independent advertising watchdog.
"President Donald Trump’s campaign has all but pulled its advertising out of Florida, as it stakes its relatively small bank account on the industrial northern states that carried him to victory in 2016," the report read. "Trump is now placing his final bet on just four battleground states: Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Polls show he’s down in all those states but Ohio, where it’s effectively even."
Trump campaign staffers hit back against the report, some stating that Bloomberg News did not even reach out for comment before running the story.
“Bloomberg moved a completely false story about ad spending. We are up in [Florida] with a 7 figure buy, plus 6 figures in local cable, 6 figures in Spanish & 6 figures on radio,” said the Trump campaign’s comms director Tim Murtaugh. “Irresponsible reporting that was never checked with the Trump campaign. The story should be retracted.”
“The news media is in full Biden Protection Mode,” echoed Erin Perrine, Team Trump’s Director of Press Communications. “Fake suppression polls. Ignoring Joe Biden’s lies. Fake news on ad buys in Florida. We get it. Joe is your chosen candidate.”
“You can continue to underestimate the silent majority. Just don’t be shocked on Election Day,” she said. In a statement to Fox News, Murtaugh called the Bloomberg story “horribly wrong and should have never been written,” clarifying that the Trump campaign was now coordinating its ad buys with the RNC.
“Our ad buying week by week in the state has been consistent, and the reporting on this issue demonstrates a clear misunderstanding of how ad buying works (and in some cases a misunderstanding of simple addition and subtraction),” he said.
"Last week we announced a $55 million buy over the final two weeks, which is a 40 percent increase over our previous levels,” he continued. “Just yesterday we added $6 million on top of that for the final week. Including Florida, the Trump campaign is on television in 12 states and also nationally. This is sloppy reporting at the highest level.”
The initial Bloomberg News report received pushback from journalists, including Politico’s Marc Caputo, who stated that the “campaign switched payee to the RNC. Ads are still running.”
The outlet ultimately revised its story to read, "Corrects story to include context that was missing from earlier version on additional spending planned by the Republican National Committee on Trump’s behalf."