A super PAC supporting Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential bid, Never Back Down, is running a new 30-second TV ad in Iowa using a voice that is intended to sound like former President Donald Trump. It’s meant to defend Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican who has been under attack by Trump because she declined to endorse him in the Republican presidential primaries.
“I opened up the governor position for Kim Reynolds, and when she fell behind, I endorsed her, did big rallies, and she won! Now, she wants to remain neutral,” the Trump-like voice says in the spot. “I don’t invite her to events.”
Here’s the ad:
The voice, which sounds like a stilted, somewhat robotic Trump, is not actually that of the former president — it was generated by AI, a source familiar with the ad confirmed.
The voice uttered words that appeared verbatim on Trump’s Truth Social platform, but there is nothing explicit in the ad that says that the voice is not Trump’s.
The ad admonishes the former president, saying, “Trump should fight Democrats not Republicans.”
DeSantis, unlike Trump, has a warmer relationship with Reynolds, a fellow GOP governor. At an informal news conference Saturday in Ankeny, Iowa, DeSantis said “of course” he’d consider picking Reynolds as a running mate.
Later, he said, “The number one thing people have come up to me and shake their heads about was Donald Trump attacking Kim Reynolds. They couldn’t believe it. And these are some people that were planning on supporting him who are not now doing that. So, that is not the way we win.”
Politico first reported on the ad. According to a release by Never Back Down, the ad is part of a seven-figure ad buy in Iowa. It will be airing on the same day Trump will be in the state for a town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity in Cedar Rapids.
Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita blasted Never Back Down and a top adviser to the PAC, Jeff Roe.
“The blatant use of AI to fabricate President Trump’s voice is a desperate attempt by Always Back Down and Jeff Roe to deceive the American public because they know DeSanctimonious’ campaign is on life support,” LaCivita said in a statement to CBS News. He added, “After losing big donors and slashing their staff, they have now outsourced their work to AI just like they would like to outsource American jobs to China.”