AI has entered the contest for the race for the 2024 Republican nomination for president.
A pro-Ron DeSantis super PAC released an ad that uses a voice generated by artificial intelligence to impersonate former President Donald Trump, Politico reported.
The ad, created by the “Never Back Down” super PAC, goes after Trump over his recent criticism of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. It calls the Republican governor “a conservative champion,” and asks why Trump is attacking her.
Then it has a quote in a voice that sounds like Trump speaking about endorsing her and holding rallies. The text is pulled from a Truth Social comment the former president posted on July 10 after Reynolds said she would remain neutral rather than endorse a candidate in the first-in-the-nation primary.
“I opened up the Governor position for Kim Reynolds, & when she fell behind, I ENDORSED her, did big Rallies, & she won,” the Trump-like voice says. “Now, she wants to remain “NEUTRAL.” I don’t invite her to events!”
The 30-second spot states that Trump should be supporting Republicans rather than attacking them, and asks, “What happened to Donald Trump?”
Politico reported that a person familiar with the ad confirmed Trump’s voice was AI-generated, and will run statewide in Iowa starting today.
The ad buy was at least $1 million — a massive buy this early in the primary cycle — and represents what could be a new frontier in political advertising. While campaign ads have used impersonators, this is the first known use of AI-generated content to mimic an opposing candidate. A previous pro-DeSantis ad was suspected of using AI to make it look like Trump was kissing Dr. Anthony Fauci, but was unconfirmed.
A Trump representative criticized the use of an artificial voice.
“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,” Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita told Politico, using Trump’s nickname for the Florida governor and referring to a top official with the pro-DeSantis super PAC. “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.”
In the latest polling on the Republican nomination race, Morning Consult found Trump leading with 55% support, with DeSantis second at 20%. None of the other candidates broke double digits.
Never Back Down is planning to spend at least $200 million to support DeSantis’ effort to win the 2024 nomination, The New York Times reported in May and is working unusually closely with the campaign.
The super PAC has previously used AI to superimpose a fighter jet in an ad depicting a DeSantis speech, Forbes reported.