2020 Election

Biden Campaign Pulls Ad After Free Beacon Report

Dems sold tech heir as small business owner

Joe Malcoun / Screenshot

Joe Biden's presidential campaign took down an ad that portrayed a wealthy tech investor backed by family money as a struggling bar owner just hours after a Washington Free Beacon report.

The campaign set the ad to private in the aftermath of the Free Beacon's Monday evening report, which showed that Joe Malcoun, the struggling Michigan bar owner at the center of the ad, was actually a well-known "angel investor" in the state who invested in tech companies after receiving an inheritance from his wife's late grandfather. Malcoun said the inheritance was "almost like winning the lottery."

In the now-removed ad, Malcoun blames his bar's inactivity on President Donald Trump. "For 50 years, the Blind Pig has been open and crowded, but right now, it's an empty room. This is the reality of Trump's COVID response," Malcoun said. "My only hope for my family, and for this business, and my community is that Joe Biden wins this election."

Malcoun purchased the Blind Pig in 2017, calling the bar a "project of passion." He attempted to host live shows at the bar over the summer but decided it was "not really worth trying," saying in June it was "really hard to communicate what it means to have a really socially distanced and live music show."

"There weren't a lot of people showing up, which is frankly what we wanted and expected," Malcoun said.

Malcoun, who also locked his Twitter account this week, contributed $5,000 to the Biden campaign in July. The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it plans to make the ad publicly available on its YouTube page in the future.

He has repeatedly praised Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer's stringent lockdown orders. In an April tweet, Malcoun said the Democrat is "doing it right" when it comes to fighting coronavirus.