Trump continues bringing Joe Biden’s preferred battleground of the 2024 presidential election back to the forefront.
The Biden campaign wasted no time leaping on Trump’s comments that he would not return to government as a dictator “other than Day One” after he said them during a Fox News town hall. It emphasised Trump’s comments as yet another instance when the GOP frontrunner displayed his potentially harmful and undemocratic agenda for a potential second term.
The fear that Trump would have unfettered power upon his return to office has been voiced by Biden to confidants, according to three people who were granted anonymity to share private deliberations. With the support of conservative Supreme Court justices, Republican state leaders and staff, at least one chamber of Congress controlled by Republicans, and the assurance that he could withstand impeachment twice and criminal charges in four different jurisdictions while still claiming power, Trump would have a formidable coalition. Privately, Biden has stated that he would see it as a mandate, and he would misuse his domestic power and alter America’s reputation overseas.
According to all three sources, the president is feeling increasingly pressured as he watches the Republican Party continue to be controlled by Trump even after January 6 and the revelations concerning his predecessor’s future plans.
It’s full circle now; the president sees this as the race’s moral compass. We are facing a grave danger. According to Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster for Biden’s 2020 campaign, this is the rationale behind his first candidature and his second run in response to Donald Trump’s candidature.
The president has always felt a strong obligation to help the country move on from Trump, according to one of the three individuals close to him who discussed Trump with Biden and were allowed to remain anonymous in order to share private conversations. He was hoping 2020 would have accomplished it, but alas, it fell short. Now he must do it once more.
The reelection campaign has received pressure from certain Democrats who want it to shift its focus. During the party’s annual retreat last weekend, a number of governors voiced their desire for Biden to prioritise abortion and other social concerns over Trump.
The president has made it plain that he intends to portray the upcoming election as a fight for democracy, while the Biden team will insist on highlighting differences based on individual issues. The GOP candidate keeps giving Biden plenty of chances to bring up this old subject.
This matter, which Biden saw as “a struggle for the soul of the nation,” was the driving force for his successful 2020 campaign. Even though some Democrats were against it, Biden heavily used the same line of reasoning during the midterm elections of 2018 to warn that the radical “MAGA Republicans” threatened the rights and foundations of the country.
Three people familiar with Biden’s situation said that his unscripted comments at a series of Boston fundraisers on Tuesday revealed both his genuine thoughts and another instance of the president surprising staff with something out of character.
During his remarks, Biden expressed his uncertainty about whether he would run for office if Trump were not in the race. We must not allow him to triumph, though.
Continuing in a sombre vein, Biden expressed his concerns about the fact that he is “running against an election-denier-in-chief” who is “determined to destroy American democracy.”
President Trump is no longer hiding anything, Biden said the audience. He has made it clear to us his intentions. It’s something he’s not shy about.
In 2021, Biden started telling his allies over and over that he would have to run again if Trump wanted to win back the presidency. Biden maintained his belief that no other Democrat could defeat Trump in 2020, just as he said on Wednesday, even if he acknowledged that “probably 50” other party members could do the same.
“People have completely disregarded their concerns about Trump being re-elected in 2020,” stated Brandon Weathersby, who is in charge of presidential communications for the Democratic super PAC American Bridge 21st Century. “It becomes even more important for voters when he keeps talking about his plans, and he should be very explicit about his intentions to establish an authoritarian regime. We need to keep talking about this and trying to explain the options to voters in November.”
Ever since he announced his candidature in 2019, Biden has kept bringing up the fact that American democracy was being threatened, and he was certain that people would react in a positive way. This strategy was validated, according to his campaign, by his 2020 triumph and the Democrats’ strong showing in 2022. Furthermore, Biden is confident in his abilities to convey that message once again in the upcoming election.
As Lake put it, “the salience [of the issue] has been raised by Trump’s latest remarks, and whether [Trump] realises it or not: America doesn’t want a dictator.”
There was considerable whispering in Biden’s 2020 campaign about his intention to serve only one term as president, calling himself a “transitional” figure who would remove Trump from office and welcome a new age of Democratic leadership. However, prior to Biden taking the oath of office, such proposals were already discarded. Biden may not have sought reelection had Trump been removed from the race, according to many of his associates, even though he has never said it directly. Those close to Biden, however, say that he would likely still run at this stage in the campaign regardless of Trump’s unexpected withdrawal.
The Biden team rushed on social media to warn Trump about his town hall comment and even planned an event to criticise Trump in Alabama, which would take place before the GOP primary debate.
“The Democrats will use this as an opportunity… The remarks were swiftly denounced by the campaign. Weathersby added that other coalitions aiming to elect Democrats nationwide have also ramped up their rhetoric. The words used by Trump are these. Unless something very surprising happens in the Republican primary, I believe this guy will continue to be the Republican nominee, and you will continue to see a lot of emphasis on those phrases.