President Donald Trump has publicly expressed the confidence that Joe Biden could easily have been better in a battle of 2020. But behind closed doors, the president fixed on Biden, while the main assistants tried to assure their boss that the ; former vice president is convicted.
In the past few weeks, Trump has focused on more than one occasion for updates on how Biden is spending the first primary democratic polls – a sign of how seriously Trump takes on the potential candidacy. In fact, Biden has passed several recent statewide battlefield polls, as well as a national poll released Monday, which marks him as one of the first candidates for democratic presidential elections.
The story continues below
Those close to the president also reassured Trump, however, insisting that, although Biden would have been a strong candidate in the general election, there is a considerable possibility that he will not reach the party's convention next July. Despite early polls, they argued that the Democratic primary electorate, increasingly inclined to the left, will not settle for a 76-year-old white man who is already facing a thorough examination of his previous record on issues such as criminal justice and the race.
"The democratic base is looking for someone newer, fresher," said a close friend of the president.
During a recent meeting with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and senior officials at the White House Office for Political Affairs, a debate emerged about whether the president should be nervous about Biden entering the fray of 2020, he said. to POLITICO an official of the White House. Several people in the room told Trump that he shouldn't be "overly nervous" until Biden is "pulled left" in the primary, according to the official.
Trump's advisers, noting the way Biden recently backed down after publicly calling "respectable" Vice President Mike Pence, told the president that the incident was a perfect example of a verbal tightrope walker Biden will have to travel if he declares his candidacy. When the Democrats and the party's progressive base accused Biden of legitimizing "America's anti-LGBT elected leader", as he wrote the former New York government candidate Cynthia Nixon in a viral tweet, Biden has quickly said he was "playing on a foreign policy environment" … but there is nothing decent in being anti-LGBTQ rights ".
"We thought it was so indicative of the fact that this guy would be so tender to the left, if he couldn't make a simple statement about his successor without bowing a minute later," the White House official said.
Some of Trump's advisors have even compared Biden to Jeb Bush, a favorite of the establishments who entered the 2016 GOP primary with a widespread name recognition, a professional operation and a huge war trunk, just to admit the defeat before his primacy in the State of origin.
"The history of the presidential campaign is littered with bodies of candidates that should have been the first, but flamed before they were able to take off," a person close to Trump's campaign said.
While Biden's consultants admit this dynamic presents challenges, they believe that pragmatism can prevail over the passion of the left, just as it did when the Democrats appointed Massachusetts Senator John Kerry rather than the brigand of the anti-Iraq war Howard Dean in 2004. Indicate also recent polls showing "eligibility" as the main feature Democratic voters are currently looking into a potential candidate – above all, they want someone who can beat Trump.
Biden said on Tuesday he would reveal his decision in "a few weeks".
"In previous elections, voters on both sides gave priority to shared values over eligibility in choosing a candidate," said Patrick Murray, director of polls at Monmouth University, which published the national survey which showed Biden to lead the democratic package with 28% support. "It seems that the Democrats are willing to launch that equation in 2020 because of their desire to defeat Trump."
Biden's fixation goes beyond Trump. He was on show last weekend when GOP donors raised funds from Trump's Mar-a-Lago Beach Club for the annual Republican National Committee spring retreat.
While awaiting the president's remarks during a private dinner on Friday evening, a panel of Republican experts launched into a wide discussion on the 2020 primaries. According to one person involved in the conversation, the participants discussed which Democrat had the blow best to regain the status of the Rust Belt that brought Trump in 2016.
"Virtually everyone thought that Joe Biden would be the hardest to beat," said the person involved.
Despite admitting so much in private, Trump has done nothing but trust his public statements about Biden. In tweets and fundraising talks, he tested two derisive nicknames for the longtime Delaware senator – "Crazy Joe Biden" and "the dummy" – who once said he would "beat the devil" of the president in a school brawl.
"He ran two or three times, never exceeding 1%," Trump told Biden in a recent interview with Fox News. "And then, Obama came and took him away from the garbage pile, and he became vice president. He's weak so we'll see what happens with him."
Pence has also insisted on Biden in the last few weeks, echoing what Trump's political advisers have told him – that his predecessor will fight a generation gap with his younger opponents if he enters the race. And, he underlined the intense pressure that Biden will have to face in certain democratic circles to become attached to the progressive base of the party.
"I like our chances in 2020," Pence said in an interview with Fox News Thursday, claiming that the way Biden "succumbed to liberal activists after making a kind comment for me is proof of pressure that all candidates are about to face "To move to the left.
Biden himself still has to answer questions about how he will address more culturally liberal voters if he jumps in the race, which would trigger a flood of targeted questions about his previous record of voting on crime, marriage equality, abortion, mass incarceration and more .
He told confidants in recent conversations, however, that he doesn't see another Democrat in the current role who can "do what needs to be done to win", according to The New York Times.