Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

Be prepared for two different Trumps

By 37ci3 Jun24,2024

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is set to face several different Donald Trumps on Thursday’s debate stage: a more bombastic and “undisciplined” one known for his grievance-filled, grass-roots rallies, and a more disciplined version who mostly avoids tirades. adheres to its policy.

If it’s more soothing than incendiary, Biden’s goal will be to bring out what his aides see as the “real Trump,” according to three people familiar with Biden’s debate preparation.

Biden’s advisers have carefully studied and scrutinized Trump’s recent comments to best determine what might get under the Republican’s skin and what would “trigger” him the most if he showed self-control.

As president, Trump has at times shown restraint, a prospect that has led some outside observers to speculate whether debate rules, such as muting microphones, have prevented the former president from saying anything too outrageous.

“If I was advising Biden, I would try to make fun of Trump,” former Republican vice president Dan Quayle told NBC News. “Try to tease him. This will drive him crazy.”

“Should I be tough and nasty and just say, ‘You’re the worst president in history,'” Trump asked the crowd during a rally in Philadelphia this weekend, seemingly acknowledging the dynamic. Or should I be nice and quiet and let him talk?”

A fourth person familiar with Biden’s preparation said the entire debate could hinge on one candidate’s ability to throw the other off his game. One source said the goal was to “rally Trump.”

One way Biden could try to do this is to point out that Trump lost the 2020 election, which Biden would then argue that Trump incited the January 6 uprising. If Trump has any sense of being called a “loser,” it may infuriate him to the point of condemnation. Sources said that potential is being factored into Biden’s preparations.

But the Biden campaign believes which version emerges is largely irrelevant.

“It doesn’t matter what Donald Trump looks like. If he comes across as clueless, as he often does, or if he sits there and is quiet, people will know he’s a twice-impeached convicted felon who has been found to have sexually abused someone and failed six times. “, campaign co-chair Mitch Landrieu said at a press meet on Sunday.

While attacking Trump for his actions after the 2020 election could help Biden with independent voters, sources familiar with Biden’s preparation said they suspect Americans who may be on the fence between the two candidates will be turned off by the idea that Trump continues to lie. claims to have won.

Biden’s team believes it’s a “fine line to walk” because he still wants viewers to come away with the impression that Biden is “the grown-up in the room,” a Biden campaign official said. The official also emphasized that Biden does not need to “shut down” Trump on certain things, because the conflict between their two views will already be abundantly clear.

Even if Trump doesn’t engage in some “more extreme rhetoric” in Thursday’s debate, Biden campaign officials are betting the Democratic-Republican divide will be as stark on issues like reproductive rights, democracy, Social Security and Medicare. This official said it doesn’t matter.

“On Thursday, the American people will see two different visions of the future on the stage in Atlanta: President Biden’s vision where liberties are protected and all Americans have a fair shot, and Donald Trump’s dark ‘vision.’ Dictator on day one, give tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy behind the middle class and take away women’s rights,” Biden campaign communications director Michael Tyler wrote in a strategy memo Sunday.

While that’s all part of what Biden and his close advisers are discussing at Camp David this week, there’s also a lot of time and energy being spent on how to approach the broader policy substance of the debate, rather than its style. Biden may have some answers.

“People want to hear what each candidate is going to do for their families, for their rights, not just a game of politics and confusion,” said a former Biden aide.

One way Biden could do this is to focus on the argument that Trump only cares about himself and his own legal problems, while Biden believes his first term has helped cut costs for Americans and expanded some of the president’s freedoms and rights. Trump’s recapture of the White House could be in jeopardy.

Biden is trying to convey a positive economic message, even though many voters say they still don’t feel the impact of his policies in their daily lives when it comes to the price of staple foods and gas.

He has also continued to bring up abortion access, particularly after Trump appointed three conservative Supreme Court justices to the bench during his tenure in Roe v. Plans to take credit for Wade’s downfall.

If Trump is telling a lie, Biden is willing to point it out, but there’s also a sense that the president shouldn’t spend the entire debate fact-checking his opponent instead of outlining his vision for a second term.

Biden’s team hopes the moderators will step in and do so when necessary, but they are preparing to tell specific lies if President Trump brings them up, sources familiar with Biden’s preparation said.

On the policy front, Biden aides pored over thick binders organized by topic on “what we’ve done, what we want to do,” according to a White House official briefed on the preparations.

The process, which began intensively a few days ago, is “going well” so far, the official said, adding that it will continue until Thursday, when the president leaves Camp David for Atlanta.

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By 37ci3

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