President Donald Trump has cycled through a string of attacks against Joe Biden but as he and allies seek to tie the Democratic nominee to the “radical left,” Biden’s campaign warned on Monday that the new message will fall short.
Trump used two weekend speeches to vow to defeat
Democrats and the “radical left,” linking the party to protesters marching in the streets and pulling down statues. Although he didn’t name Biden, as the party’s nominee, the former vice president is its standard bearer.
Biden’s campaign said in a memo to surrogates that any effort to attack Biden, who defeated the more progressive Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, by attacking his positions as too far to the left, are “falling laughably flat.”
Biden is leading in national and battleground state polls. The new approach comes as Trump grapples to find a message for his campaign that reaches beyond his core supporters and takes a bite out of Biden’s polling advantage.
“Despite the breathless coverage each new Trump attack gets, this endless rotation of the same debunked smears isn’t the product of strategic genius, it’s a sign of myopia and desperation,” Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in the memo, which was obtained by Bloomberg News.
The memo points out that voters won’t buy Trump’s argument. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released last week found that just 17% of registered voters see Biden as more liberal than most Democrats. He’s also seen as moderate by a larger share of those surveyed than Trump, at 23% to 9%.
Voters “just aren’t buying his fabrications about the vice president,” Bedingfield said, and “they know that Trump’s attacks are the reflection of a president who has completely failed us at every turn and doesn’t have a record to run on.”
Bedingfield contended that Trump’s attempts to attack Biden are backfiring “because they each reflect his own weaknesses and his failures as president.” When Trump describes his opponent as “Corrupt Joe,” he ends up highlighting that he runs “the most corrupt administration in modern American history,” the memo says.
When Trump calls Biden “Sleepy Joe” or questions the Democrat’s cognitive ability, the memo warns, he potentially does even more damage to his slipping numbers with older voters.
He also runs the risk of drawing attention to voters’ questions about his own stamina and cognition, something that Biden poked fun at last week. “This president talks about cognitive capability — he doesn’t seem to be cognitively aware of what’s going on,” Biden said during a press conference.