In recent weeks, President Joe Biden has stepped up his attacks on former President Donald Trump, both in public and private conversations. With the upcoming election less than a year away, the stakes are high for both Democrats and Republicans, and Biden is determined to make his case against his predecessor.
Biden’s decision to address Trump’s comments
President Biden felt compelled to address the recent comments made by Trump, particularly his description of political opponents as “vermin.” A senior adviser revealed that Biden chose to speak out during a private California fundraiser. In a bold and direct statement, Biden declared, “There’s a lot of reasons to be against Donald Trump. But damn, he shouldn’t be president.” With the aid of a teleprompter, he emphasized that Trump’s words carried a specific meaning, drawing parallels to language used in Nazi Germany in the 1930s.
Shifting the focus to Trump’s policies
To counter Trump’s influence, the Biden team has launched a new messaging campaign that puts the spotlight on the policies proposed by the GOP frontrunner for his second term. At this stage, Biden’s schedule is filled with official White House events and private fundraisers, but advisers anticipate a shift towards more active campaigning in the coming year.
“We are turning up the heat and brightening the spotlight on exactly what it would look like if he’s allowed back in the White House,” one Biden campaign official stated.
Polling concerns and Democratic response
Recent national polls, including one conducted by CNN, suggest that Trump could narrowly beat President Biden in hypothetical head-to-head matchups. Although a new poll indicated that residents’ views of Trump are generally worse than their views of Biden, concerns have arisen about the president’s performance. However, Biden’s advisers argue that polls conducted a year before an election are not necessarily predictive of the final results and point to recent Democratic electoral successes as positive indicators.
Republican strategist Doug Heye expressed surprise at the campaign’s delay in highlighting the contrasts between Biden and Trump, given the president’s low poll numbers. Heye emphasized the need for Biden to shift the narrative from being solely about himself to making it a choice between him and his former opponent.
Democratic push for stronger messaging
The polls have generated anxiety among many Democrats, leading them to offer advice and critique to the White House. Some have called for a more forceful approach, with one Democratic bundler suggesting that Biden should engage with facts rather than rhetoric.
Progressive groups have encouraged the White House to engage in battles with the GOP, citing internal polling that demonstrates a shift in voter perceptions of Biden when context about Trump is included in messaging.
Biden’s increased attacks on Trump
In recent weeks, President Biden has steadily increased the frequency and intensity of his attacks on Trump. In September, he delivered some of his most forceful condemnations, portraying Trump as “determined to destroy democracy.” During a private San Francisco event, Biden went further, drawing parallels between Trump’s rhetoric and phrases used in Nazi Germany.
The Trump campaign’s response
Unsurprisingly, the Trump campaign has pushed back on Biden’s arguments. A Biden adviser noted that Trump’s comments harkened back to the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, a pivotal moment that influenced Biden’s decision to run for president.
Policy contrasts and messaging
In addition to personal attacks, President Biden has used official White House speeches to highlight policy contrasts with Trump and the GOP, particularly on issues like climate change and support for labor unions.
The Biden campaign has launched a messaging campaign titled “Trump’s America in 2025,” focusing on Trump’s plans for a second term, including an expansion of his first administration’s hardline immigration policies. They aim to highlight the potential dangers of Trump’s return to power.
Abortion rights as a focal point
The Democratic National Committee is also taking steps to emphasize abortion rights in their messaging against Trump and the GOP. Biden has stated, “The only reason there is an abortion ban in America is because of Donald Trump.” They hope to build on the momentum generated during the midterms and recent elections, where Democrats saw success on the issue.
Television ads targeting Trump
While most of the campaign’s television advertisements have focused on promoting President Biden’s record, there have been some ads that directly target Trump’s policies and decisions during his presidency.
Progressive input on campaign strategy
Progressive strategists have provided input to top White House officials, citing internal polling data that underscores the need for Biden to draw clear distinctions with Trump to sway public opinion.
As the 2024 election draws nearer, President Biden is intensifying his efforts to counter Donald Trump’s influence and win over voters. With polls showing a tight race, both campaigns are strategizing to gain an edge. The next year promises to be filled with political maneuvering, messaging, and attempts to shape public perception.