Former Vice President Joe Biden’s resurrected 2020 campaign may have his supporters celebrating, but critics warn the gaffe-prone candidate should just lay low if he wants to beat Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Although Biden has surprised many by grabbing the lead and momentum from the Vermont lawmaker, concerns about his mental capacity in the wake of additional fumbles in recent weeks, have many advising his team to keep him out of the constant spotlight.
“The biggest danger right now for Biden and his campaign handlers is for them to believe something they did is the reason his fortunes have turned around,” columnist Jake Novak wrote in an op-ed published by CNBC on Thursday.
“They must realize and embrace the fact that it was the fear of a Sanders nomination and the democratic socialist, anti-establishment movement that came with it that brought the avalanche of key nominations and the victories in South Carolina and the Super Tuesday states,” Novak contended.
“Biden didn’t come back to life on his own, he was resurrected by others,” he added, noting the predictions of Biden’s electability were not met early on in the campaign as his “campaign trail conduct was continuing to deteriorate going right into Super Tuesday.”
Though Novak suggested that “we should leave Biden’s actual mental abilities to the medical experts,” he pointed out that Biden’s campaign ignored historical mistakes and laced him in the spotlight “way too early” last year.
Novak argued that “it’s time for the Biden campaign to take their candidate out of the public eye and as many unscripted events as possible.”
“That includes trying to reduce the number of debates versus Sanders and relying on more of Biden’s growing list of Democratic Party backers to do as much of the talking for him until Election Day,” he added.
Supporters of the former vice president, including those who just jumped on the Biden bandwagon in order to thwart a Sanders nomination, worried that Sanders’ brand of democratic socialism would spell the end of the Democrat Party’s chances against President Trump. Sanders’ supporters, however, have been raising the same alarm about Biden, arguing that he is too weak to take on the president – if he survives a one-on-one debate with his primary challenger.
Actor Rob Delaney suggested that Biden is “being hidden away” for “obvious reasons” and warned of a Trump victory if the final contest in the general election is between the two of them.
“Joe Biden being hidden away by his donors/staff now (for very obvious reasons) may help him win primary but he’ll have to come out of hiding in the general & he’ll be shredded & Trump will waltz to a 2nd term & all will suffer,” the vocal Sanders backer and Trump critic tweeted.
“His staff, donors & friends are dangerous, to you,” the “Catastrophe” star added.
Joe Biden being hidden away by his donors/staff now (for very obvious reasons) may help him win primary but he’ll have to come out of hiding in the general & he’ll be shredded & Trump will waltz to a 2nd term & all will suffer. His staff, donors & friends are dangerous, to you.
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) March 6, 2020
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow posted a video earlier this week making an “on-air plea” to meet with Biden.
Rachel Maddow would love to talk with Joe Biden.
Just sayin’. pic.twitter.com/Bb1VpQJ8VW
— Maddow Blog (@MaddowBlog) March 5, 2020
Trump told a Fox News town hall audience on Thursday that he had expected to face off against Sanders and was surprised to see Biden’s resurgence.
Trump highlights some of Biden’s biggest blunders at jovial town hall…‘there’s something going on there’ https://t.co/BDwTPgkz6A
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 6, 2020
“I’m all set for Bernie, communist,” Trump said.
“And then we have this crazy thing that happened on Tuesday, which he thought was Thursday,” he added to audience laughter, referring to Biden’s mix up of the days during a recent campaign stop.
“But he also said 150 million people were killed with guns, and that he was running for the U.S. Senate,” Trump continued, sharing more of Biden’s gaffes. “There’s something going on there.”
Columnist Mehdi Hasan spoke about a Biden versus Sanders debate with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes following Super Tuesday, saying anyone thinking Biden is the “safe candidate” has to do some “soul-searching.”
Arguing that Biden has “not been vetted really” and has been “hidden” among the other Democratic hopefuls in past debates, Hasan warned that Democrats are using the 2016 playbook to their own detriment if they think Biden will stand a chance against Trump.
“He’s got so much baggage and this idea that he’s just got a stammer, that’s why he gaffes, he spent much of February falsely claiming that he got arrested in South Africa trying to see Nelson Mandela,” Hasan said.
“You’re going to see attack ads like we’ve never seen before hitting Biden on his record and he may still win but I’d like the Democrats to at least hold him to account for some of that stuff now,” he added. “I actually think Biden would suffer hugely in a one-on-one debate where he can’t hide behind other candidates…I don’t think he can survive a two-hour debate with Bernie one-on-one.”
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