Former President Trump is not yet a 2024 Republican nominee, but he has been a mainstay at President Biden's campaign events.
Mr. Biden was cautious about mentioning his predecessor by name in his early days as president, but he has now put Mr. Trump at the center of his pitch to donors. At recent fundraisers, Biden reiterated specific comments made by Trump, painting him as a unique threat to democracy if he retakes the White House in 2024.
Mr. Biden's focus on his predecessor underscores how much of a motivator Mr. Trump is to Democratic voters and the president himself, with both men on the ballot in 2020 looking ahead to a rematch. It reflects how the country is in a hurry.
“Folks, this election is a big deal. 'We have to get it done. It's not about me, that's what I mean,'” Biden said Wednesday in Weston, Massachusetts. told a group of donors. . But I can't let him win for the sake of the country. ”
Mr. Biden mentioned Mr. Trump's name 28 times at a fundraiser in Denver last week and about 12 times at each of three fundraisers in Massachusetts this week, according to White House records.
He focuses on the threat President Trump poses to democracy, building on the core themes of the 2020 campaign and 2022 midterm elections. Biden called Trump an “electoral denier in chief” who is “determined to destroy American democracy.”
Biden cited Trump's rhetoric to strengthen his case, including the former president's vow to act in “retaliation” against his supporters, describing Trump's political opponents as “vermin,” and calling for 2024. He emphasized that he described it as “the final battle.”
Further reinforcing Biden's claims, Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity this week that if re-elected, he would not become a dictator “except on day one.”
Biden told donors in Boston that if he wins in 2024, “we can say we saved American democracy. It sounds like hyperbole, but it really is.”
Trump's policy views have also been central to Biden's remarks to donors. Biden has spent the past two weeks slamming Trump over his renewed pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his credit for ending Roe v. Wade and protecting abortions to the former president. .
Even Biden's laugh lines in speeches to donors are Trump-centric.
“Everyone knows that Mr. Trump became the first defeated presidential candidate in history to refuse to accept the will of the people. He did not appear at my inauguration, but I was disappointed. I can’t say,” Biden said at all three of his Massachusetts fundraisers.
With the Iowa caucuses about a month away, Trump, who has overwhelming support in Republican primary polls, is also a key figure in hosting Biden's campaign reception. Former ambassador Alan Solomont, who hosted Biden's Weston fundraiser this week, introduced the president by talking about his concerns about what kind of country his grandchildren would grow up in if Trump is re-elected.
Biden's focus on the former president in his remarks is consistent with the Biden campaign's near-daily attacks on Trump.
The campaign rolled out multiple releases titled “Trump's America in 2025,” outlining what a second term for Trump would mean for abortion, gun violence, democracy, health care and more.
He spent much of the 2020 campaign warning of the threat President Trump posed to American democracy and institutions, and in 2022 sought to turn the midterm elections into a referendum on President Trump and his election denialism. For Biden, this is familiar and comfortable terrain.
“I've been in politics for a while, and I never thought I'd run in an election like this. Folks, that's what's at stake,” Biden said Wednesday in Boston. Ta. “I believe that American democracy, and I say this for you as Biden, is in danger.”
Biden's belief that democracy is at stake, and that his 2020 victory made him the right person to run against Trump again, looms large over his second term amid concerns about his age. This supported his decision to aim for the Biden, 81, will be 86 at the end of his potential second term.
But polls have found that voters may not see Trump as the existential threat that Biden and other Democrats say.
According to a Morning Consult poll conducted Dec. 1-3, Biden and Trump were tied with 43% each in a hypothetical 2024 showdown. An NBC News poll conducted November 10-14 shows Mr. Trump leading Mr. Biden by 2 points.
Biden and other Democrats say voters will become increasingly aware of the potential impact of Trump's second term in the White House if he becomes the Republican nominee in 2024. I am optimistic that this will happen.
Biden said Wednesday that he believes there are “probably 50” Democrats who could defeat former President Trump in the general election, but he reiterated his belief that defeating Trump is all about himself. emphasized.
“I'm not the only one who can defeat him, but I will defeat him,” Biden said.
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