Some Joe Biden allies think that cutting back on appearances could prevent some of his frequent gaffes, sources close to 2020 Democrat presidential frontrunner told The Hill this week.
Some have noticed that Biden makes more gaffes during appearances later in the day, especially at the end of a long week of campaigning. The source admitted that it would be difficult to cut back on Biden’s campaign schedule, which was already lighter than that of other candidates.
And with the campaign set to intensify as the election gets closer, a strategy of less campaign appearances could backfire on Biden and cost him support.
At age 76, Biden would take office as the oldest U.S. president. Some staffers are privately worried that Biden doesn’t have the energy or stamina to take on President Donald Trump as the Democrat 2020 candidate. President Donald Trump already calls Biden “Sleepy Joe” because of his low energy.
“A lot of people are nervous that he’s lost some of his mojo,” one major Democratic donor told The Hill. “They’re getting nervous about him going toe to toe with Trump. But the problem is, there doesn’t seem to be an alternative.”
Biden is on vacation in Delaware this week, but has made numerous gaffes in recent weeks. He said at one appearance that the Parkland, Florida school shooting that happened in 2018 took place while he was vice president.
In another gaffe, Biden said that “poor kids” were “just as smart as white kids.” Later he explained that he had meant to say “wealthy kids.” The same day, he declared to supporters, “We choose truth over facts.”
Trump pounced on the misstatements, questioning Biden’s mental fitness to be president. “Does anybody really believe he is mentally fit to be president?” Trump tweeted. “We are ‘playing’ in a very big and complicated world. Joe doesn’t have a clue.”
Joe Biden just said, “We believe in facts, not truth.” Does anybody really believe he is mentally fit to be president? We are “playing” in a very big and complicated world. Joe doesn’t have a clue!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2019
Let Joe Be Joe?
Despite the gaffes, Biden’s supporters are aware that they may damage his campaign if they hold him back too much. Biden’s informal, open speaking style distinguishes him as a candidate.
“Joe Biden has spoken his mind his entire life, which voters know and love about him,” Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said. “He’s a real person, he’s authentic, and that will never change. He’s going to keep taking on Trump and making the case to voters about the stakes we face in this election, regardless of how the press chooses to cover him.”
While Biden held a wide lead over other 2020 Democrat candidates in early polling, he has fallen to 21 percent support in a new Economist–YouGov tracking poll. This gives him only a one-point lead over his closest challenger, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
While it may gratify conservatives that the Democratic field seems to be such a mess, it’s way too early to be confident of a Trump victory. A new Fox News poll had Biden, Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) all beating Trump if the election were held today.