How long will Trump be able to give Biden the spotlight?
4 mins read

How long will Trump be able to give Biden the spotlight?

President Joe Biden was elected in 2020 in part on the message that he was a stable, reliable alternative to the chaos of former President Donald Trump. Recently, those roles have reversed.

Trump has largely avoided the limelight since the infamous June 27 presidential debate, allowing his opponent to absorb most of the media attention and criticism in Washington. The question is how long he can and should try to keep that up.

Democrats want to make that change and focus their fire on Trump.

“We need to stop talking about (Biden),” Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) complained on CNN last weekend. “We need to get back to talking about Donald Trump.”

But Trump, contrary to his style, preferred to remain passive and let Biden’s team take the pressure and answer constant questions about Biden’s fitness for office.

With two weeks having passed since the debate, Trump has begun cautiously re-entering the race in a more active way, appearing in interviews on Fox News and holding a rally in Miami on Tuesday night.

Biden’s campaign tried to amplify his comments to turn the tables, focusing in particular on Trump challenging Biden to a round of golf.

“Donald Trump hasn’t appeared in public in 12 days, and now he’s inviting fictional serial killers to dinner, teasing little Marco Rubio, praising Project 2025 architect Tom Homan and challenging the president of the United States to a game of golf,” Biden campaign spokesman James Singer said.

“We would challenge Donald Trump to create jobs, but he would lose 3 million,” Singer continued. “We would challenge Donald Trump to stand up to Putin, but he would bend the knee. We would challenge Donald Trump to obey the law, but he breaks it. We would challenge Donald Trump not to destroy our country, but that is all his Project 2025 is going to do.”

It’s probably no coincidence that the statement mentions the 2025 Project, the Heritage Foundation’s 900-page policy mandate for a second term, twice. Democrats have sought to link Trump to the proposal in recent days, even as he claims to know nothing about it.

So far, these actions appear to be yielding limited benefits.

“Trump’s denial is a laughable lie, but I doubt most people know anything about it” Guardian columnist Margaret Sullivan lamented. “They probably don’t know much — if anything — about Project 2025, either.”

Biden will once again be under intense scrutiny when he hosts a “big boy” news conference Thursday as part of the NATO summit. If he survives, which is not certain, the Biden campaign may finally have a chance to put pressure on his opponent.

Trump will hold another rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday, is expected to announce his vice presidential pick any day now and will be the center of attention at next week’s Republican National Convention, which will draw thousands of delegates and reporters to Milwaukee.

While Biden’s team would welcome any relief, the president has no intention of ceding the spotlight entirely to Trump, and Biden has already announced an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that will air Monday night.

On the other hand, Republican Party members seem pleased with Trump’s uncharacteristically calm demeanor following the debate.

“He was focused. He was on message. He was raising money,” New York Republican Party spokesman David Laska said. The Washington Examiner is a scientific journal published by the Washington Examiner. “He was doing the things necessary to run a successful presidential campaign. Meanwhile, senior Democrats are calling on their candidate to withdraw.”

Democratic strategist Brad Bannon thinks Biden should continue the talks next week – focusing only on Trump, not himself.

“The focus is going to be on Trump with his VP pick and the RNC starting,” Bannon said. “Given those circumstances, the president needs to be very active and aggressive in criticizing the pick for being a Trump sycophant, and also talking about the convention itself.”

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Bannon believes the RNC is a great opportunity for Biden to reset his campaign, making it more focused on Trump vs. Biden than Biden vs. his own party.

“Trump is ahead in the polls, but Biden is clearly within striking distance both nationally and in key battleground states,” Bannon said. “Biden needs to once again expose Trump’s weaknesses.”

Marisa Schultz contributed to this article