A sharp-eyed observer detects that Democratic presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden is slowly but surely trying to amend his public record to benefit his campaign for president.
Case in point: During an interview with ABC News on Sunday, Mr. Biden criticized President Trump for not enacting a ban on travel to and from China soon enough. But wait. The president launched that ban on Jan. 31; at the time, Mr. Biden referred to this decision as “xenophobia.” He also did not did not publicly support the travel ban until Friday.
“Joe Biden supports travel bans that are guided by medical experts, advocated by public health officials, and backed by a full strategy. Science supported this ban, therefore he did too,” Kate Bedingfeld, deputy campaign manager for the Biden campaign told CNN some 72 hours ago.
The scramble to retool the Biden narrative appears to be revving up.
“Biden is trying to rewrite his history of opposition to the China travel ban which experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci have said saved us really a lot of hurt,” says Steve Guest, rapid response director for Republican National Committee.
There’s also disinformation afoot.
Mr. Guest also cites Mr. Biden’s insistence during the ABC interview that Mr. Trump should enact the Defense Protection Act and appoint a supply commander to manage the national response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Trump did both those things March 18, and on two more occasions shortly thereafter. Mr. Biden also claimed the president cut funding to the CDC, another falsehood.
“The bottom line: President Trump routinely delivers sharp, multi-hour press briefings to reassure the nation during this time of crisis. Joe Biden can’t even get through a simple interview without devolving to debunked talking points and embarrassing blunders,” declares Mr. Guest.
CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: TRUMP BESTS BIDEN
President Trump or Democratic presidential front-runner Joseph R. Biden: Which man is best suited mentally and physically to deal with the coronavirus pandemic?
The straightforward partisan divide: 91% of Republican voters cited Mr. Trump is the best leader, while 85% of Democrats cited Mr. Biden. Then come noteworthy variables among “important swing voters,” the poll said.
Among “weekly Walmart shoppers,” their confidence favored Mr. Trump, by 57% to 43%. With weekly Amazon shoppers, it’s Trump 60%, Biden 40%. Among NASCAR fans, the president garners 70% support while the Democratic challenger gets 30%. Most interesting: 58% of voters who were union members gave the nod to Mr. Trump, while 42% went with Mr. Biden.
The president also received the majority of support among millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers. Mr. Biden had a slim lead among voters 18 to 29, and among women, Hispanics and black voters, the last by a margin of 72% to 29%.
The survey of 889 likely U.S. voters was conducted March 24-26 and released Friday.
DEBUNKING A ‘RIGHT-WING’ CRITIC
“Alarm, denial, blame: the pro-Trump media’s coronavirus distortion. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and other right-wing commentators turned a pandemic into a battle of us vs. them — the kind of battle President Trump has waged for much of his life,” wrote New York Times political reporter Jeremy W. Peters in a lengthy rationale of his proclamation.
Another analyst begs to differ.
“The underlying assumption of Peters’s thesis is that conservatives were alone in making these errors, and that assumption doesn’t hold up. Liberal media outlets, very much including the Times, were also slow to recognize the impending catastrophe. And at the earliest stage of the story, when the Right and the Left dueled over China’s responsibility for the pandemic, liberals’ instinctive desire to disagree with Trump on everything led many of them to downplay the threat in a different but no-less-dangerous way than the Hannitys and Limbaughs of the world,” counters Jonathan S. Tobin, a contributor to National Review.
He traced responses from the New York Times and other news organizations which appear to downplay the pandemic in the early days, also noting that Fox New primetime host Tucker Carlson was citing the virus threat in late January.
“Predictions are a perilous business for any pundit, and much of what both liberals and conservatives published and broadcast about the coronavirus in the weeks leading up to the middle of March turned out to be wrong. Both sides made these mistakes not out of a willful desire to mislead, but because they knew little about the subject,” Mr. Tobin advises.
Well, he ought to know. Democratic presidential hopeful Joseph R. Biden suggests the Democratic presidential convention is in for a big change. Close to 4,000 delegates were originally scheduled to assemble in Milwaukee in mid-July. The event has now been bumped to the week of Aug. 17.
“We may have to do a virtual convention,” he told ABC News on Sunday.
“Ensuring the safety of the convention’s host community and all convention-goers has been — and always will remain — the top priority of the Democratic National Convention Committee,” the convention organizers now advise.
POLL DU JOUR
• 55% of Americans left their home “yesterday” as the coronavirus pandemic continues.
• 67% of that group say they think “they’ll personally be OK.”
• 63% stayed out less than two hours.
• 58% shopped for groceries or supplies, 49% went for a walk.
• 21% visited friends or family, 9% went out for “some form of fun.”
Source: A YouGov POLL OF 7,406 U.S. ADULTS conducted FROM March 25 TO APRIL 2.
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