Biden’s focus on Trump bashing takes a page from the victorious Obama and Bush re-election playbooks


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s campaign manager recently sent a fundraising email to reassure supporters worried about the Democrat’s reelection prospects, urging them to take a “quick walk down memory lane.” I went.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez said 12 years ago, many Democrats questioned whether President Barack Obama would win a second term. Biden was Obama’s vice president.

“Flash forward to November 6, 2012. I guess you remember that day,” he wrote. Below was a photo of Obama and Biden celebrating their election victory.

More than a nostalgic message, this sentiment can increasingly be seen in Biden’s strategy for victory in 2024.

Biden is Trying to focus on campaign on the east President Donald Trump’s comments and policy proposalssometimes even more our own, Trying to negatively define their rivals in the public eye is a long-standing tactic of White House officials. In 2012, Obama and his allies did the same with Republican Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and current Utah senator. In 2004, President George W. Bush was successful against Democratic nominee John Kerry, then a senator from Massachusetts.

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Republican strategist Kevin Madden, who was Romney’s 2012 senior adviser and spokesman, said, “You can’t really run a playbook for the last election, or for what worked before.” “I think Trump is a completely different, nonlinear opponent compared to Obama versus Romney.”

Some prominent Democrats have suggested there is a danger in making the race too much about Trump. He says Biden should use parts of his own record and focus on abortion rights after the Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision. Abortion was an issue the party was credited with helping exceed expectations last year’s midterms And many races this year,

“We have to get it done,” Biden told a crowd of donors in Massachusetts recently. Not because of me.”

“If Trump wasn’t running, I’m not sure I would be running,” Biden said. “We can’t let him win.”

Trump’s campaign did not respond to messages seeking comment. Biden’s campaign says defining the glaring contrasts between the president and Trump is key to its strategy.

Biden campaign spokesperson Ammar Moussa said, “Next year’s election will be based on President Biden’s proven track record of lowering costs and working for middle-class families, and Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans will give us There will be a choice between the bleak vision of dividing.” America Great Again” movement. “We’re going to work to make sure voters understand the enormous stakes of next year’s election.”

Obama’s 2012 campaign relied heavily on grassroots organizing and television advertising spending to motivate voters. However, Biden is working to prioritize unconventional ways to reach voters in line with significant changes in Americans’ media consumption habits, especially regarding political issues.

The dynamics of the 2024 race are also different from those of 2012. Biden has a record of legislative accomplishments on popular issues like infrastructure. In 2012, Americans were sharply divided over Obama’s signature achievement, the health care law often referred to as “Obamacare”, although it is now viewed more positively.

Obama campaign veterans play key roles in Biden’s political operations, ranging from senior White House adviser Anita Dunn, who worked in the Obama White House, to Chávez Rodriguez, a former Obama campaign volunteer and administration official.

Another, Kate Bedingfield, who was deputy campaign manager for Biden’s 2020 campaign and then-White House communications director, said the president always “wants to make the campaign about his opponent, not about his own record.” ” That’s because governing means making compromises that can sometimes be difficult to communicate with voters, he said.

“They want to change the dynamics of the race about the threat that their rivals pose,” Bedingfield said. “For the Biden campaign, there is almost an existential threat to their existence in Donald Trump.”

Obama built his victorious campaign around attacking Romney and defining him as a corporate raider willing to cut jobs to increase profits, months before Romney formally became the GOP nominee.

In 2004, Bush won re-election by portraying Kerry as a flip-flopper despite the growing unpopularity of the war in Iraq, while pro-Bush groups ran a series of ads questioning Kerry’s record as a Swift Boat commander in Vietnam. Ran the series.

Biden has kept a relatively light schedule of campaign rallies, Catching only one in the first four months After launching his re-election campaign. He has held dozens of private fundraisers and spent the past week raising money in Boston, Washington and Los Angeles.

Obama did not hold his first re-election campaign rally until May 2012.

One of the most memorable pro-Obama ads featured an employee at an Indiana plant who described how he was asked to help create a platform from which plant employees could be told when they would receive a job. Is being removed from. Plant employee accuses Romney and his private investment firm of making over $100 million from closing the plant, claims Fact-checking site PolitiFact gave it a “mostly false” rating.

Efforts to discredit Romney only intensified when a video surfaced of him saying that 47% of people would vote for Obama because they are “dependent on the government” and “believe they are victims.”

Biden’s team has similarly taken up economic topics to criticize Trump, including boosting the story of electronics giant Foxconn. Trump as president had promised that the company was building a major plant that would create thousands of jobs in the key state of Wisconsin. those jobs never materialized,

However, a year before the 2012 election, polls showed that Romney’s public image could be shaped by negative ads in a way that Trump could not.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted in late 2011 found that voters were slightly more likely to have a favorable than an unfavorable opinion of Romney, 36% to 31%. Specifically, another 31% said they had not heard enough about Romney to form an opinion.

A recent Quinnipiac poll found that 42% of registered voters said they had a favorable opinion of Trump and 55% had an unfavorable opinion. The same survey found that only 37% people had a favorable opinion of Biden while 59% had an unfavorable opinion.

Bedingfield agreed that many voters have already made up their minds about Trump. But he said Biden was able to use Trump’s well-defined political brand against him in 2020 and could do so next year.

He said of Trump, “People looked at what he’s done and said, ‘We don’t want anything more than that.’ “This gives the Biden campaign a really strong roadmap.”

Stuart Stevens, who was Romney’s chief strategist, said the country is now far more polarized than it was in 2012 and that the focus on Biden’s low polling numbers “is in the framework of the pre-Trump era.”

“I think we’re really in a very different world,” Stevens said, adding that 2024 “is essentially going to be a referendum on Trump.”

AP White House correspondent Zeke Miller and AP Public Opinion Research Director Emily Swanson contributed to this report.

Copyright 2023 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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