Biden Goes 'Full Trump' To Save White House Bid

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Tue 9 Jul 2024, 4:09 PM

Last updated: Tue 9 Jul 2024, 4:10 PM

With their president calling into a morning TV show and bashing so-called elites, US voters could be forgiven a sense of deja vu. But this time it's Joe Biden, not Donald trump who's on the other end of the line.

As the 81-year-old Democrat fights to save his reelection bid after a catastrophic debate against the 78-year-old Republican, Biden is increasingly turning to the aggressive playbook pioneered by Trump.

And while Trump has stayed silent since the June 27 debate, it is Biden who has launched a media and campaign blitz to counter growing concerns about his age.

In a scene reminiscent from Trump's days as president when he would routinely phone in to conservative Fox and Friends, Biden dialled into the liberal-leaning MSNBC network's Morning Joe programme on Monday.

"I'm getting so frustrated by the elites - I'm not talking about you guys - the elites in the party, 'oh, they know so much more,'" a fiery-sounding Biden said as he mocked Democrats who have called for him to stand down.

"Any of these guys that don't think I should run - run against me. Announce for president, challenge me at the convention."

Populist politicians including Trump have portrayed themselves as men of the people against "elites" to appeal to voters, while being part of the elite themselves.

Reactions were mixed to the call-in.

Legendary Hollywood director Rob Reiner, who made the comedy classic When Harry Met Sally, said that if Biden kept up similar performances until the election "he'll be able to shut up people like me who think he should step aside."

And Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for president Barack Obama, said Biden's "energy is great" on his Morning Joe call but that his "message absolutely sucks".

"Angry, defensive, lashing out at all the wrong people," he said on X.

Biden has taken other leaves out of his predecessor's playbook since the debate.

Touting huge crowds at his rallies? Check.

"We've been drawing big crowds. Ever since the debate, not joking, even that night we had big crowds afterwards," Biden told a campaign rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Sunday.

Bragging at length about his accomplishments? Check - at rallies, in a letter to congressmen, and to reporters.

And cherry-picking polls - whether to incorrectly claim underdog status in his 2020 battle with Trump, or to deny record low approval ratings this time around? That too.

"Look, I remember them telling me the same thing in 2020, 'I can't win. The polls show I can't win,'" Biden, who was ahead in the polls against Trump four years ago, said during a post-debate interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos last week.

But in many ways the signs have been there for months.

Biden has taken an increasingly aggressive tone against Trump since the start of the year, starting by calling him a "loser" and threat to democracy and finally blasting him during the debate for having "sex with a porn star".

Trump has appeared to move in the other direction.

His debate performance was restrained by the former reality TV star's standards, avoiding the frequent interruptions of four years ago.

Right-wing commentators have meanwhile speculated that Biden is copying another Trump trademark - his spray-tan.

Biden appeared pale during the debate but there has been a rash of internet memes that his skin looked orange in more recent appearances including the ABC interview.

Paul Murray, a commentator on Sky Australia, said Biden had gone from "white to orange", joking: "Is he trying to trick the voters of America that he's Donald Trump?"


Khaleej Times

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