‘Americans should be scared’: Biden allies use forceful rhetoric on media call after bad debate performance

Biden’s deputy campaign manager said, of the Supreme Court immunity decision: ‘The Supreme Court just gave Trump a permission slip to assassinate and jail whoever he wants’

John Bowden
Washington DC
,Andrew Feinberg
Monday 01 July 2024 23:30
Biden freezes mid-answer during presidential election debate

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Louise Thomas

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President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign has shifted into a full-court press against Donald Trump in response to the incumbent’s disastrous debate performance last week.

On a press call Monday, Biden campaign surrogates including former Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett, and deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks warned that American democracy would disappear in November if Democrats and concerned Americans did not rally behind the president. The call was organized in response to the Supreme Court’s decision granting Trump and all US presidents limited immunity from prosecution for official acts. It also appears to be in response to newfound concerns from his own party that Biden isn’t a strong enough candidate to win the presidential election.

Notably, the Biden campaign team only took questions from four journalists on the call, only one of whom was a White House beat reporter.

Instead, the surrogates leaned in to apocalyptic language and alarmed rhetoric that posited the Supreme Court’s decision as giving Trump carte blanche to commit crimes.

Dunn, who recently mounted an unsuccessful run for a Maryland House seat as a Democrat, called Trump “the single greatest threat to the United States of America in a generation” and warned that voters cannot allow him “anywhere near the Oval Office again.”

New York Representative Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor, attacked the high court as “compromised and conflicted” and accused it of having “set back our democracy dramatically” by allowing “someone like Donald Trump to conspire with others while utilizing ostensibly official acts as president to conspire to overturn an election.”

Rep Dan Goldman speaks at a press conference outside the US Capitol
Rep Dan Goldman speaks at a press conference outside the US Capitol (AP)

To the extent that the Biden surrogates and campaign officials on the call addressed the matter of Biden’s dismal performance at last week’s debate, they did so by dismissing concerns from reporters on the call that Biden himself is now largely incapable of arguing that Trump is a threat to democracy.

They declined to say whether Biden would personally speak out on the court’s ruling and asked the media to take a “reality check” while insinuating that journalists did not understand the true depth of the threat Trump allegedly poses to American democracy.

Campaign officials spent the weekend largely asking the same of the campaign’s donors, some of whom took the drastic step of inquiring about having their financial contributions refunded in the wake of the president’s appearance on the debate stage. At the event in Atlanta, Biden sounded hoarse and appeared at times to lose his train of thought entirely, leading his opponent to attack his mental faculties onstage.

Biden freezes mid-answer during presidential election debate

Fulks, the deputy campaign manager for Biden’s re-election effort, described himself as “scared as s**t” by the implications of the ruling, should Biden fail to win another term.

“I think Americans are scared and should be scared of what Donald Trump will do, because he has been telling us for months. And so I can reassure you that when you do see President Biden out on the trail, he will be talking about the reasons why Americans should be scared of Donald Trump, as he has been for months, and this Supreme Court opinion today just amplified that,” Fulks said.

He continued: "The Supreme Court just gave Trump a permission slip to assassinate and jail whoever he wants to gain power.”

President Joe Biden listens as his opponent, Donald Trump, speaks during Thursday’s presidential debate
President Joe Biden listens as his opponent, Donald Trump, speaks during Thursday’s presidential debate (REUTERS)

"The conservative justices on the court, three of whom are only there because Donald Trump just made it easier for him to pursue a path to a dictatorship, and there's no dispute over who Donald Trump is. He is a convicted felon who encourages violence, who wants to throw out the Constitution, who wants to be a dictator and wants to use his office for revenge or retribution,” he added.

The president huddled with close family over the weekend at Camp David, where he was reportedly urged to stay in the race by those around him.

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