Trump too ‘busy taking himself down’ for Biden to need a big political strategy against him, ex-staffer says

Joe Biden’s former White House chief of staff says that the current president will still 'needle' his rival

James Liddell
Monday 29 April 2024 13:29 BST
Related: Biden cracks Stormy Daniels joke aimed at Trump during White House dinner
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Donald Trump is too “busy taking himself down” for Joe Biden to worry about curating a “big political strategy” to face his presidential rival, according to Mr Biden's former chief of staff Ron Klain.

Mr Klain, 62, who served under the current White House incumbent between 2021 and 2023, hit out at Trump following Mr Biden’s tongue-in-cheek address at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, where he made several jokes against Trump.

“I don’t think it’s a big political strategy to take down Donald Trump. I think Trump is busy taking himself down every day,” he told Jen Psaki on MSNBC.

“It’s important, though, for the president to make the contrast between the kind of presidency he’s brought and what he’ll do for four more years, and [what] Donald Trump has done, what Trump himself is saying he’s going to if he gets the chance to come back to the White House,” Mr Klain said.

Biden will enjoy this strategy to "needle" Trump, Mr Klain said, but that his real joy is being out on the road campaigning.

“I think the president loves to campaign. He loves being out there with people,” he continued. “He loves working the rope live and engaging voters, and so he gets in a good mood when he’s out on the road, and so the jokes come.”

Trump still holds an advantage over the president, according to a new CNN poll. His support holds steady at an estimated 49 per cent, compared with Biden being favoured by just 43 per cent of voters – down from January’s 45 per cent.

Trump is currently embroiled in a number of legal battles, including a hush-money case which makes him the first former US president in history to face criminal trial. Trump denies all the charges against him.

The former president has been issued a gag order by Justice Juan Merchan, restricting him from publicly speaking about jurors, lawyers, potential witnesses, court staff and their families involved in the trial. However, the Republican has been accused by prosecutors of breaking the order 10 times after writing a slew of what they have called “threatening, inflammatory” posts to his social media platform, Truth Social. He has also been vocal in front of reporters about what he calls a “witch hunt” prior to entering the New York City courthouse.

Age is a contentious issue for both candidates, with Trump being 77 and Biden 81, but the current president made light of that at the Trump the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, also calling Trump “Sleepy Don” in reference to his alleged nap during jury selection of his hush money trial earlier this month.

Biden added that he was a “grown man running against a six-year-old,” before noting that Trump would have to endure “stormy weather,” an apparent jibe at the ex-president’s criminal trial, where he was accused of making a hush money payments to Stormy Daniels to allegedly suppress stories about an alleged affair. Trump denies both the affair and the charges against him.

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