Trump's Attacks On Congresswomen Could Boost Biden Campaign

As U.S. President Donald Trump intensifies his efforts to brand four progressive congresswomen as the new face of the Democratic Party, its presidential front-runner, Joe Biden, has been quietly reminding voters in Iowa there remains a middle ground.

Trump’s vilification of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, in which he said the minority lawmakers were hostile to America and should “go back” where they came from, has largely left Biden out of this week’s political conversation.

But it may give Biden’s campaign the boost it needs after his widely panned debate performance last month.

Biden, who served eight years as Barack Obama’s vice president and 36 years as a U.S. senator, epitomizes a Democratic establishment the four congresswomen who dub themselves “the squad” have vowed to upend.

Biden, 76, has had to be careful in criticizing them in return, not wanting to alienate the party’s emboldened activist left whose votes he will need if he wins the Democratic nomination to face Trump in the November 2020 election.

At the same time, he is working to make clear to moderate voters that he would be a more palatable alternative than a Democratic nominee more in line with the congresswomen’s values, such as U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.

Trump’s campaign advisers have long sought to paint the entire Democratic presidential field as “socialists.”

They believe they were aided in that effort in last month’s Democratic debate when several candidates on stage came out in favor of eliminating private health insurance, and a larger number supported providing healthcare for immigrants in the country illegally, and decriminalizing the unauthorized crossing of the U.S. border.

When Trump decided earlier this week to exploit the rift between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez’s group, his campaign saw a way to use his tweets in its narrative that the four had become the new standard-bearers for the party, said Ford O’Connell, a Republican who works with the campaign on strategy and messaging.

The squad “is the perfect placeholder until you have a nominee,” O’Connell said.

Read more from James Elephant at Reuters

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