Team Trump Schemes To Sever Biden From Obama

The prevailing opinion inside the Trump campaign is that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden remains the most likely candidate to capture the Democratic nomination, and the campaign is plotting ways to sever Mr. Biden from the image of beloved former President Barack Obama.

Trump campaign officials said they expect Mr. Biden will survive the racial flap stirred up by Sen. Kamala D. Harris last week at the Democrats’ first 2020 primary debate in Miami. But the episode, they said, exposed an avenue of attack that could circumvent the aura of Mr. Obama that often protects his former right-hand man.

“Even though Biden took a big hit from Harris, the Trump campaign is operating under the assumption that he is still best positioned to be the nominee. That doesn’t mean they are not keeping an eye on Kamala and [Sen. Elizabeth] Warren, because they are,” said Republican Party strategist Ford O’Connell, who works closely with the White House.

The formula for going after Mr. Biden in a general election, he said, would be to aim for his six-term record as a senator from Delaware rather than his two terms in the White House alongside the country’s first black president.

“He’s got an Obama card he can play, but the problem is the 36 years of baggage before Obama. That’s the ticket in terms of getting him,” Mr. O’Connell said.

Ms. Harris used the same tactic in the debate to hit Mr. Biden for his opposition to federally mandated busing to desegregate public schools in the 1970s.

Mr. Biden is viewed as a unique threat to Mr. Trump because of the former vice president’s purported appeal among blue-collar voters in the Rust Belt who unexpectedly tilted the race to Mr. Trump in 2016.

Read more from S.A. Miller at The Washington Times

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Analysis & Political Strategy