Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden has not had a press conference for almost three months. On Sunday, one of his aides did the talk show rounds and tried to sidestep the question of why Biden is ducking the media.
The obvious answer is because he has had so many gaffes, so many awkward moments, so many confused references to imaginary situations that his campaign is frightened to death every time he opens his mouth. They worry he’ll say something like this again, and again.
His campaign sent someone out to try and repair the damage of his MIA status. “Just because we’re campaigning virtually does not mean we are not meeting actual voters across the country,” Biden aide Symone Sanders said on Fox News Sunday, adding, “Vice President Biden has campaigned in Michigan and Florida. Dr. [Jill] Biden has campaigned in Colorado and Texas. So the reality is what we have been doing is following CDC guidelines.”
The Biden campaign is using those guidelines, and the Democratic Party is using their upcoming convention, as a way to muzzle Biden. It likely won’t work, as Biden frequently goes off script. Expect a Democrat ploy to change the rules of the presidential debates as well, to deny the president direct access to Biden to prevent Trump from tearing him to shreds.
When asked again why Biden won’t speak to the media, Sanders switched to this talking point: “And so the vice president is doing local media interviews, he’s doing national media interviews, and he is taking questions from reporters.”
Yes he is, at highly orchestrated stops and for a very limited amount of time. This also gives aides the power to end the questioning at any time they think Biden could be losing his train of thought or making strangely anachronistic references to former associates or leg hair.
When asked why Biden condemned Saturday’s Trump rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but has had nothing but praise for violent looters, arsonists, and vandals, Sanders made an unsuccessful and meandering defense of her walking meal ticket: “There is no double-standard here. Protesting is an American right. The American people have the right to go out and raise their voices. The difference here is, Chris, we are talking about the president of the United States — whose vice president, by the way, heads the White House coronavirus task force — holding a rally not following their own precautions that his own public health officials have put out.”
How one event, the sole recent Trump rally, is a threat to public health and dozens of violent riots across the country where thousands of thugs and miscreants stood in close proximity to each other are not in the same category is a question, given her above response, that Sanders chose not to answer.
So like her boss, Sanders ducked the press but she has the extraordinary ability to at least try to do it when sitting in front of them. That spin may have gotten her out of a jam on a Sunday political talk show, but it will not save Joe Biden on a debate stage when he is looking down both barrels of a line from President Donald Trump.
This piece was written by David Kamioner on June 23, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.
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