Biden campaign shifts focus to general election — and zeroes in on Trump

Campaign co-chair Cedric Richmond pointed to Trump’s electoral record, arguing he “is an extreme, dangerous and, if I may emphasize, a losing candidate, who has cost the party election after election — 2018, 2020, 2022 and will be 2024.”

“The GOP primary has laid bare the stark and indisputable reality that while Donald Trump has the united support of his MAGA base,” deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said. “He is struggling to make himself palatable to these key constituencies that will ultimately decide the election this November.”

The likelihood of a Biden-Trump general election increased Tuesday night, when Nikki Haley, Trump’s remaining major Republican primary opponent, failed to defeat him in the moderate-leaning state where she had grounded her campaign. The former South Carolina governor has vowed to stay in the race, but Biden campaign aides are ready to focus on Trump, their preferred opponent. The 2024 contest is now on track to be one of the longest general election campaigns in modern American history.

That pivot is also on display in the Biden campaign’s staffing. On Tuesday night, the president’s campaign
announced that Jen O’Malley Dillon and Mike Donilon
, top 2020 Biden campaign aides, would be departing the White House to help lead efforts at the campaign’s headquarters.

On the call, the campaign was pressed about its own weaknesses with its base, particularly with young voters. Reporters
cited protesters who repeatedly interrupted Biden’s speech
in Virginia on Tuesday, calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“What you saw yesterday was a president who understands and respects Americans’ fundamental First Amendment rights to peacefully protest,” Tyler said. “Joe Biden is approaching the situation in the Middle East, not through the lens of politics, but as the commander in chief of this country, who is prioritizing American national security and global security.”

Even though the Biden campaign has telegraphed Trump as its preferred opponent, public polling nationally and in battleground states shows a tight contest. Richmond, when asked about Biden’s weak polling position, argued that they “don’t govern based on polls.”

“We’re taking our case to the American people and in politics, you run like you’re down when you’re winning or when you’re losing,” Richmond said. “We’re going to run like we’re behind.”

“Do we think we’re going to win? Absolutely,” Richmond added.

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