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Report: Trump Campaign Wants Biden to Stay in Race as an Easy Target

One Trump super PAC leader said clips from the debate “would make for devastating campaign commercials.”

President Joe Biden (right) and former President Donald Trump participate in the CNN Presidential Debate at the CNN Studios on June 27, 2024, in Atlanta, Georgia.

With momentum seemingly building against President Joe Biden in the past week following his disastrous debate performance last Thursday, the Donald Trump campaign is reportedly hoping that Biden stays in the race, believing he is a uniquely weak candidate who they could easily beat in the general election.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the Trump campaign thinks it would be extremely easy to attack Biden using clips from the debate, in a time when right-wing media has been attacking Biden on the basis of his mental acuity for months.

The debate clips “would make for devastating campaign commercials,” Trump super PAC chief Taylor Budowich said.

Perhaps strategically, the Post noted that Republican allies are trying to spin the narrative by saying that it is too close to the election for Biden to drop out, though some Democrats and experts have floated alternatives.

“Publicly, Trump and his allies have dismissed suggestions that Biden could withdraw from the race, insisting that it is too late for Democrats to change course,” the Post reported, citing four sources familiar with the Trump campaign’s strategy. “Privately, they have started preparing for different possibilities, and feel it could be harder to beat another Democrat who is not Biden or [Kamala] Harris.”

That Republicans want Biden to stay in the race is perhaps another show that it would be strategic for Democrats to urge Biden to drop out, as elected Democrats, the left and a number of editorial boards for major outlets have said.

“It sure seems they want Biden to stay on the ticket. They think he’s vulnerable, and they like where they’re at. You can see they are not excited at all about the prospect of him leaving the race,” David Axelrod, former top strategist for Barack Obama, told The Washington Post.

Notably, former President Donald Trump has refrained from saying that Biden shouldn’t drop out, despite relentlessly attacking his competence.

“The funny thing is we’re beating him badly in the polls, but nobody else is doing any better,” Trump said in an interview on Monday — though polls are now showing that Harris would perform better in a matchup against Trump than Biden would.

Vice President Harris is a top pick among Democrats to replace Biden if he does exit the race. But the Trump campaign reportedly thinks Harris — who is roughly 20 years younger than Trump and Biden and has not had her physical ability to serve questioned — is also a weak candidate who they could beat.

However, supporters of Harris replacing Biden point to polls finding that Harris would attract a crucial contingent of women and independent voters who could give her the edge she would need to triumph over Trump — while polls are showing that Biden is trailing Trump by large margins, worsened by the debate.

Somewhat lost in the fuss over Biden’s performance has been that Trump is also a notably bad candidate — having lied relentlessly during the debate, fallen asleep in his own trial, sparking concerns about his mental acuity as well, and gotten convicted of 34 felonies just in the last month.

The New York Times and CNN reported that Biden has been mulling whether or not to drop out, understanding that his prospects are bad after the debate. But Biden pushed back against these reports on Wednesday, insisting that he’s staying in the race and bizarrely implying that he’s an underdog-type figure despite being the most powerful person in the world.

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