Latest News 21-06-2024 21:03 15 Views

Biden’s secret weapon in previous national debates may again be a factor during showdown with Trump

Amid the circulation of videos on social media in recent weeks which appear to show President Biden's mental acuity dwindling and a recent Wall Street Journal report adding fuel to the speculation, low expectations for his performance ahead of the debate next week against former President Trump could buck his chance of victory.

And Trump may be helping Biden set expectations low by dinging him on his age and acuity in recent interviews. Trump has called for Biden to be drug tested prior to taking the debate stage, saying that if he does well it will be due to performance enhancements. 

'If he's standing, they'll say it was a brilliant performance,' Trump said at the National Rifle Association (NRA) Convention last month in Dallas.

However, 'low expectations' will be used to Biden's advantage, according to one expert.

'I'd be wary of assuming that Biden's going to have a bad performance, or of talking down his potential performance because he has surpassed expectations at the 2020 debate, at the State of the Union address, and at the press conference where they were talking about his mental acuity,' presidential historian and author Tevi Troy told Fox News Digital.

'That doesn't mean he's always all there, and I fully recognize that he is not the person he was in 2012 when he debated very effectively against Paul Ryan,' added Troy, who served as a senior HHS official in the President George W. Bush administration. 'But when you lower the expectations of your opponent's performance, it's easy for the opponent to exceed those expectations strategically. It's something to worry about.'

Thursday's presidential debate will be the first between the GOP and Democratic frontrunners, since neither Trump nor Biden participated in party primary debates – a first in several decades. 

Troy, also a senior researcher at the Bipartisan Policy Center think tank, believes the real problem for Biden next week 'is it's easy to run against Trump when Trump's in office, but now Biden's in office and people are still unhappy with one situation.'

'They're unhappy with the illegal immigration, they're unhappy with inflation, and they're unhappy with the sense that Biden doesn't have it and doesn't know what's going on or isn't on top of his game. So, the ‘memory campaign’ is a bit of a hard thing to pull off in this circumstance,' he said.

Meanwhile, a GOP strategist told Fox News Digital 'the bar is so low' for Biden, 'so him making it through a sentence is seen as a success in the eyes of the Democrat party.'

'After the State of the Union, everyone was saying it was a great success for him, simply because he made it through with a few notable stumbles. He had a couple, but I think voters can't forget, and they have to truly understand, like, what Joe Biden is actually saying. His union address was one of the most divisive speeches I've seen,' the source said.

'What voters really need to focus on are his policy positions,' the source continued. 'The platform that he ran on in 2020 that he's going to unify the country. And I think a lot of voters can get behind that. But we have seen the exact opposite during his entire time as president. And I think Donald Trump can make a really good case about that. And on top of that, just being able to stumble him up a couple times.'

Meanwhile, the White House is working to discredit videos of the president online, terming them 'cheap fakes,' which are edited out of context, slowed or sped up.

'The discredited right-wing critics of President Biden who spread other debunked lies, including that the 2020 election was stolen, are clearly threatened by the wide range of nonpartisan fact-checkers that have pulled back the curtain on the cheap fake smears they’re forced to rely on – since the last thing they want to discuss is Joe Biden’s agenda to cut taxes for working families and keep bringing violent crime to historic lows,' White House spokesperson Andrew Bates told Fox News Digital this week.

The president's mental acuity has become the center of political discourse this month after a bombshell Washington Journal report, which the White House dismissed, revealed that many lawmakers on Capitol Hill had questions about Biden's mental acuity after many said his aging was apparent in private meetings.

As of Thursday, President Biden is the frontrunner in a hypothetical matchup against former President Trump for the first time since October, as positive views of the economy inch up — hitting their highest level thus far in the Biden presidency, according to a new Fox News national survey.

Since May, there has been a 3-point change in the presidential race. Trump was ahead by one point last month, while Biden is up by two points today: 50%-48%. That’s well within the margin of error. Biden’s current 50% support is his best this election cycle; he hasn’t been ahead of Trump since October 2023 and that was by just 1 point (49%-48%).

Fox News Digital's Dana Blanton contributed to this report. 


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