Biden Steps Up Campaign With Trump 'busy' In Court

Biden steps up campaign with Trump 'busy' in court

Washington, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 19th Apr, 2024) Joe Biden hopes to capitalize on Donald Trump being stuck in court as he hits the US presidential election campaign trail - and can't resist poking fun at his rival's predicament.

While Trump was in his historic hush money trial this week, Biden embarked on a three-day swing through his birthplace, the crucial battleground state of Pennsylvania.

He visited his childhood home and campaigned with the Kennedys, while Trump complained about being in a "freezing" New York courtroom unable to campaign.

"Under my predecessor -- who's busy right now -- Pennsylvania lost 275,000 jobs," the 81-year-old Biden deadpanned in reference to his rival's situation, while his audience at a steelworkers' union laughed.

It was the first time Biden had publicly acknowledged Trump's criminal trial since it got underway in New York on Monday, and a departure from his previous silence on the matter.

"Let's call it the Trump's in the courtroom, Biden's in Pennsylvania strategy," former White House communications director Kate Bedingfield said.

The Democrat has previously appeared keen to avoid the appearance of tipping the scales of justice, knowing it could give Trump ammunition for claims that he's the victim of a Biden-led witch-hunt.

The White House said he was not following the trial, adding that his "focus is on the American people."

But Biden's reference to it came amid clear counterprogramming as Trump spends four days a week in court.

Trump's trial also comes as polls have shown support for the Democrat gradually rising since a fiery State of the Union speech in March, with the pair now level in public opinion.

Biden has focused on attacking Trump on vulnerable issues such as abortion, while believing that his own economic message is starting to get through.

Yet Trump still leads Biden in several battleground states in recent polls, meaning that the president's campaign needs to seize the moment.

Trump has tried to make the most of things, too.

The Republican himself angrily complained outside the Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he "should be right now in Pennsylvania and Florida.


But some of his supporters argue that the media circus around his criminal trial, the first for a former US president, gives him a ready made platform to get his message out.

The split-screen effect of seeing the two rivals on news channels could also help, they say.

"Maybe the fact that Joe is on the campaign trail and Donald Trump has to sit in that courtroom... maybe that'll work to his advantage in the end because Joe makes a fool of himself every day," said Sean Hannity, a Trump ally and host on conservative Fox News.

The trial could also fire up his base with a sense of grievance.

Trump got to a campaign rally in Pennsylvania the weekend before the trial and heads this weekend to Wilmington in North Carolina, another key state the Biden campaign says it hopes to flip.

The Biden campaign is however taking the fight to Trump's backyard. On Tuesday the president will travel to Tampa, Florida.

Despite the state leaning solidly Republican since Trump won it in 2016, Biden's campaign has said it is now eyeing Florida, too.

The Biden campaign is also taking less than subtle digs at Trump's legal woes.

This week it said there had been "Stormy abortion ban coverage" for Trump -- a dig at the trial in which Trump is accused of falsifying business records to cover up an alleged extramarital sexual encounter with adult film actress Stormy Daniels to shield his 2016 election campaign from scandal.

It spoke of Trump's "trials and tribulations" and mocked the former president as losing "in the court of public opinion"

And Biden continued to mock Trump, including over the fact that his campaign is spending millions on legal bills, coupled with another three criminal indictments.

In his Pennsylvania hometown of Scranton on Tuesday, Biden retold a joke about how a "defeated-looking guy" who was "drowning in debt" came up to him and asked for help.

"I said, 'I'm sorry, Donald, but I can't help you,'" quipped Biden.