Biden campaign shifts messaging from touting accomplishments to attacking Trump

 June 26, 2024

Up until fairly recently, President Joe Biden's re-election campaign messaging was generally positive and focused on touting his purported accomplishments in office over the past few years.

There has been a noticeable shift in the tone and subject matter of that messaging, however, as Biden has gone negative with incessant attacks against his political rival, former President Donald Trump, CNN reported.

That shift is due, at least in part, to the urging of top Democratic advisers and strategists who've advised the Biden campaign to stop talking about his supposed achievements, as voters aren't buying it, and to instead shift focus toward going on the offensive against Trump.

Voters don't know or care about Biden's accomplishments

There is something to that notion, as Forbes reported in May that polling revealed that most voters were "largely unaware -- and unimpressed" with President Biden's touted legislative accomplishments and policy wins, especially as they pertained to the top concerns for voters: the economy and inflation.

Pollsters in April had found that a majority or near-majority of voters hadn't "seen, read or heard anything or much at all" about Biden's four major legislative achievements -- the American Rescue Plan, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act -- and those who were familiar with those laws, only around a quarter had a positive view of them.

The pollsters also found that nearly the same amount of voters credited former President Trump as did Biden for new infrastructure projects, that little else mattered beyond the top concerns of the economy and inflation, and that Trump was trusted by far more voters than Biden to handle those preeminent concerns.

Ads highlight Trump's criminality, claim he'll be worse than before

Those findings from pollsters, paired with the suggestions from Democratic advisers and strategists, appear to have been taken to heart by the Biden campaign and resulted in the noticeable shift in messaging away from the president's first-term accomplishments and toward attacks against former President Trump.

USA Today reported last week on a new $50 million ad "blitz" from the Biden campaign that included pointed attacks on Trump as a "convicted criminal" and "felon."

The ads focus on Trump's recent criminal conviction in New York along with the other pending criminal indictments against him, as well as the various civil cases in which he was found liable for fraud and sexual assault, among other things.

Just a few days later, The Washington Post reported that the Biden campaign had settled on a separate but related avenue of attack against Trump -- an assertion that the former president "snapped" after the 2020 election, had become more "unhinged," and posed an even greater potential threat in a second term than he did in his first term.

That message that Trump has become "more self-obsessed, more dangerous, and more extreme" has now been embraced by not only the incumbent president's campaign but also outside allied groups that are supporting Biden's re-election bid or simply aiming to prevent Trump from returning to the White House.

Trump campaign fires back

Of course, this shift by the Biden campaign runs a real risk of backfiring, as senior Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCivita told The Post, "Joe Biden’s attacks are not only desperate. They are an admission that his administration and policies are abject failures. The American people aren’t buying what the White House is selling."

Likewise, Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told USA Today of the ad campaign highlighting Trump's convicted status, "Crooked Joe Biden and the Democrats weaponized the justice system against President Trump and this new ad once again proves the sham trial was always meant to be election interference, but Americans see through it."

"The contrast between President Trump’s strength and success versus Crooked Joe Biden’s weakness, failures, and dishonesty will be made clear on the debate stage next week," she added.

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