Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden has spent much of the past year campaigning from the basement of his home in Delaware, and that’s beginning to prompt some awkward questions from journalists.
Among those most perplexed is Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who told Fox Radio host Guy Benson on Friday that he has never seen a candidate dodge the media before his party’s convention the way Biden has and said that it is not a viable strategy in the long term.
“So I’ve been doing Sunday shows with conventions,” Wallace explained, according to a report from the Washington Examiner. “I started on Meet the Press in 1988. I’ve been doing it on and off. For what? What is that? Thirty-two years.
“And it always happens that the Sunday before the convention,” he added. “The campaign puts out top officials to preview the convention and to say this is what we’re gonna try to get accomplished.”
“Damnedest thing I’ve ever seen”
Given that historical perspective, it was not surprising that Wallace was looking forward to “having a top official from the Biden campaign, the campaign manager, the top pollster, the chief strategist, to talk about what they’re going to talk about during this next week.” However, he was ultimately disappointed, saying instead that the Biden campaign isn’t “putting anybody out.”
“Well, maybe it’s because it’s Fox News, and they’re boycotting us,” the Fox News personality initially speculated, as the Examiner noted. “No, they’re not putting anybody out on any of the Sunday shows point. I don’t understand what’s going on here.
“This is the damnedest thing I’ve ever seen that you would you know, you’re basically giving a campaign,” the puzzled anchor observed.
“I don’t think you can hide”
Wallace’s incredulity over the situation was palpable, and his irritation was clear as he continued: “And as I say, it’s a traditional thing. We’re going to do it for the Republicans a week from Sunday. What are you trying to accomplish this week? And they, the Biden campaign, isn’t putting anybody out.”
Adding context by suggesting that Biden has made a practice during the campaign season thus far of sidestepping potentially difficult encounters including his own invitations to sit for a Sunday chat, Wallace said “this just is of a piece with the vice president not doing really any serious interviews, not answering any questions since the rollout.”
“I don’t you know, you can try and I understand and has worked pretty well. And he continues to lead with what I’ll call the basement strategy. I don’t think you can hide from now until Election Day. I just don’t think it’s possible,” Wallace concluded, according to the Examiner.
“He’s fine in the basement”
Despite Wallace’s concerns, former Democratic governor of Virginia and long-time Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe dismissed claims earlier this year that there was anything wrong with Biden’s campaign approach. In June, the New York Post reported that McAuliffe told a gathering of Democrats, “People say all the time, ‘Oh, we got to get the vice president out of the basement.’
“He’s fine in the basement. Two people see him a day: his two body people,” McAuliffe explained. “That’s it. Let Trump keep doing what Trump’s doing.” As Trump continues to gain ground in national polls, it seems like sound advice.