I’ve seen cadavers more interactive with the media!
Democrats are criticizing Joe Biden for doing the bare minimum of media interviews, worried that the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee is repeating a mistake made by 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Clinton has called her low-profile media strategy in 2016 a “miscalculation” that played into President Trump’s hands.
While the coronavirus has effectively sidelined Biden, Democrats say an easy way for him to cut through Trump’s noise is to conduct his own media blitz from his home in Delaware.
There were signs on Thursday that suggested Biden was taking note of the criticism.
Hours before Trump addressed the Republican National Convention, Biden sat for virtual interviews with CNN and MSNBC to discuss racial unrest in Kenosha, Wis., following the police shooting a Black man.
The cable news interviews marked a relative outburst of media hits for Biden, who had only done two other broadcast interviews in the month of August. Biden also rarely does press conferences with the reporters who cover his in-person events.
The lack of availability for the national news media has led to charges from the Trump campaign that Biden is in hiding.
Privately, Democrats worry the Biden team is playing it too safe and missing opportunities to draw a contrast with Trump.
“If you’re not going to be out on the trail, you should be doing interviews every single day…..For whatever reason, they have determined that they can’t put him out there……..That’s the worst strategy. They need to get on the offensive, get out and talk to press. Their strategy is running out the clock but they better f—— pray for a kickass debate.”Democratic Strategist
Clinton has expressed regret for avoiding the media in the run up to the 2016 election, when there were countless stories about how she refused to take questions from reporters.
In an interview last year with Howard Stern — who is a huge fan of Clinton’s — the radio host said he had tried to get her to come on his show during the 2016 election, believing it would help her show a more personal side and potentially help get her elected.
Clinton said it’s likely she would have turned down the opportunity down at the time and that it was a mistake to not take more risks.
“I often did not prioritize media the way I should have,” Clinton said. “Trump would interview with everybody, in his pajamas they would take him, so he was just a constant presence, and I think I made a miscalculation.”Hillary Clinton
One of Clinton’s aides in the general election expressed some regret about not being able to keep up with Trump, who was dialing into TV and radio shows with little effort during the 2016 general election.
“She was always very hesitant and Trump was manipulating the earned media apparatus………We got into a situation where Trump was outpacing her.”Former Clinton Aide
Biden campaign insiders acknowledged that up until Thursday, it had been a quiet few weeks on the media front while the conventions were center stage.
But they pushed back on the notion that Biden is avoiding the media, saying the campaign’s strategy has been to focus on local and alternative media, rather than established Beltway political outlets that they believe do not reach many ordinary Americans.