Why Biden is stepping up his mockery of Trump: from the politics desk

By | March 30, 2024

Welcome to the online version of From the Political Bureauan evening newsletter featuring the latest reporting and analysis from the NBC News Politics team from the campaign trail, the White House and Capitol Hill.

In today’s edition, White House correspondents Mike Memoli and Monica Alba note how Joe Biden is stepping up personal attacks on Donald Trump. Plus, “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker interviews two governors about whether bipartisan politics can still exist in these divisive times.

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Biden‘s latest campaign goal: Get under Trump‘s skin

By Mike Memoli and Monica Alba

As President Joe Biden works to defeat Donald Trump, he’s increasingly focused on another goal he thinks will help him achieve: getting under his skin.

In recent weeks, in both private and public settings, Biden has ramped up personal, biting and often sarcastic remarks against his Republican opponent, targeting his financial challenges, his campaign pace and even his weight.

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It’s a strategy largely driven by Biden himself, according to multiple aides and advisers familiar with the approach.

“This is him, and we’re following his lead,” a Biden aide said. “There’s just something about Joe Biden that gets under Donald Trump’s skin more than anyone else, and I think Joe Biden knows that.”

At a star-studded fundraiser Thursday night, Biden was asked what was at stake in the 2024 election. After giving an answer broadly criticizing Trump’s positions, he concluded: “All the things he does are so old…a bit old and out of shape.”

Biden also joked about the former president’s physical endurance as he told a story about a brief conversation they had about golfing at the White House shortly after Trump’s election.

“I told him this once before when he came into the Oval before he was sworn in. I said, ‘I’ll give you three strikes, but you carry your own bag,'” Biden said, laughing.

The president came up with those jokes himself, according to two aides and a senior adviser, who pointed out that Biden often uses similar jokes in internal staff meetings.

Biden’s team thinks these kinds of comments and jokes could resonate with voters for two reasons: because it’s “rooted,” said an aide, in whom Biden is at his core, and because it wouldn’t work as well without what information it contained. authenticity of it.

While it is important for the president to contrast their policy positions, one adviser said Biden is “entirely the driving force” behind presenting a “major” character difference with Trump.

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A time for bipartisanship? Two governors consider leadership in a crisis

By Kristen Welker

How do we come together at a time when the country is so divided?

That’s the question our elected leaders face every day, and especially in times of crisis. And that’s the challenge facing Democrat Wes Moore, the governor of Maryland, as he leads his state after this week’s deadly bridge collapse in Baltimore.

“Whether you are governor or elected to another office, you are called to serve all, think of all, and transcend some of the politics and unfortunate polarization we see today,” said Governor Maura Healey of Massachusetts, also a Democrat, told me this week at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, where Moore and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, were honored. (Moore was unable to attend the event due to the bridge collapse.)

Sununu emphasized the importance of transparency in times of crisis and promoting a sense of “we are all in this together.”

“And when you have that, it bypasses the political issues or the policies, and even people who may not agree with the decision or the path that you’re taking,” Sununu said.

Rebuilding this crucial thoroughfare will be a tall order for Moore, who faces his first major test since taking office last year. It’s also a test for the Biden administration, including Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who told Politico that the Baltimore bridge collapse is “one of the most high-profile and extreme emergencies we’ve had to deal with.” And it’s a test for Congress as lawmakers from both parties will try to come together to provide crucial funding to rebuild the bridge.

Of course, partisanship remains, especially as we get closer to November. Take Sununu, who is in a unique position within his own party. After strongly opposing Trump in the presidential primaries, Sununu is now endorsing him for the general election, albeit reluctantly.

“It’s a binary choice for me,” Sununu said, later adding, “Maybe I don’t like Trump and what he’s done and all that. But I can get a Republican administration, or I can get President Kamala Harris. And for the average Republican, we say, “Oh, I guess we’ll stick with that guy because it’s about government.”

But Sununu also emphasized that the country is not as divided as it seems. And speaking of bipartisanship, Healey agreed.

“There is much more that unites us than divides us as a country,” Healey said.

That’s all from The Politics Desk for now. If you have any feedback – like it or not – please email us at politicsnieuwsbrief@nbcuni.com

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This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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