Biden lets loose on Trump as campaign concludes – With insights from the Wall Street Journal

Over the past few weeks, James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal has been providing us with contrarian insights into the US presidential election where mainsteam media reporting has been heavily in favour of the challenger. Freeman does so again in this summary of the options for voters in election 2020. – Alec Hogg


Biden’s Closing Argument

By James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal

Candidate promising decency spends weekend insulting opponent

Former Vice President Joe Biden is closing his presidential campaign the same way he began: by relentlessly attacking the character of his opponent. It may be obvious why Mr. Biden doesn’t want to move beyond vague mentions of his policies given the costs they would impose on a recovering economy. But by premising his campaign on the tendentious argument that he is a better person than the incumbent, Mr. Biden is inviting voters to judge the Biden family influence business that he has enabled for years.

The former vice president likes to say that he’s fighting for the country’s soul, but if the few attendees at his recent events were hoping for inspiration they may have been disappointed. “Biden unleashes scathing attacks on Trump,” the Associated Press reported on Saturday. According to the AP report:

Joe Biden is letting loose against President Donald Trump in the final days of the presidential campaign.

At a drive-in rally in Detroit on Saturday night, Biden made fun of Trump for everything from his hairdo to his cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin to Trump’s description of himself as a “perfect physical specimen.”

This column viewed Mr. Trump use this last line at a recent campaign event on television and he appeared to be joking, making the point that even though he was old and not in perfect shape, he had managed to overcome Covid-19. As for the alleged coziness with Russia, perhaps Mr. Trump’s decision to sell antitank missiles to Ukraine is one reason Russia hasn’t seized large pieces of the country as it did during the Obama-Biden administration.

In any case, the AP report continues:

Biden noted the president “likes to portray himself as a tough guy,” but noted Trump was laughed at by United Nations leaders. “Tough guy, my — my word,” Biden said, pausing just short of finishing the quip with a vulgar word.

Meanwhile the New York Times has published a campaign disptach headlined, “Obama and Biden, in their first joint rally of 2020, take turns attacking Trump.” Reports the Times:

FLINT, Mich. — Former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. tag-teamed President Trump in their first joint appearance of 2020, with the former president joking that Mr. Trump was “traumatized” by low turnout at his childhood birthday parties and Mr. Biden suggesting he would have bopped Mr. Trump in their younger days.

The Biden stump speech includes various accusations of lying along with other personal insults, plus quotations from anonymously sourced anti-Trump media reports.

Directly quoting Mr. Biden, Eli Stokols, Laura King and Mark Barabak report in the Los Angeles Times:

Campaigning in Philadelphia, a scornful Biden accused Trump of purposely trying to suppress turnout and undermining the country’s fundamental values.

“I don’t care how hard Donald Trump tries, there’s nothing to stop this nation from voting,” Biden said at a faith-based get-out-the-vote rally. “The only thing that can tear us apart is America itself, and that’s what Trump is trying to do.”

In remarks that combined inspirational rhetoric with a scathing dismissal of Trump’s record on a range of issues—the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, the slumping economy—Biden described Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes as vital to the election…

Later, at a drive-in rally at Philadelphia’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park, Biden tore into Trump. . . “He’s the virus!” Biden said of Trump.

The “slumping economy” of course just posted an historic quarterly rebound. As for Mr. Biden, he is inviting voters to view the election as a test of character and therefore he is inviting them to assess his own ethics, morality and decency.

Those voters who aim to take the measure of the man may wish to consider an editorial in the New York Post. The Post’s editorial board makes an argument that does not even rely on the recent scoops from the Post’s reporters to suggest a serious problem with the Democratic candidate:

You’re not supposed to care about the Hunter Biden scandals because Joe Biden argues he never profited from his son’s and brother’s plans. “I have not taken a penny from any foreign source ever in my life,” the former veep claimed in the last debate.

Yet Joe plainly did benefit — and he’d have to be an utter idiot not to notice the signs of sleaze over the decades that these family members cashed in on his name and connections.

Heck, in a July 2019 New Yorker piece based on extensive interviews with Hunter, Adam Entous reported, “Hunter saw himself as a provider for the Biden family; he even helped to pay off [brother] Beau’s law-school debts.” Even if Joe never directly received a dime from all the folks who made his brother and son rich, he without doubt benefited indirectly.

And, yes: Jim and Hunter without question made their money by trading on their influence with Joe: that’s obvious from investigations over the years by ProPublica, Politico and other left-of-center outfits, not to mention reporting by Peter Schweizer, The Wall Street Journal and The Post, as well as Entous’ New Yorker piece. Even Hunter has admitted that he “probably” wouldn’t have gotten that multimillion-dollar payoff from Burisma if his last name weren’t Biden.

Late-deciding voters who accept character as the key issue won’t necessarily vote for Mr. Biden.

Mr. Freeman is the co-author of “The Cost: Trump, China and American Revival.”

Follow James Freeman on Twitter.

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(Teresa Vozzo helps compile Best of the Web.)

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