Show an ad over header. AMP

Biden: Back on the road, maybe

Joe Biden is considering a modified return to the campaign trail after Labor Day, with short, surgical travel to swing states in the closing two months of the race, people familiar with the discussions tell Axios.

Why it matters: As some polls suggest Biden's lead is narrowing, some Democrats worry that President Trump could gain a tactical advantage at crunch time if he's campaigning in person and Biden's only out there virtually.

  • Still, many Biden advisers remain convinced that there's a strategic benefit to drawing a sharp contrast with Trump when it comes to curbing travel and social distancing — as well as a public health benefit.

Driving the news: Biden hinted at his openness in an interview on MSNBC, saying "yes" when asked whether he'd consider visiting Kenosha, Wisconsin, the scene of violent protests after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

  • “Yes I would consider it,” Biden said. “What I don’t want to do is become part of the problem. If I were president, I would be going.”
  • It was a shift in tone from an interview last week with ABC in which Biden seemed more circumspect and insisted that he could win in November by staying home.
  • “We're going to follow the science, what the scientists tell us,” Biden had said. When Trump travels, Biden said, “People die, people get together, they don't wear masks, they end up getting COVID, they end up dying."

Between the lines: Biden has been saying for months that he'd only travel if it’s medically safe, as he seeks to draw a contrast with Trump, who has addressed rallies during the pandemic and who has had live audiences for Republican National Convention events this week.

  • But Biden campaign officials have long said they would reevaluate their travel posture around Labor Day and let the virus dictate whether and where it’s safe to fly.
  • Biden likely will opt for some short trips — but not like Trump.
  • He also is likely to scrap any potential plans if doctors and scientists advise against them.

Be smart: There isn’t the same grassroots groundswell for Biden to travel to swing states as Trump finds in his own base. Many Democratic activists and lawmakers share Biden’s view that it’s simply too dangerous to gather large crowds with case positivity still so high.

  • “The whole Republican Party is being reckless with their rallies,” said Bill Jacobs, the Democratic Party chairman in Clinton County, Iowa. “Biden could visit, but you’d have to keep the crowd size very small.”
  • “The Biden-Harris campaign is not going to risk spreading COVID-19,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) “The American public appreciates that, it is why he is winning.”

Commission releases topics for first presidential debate

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace has selected what topics he'll cover while moderating the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden next week.

What to watch: Topics for the Sept. 29 debate will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election, the Commission for Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday. Each topic will receive 15 minutes of conversation and will be presented in no particular order.

Keep reading... Show less

"A long way to go": Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told the House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday that the expiration of Congress' coronavirus stimulus will weigh on the U.S. economy.

Why it matters: Powell warned that the effects of dried-up benefits are a looming risk to the economy, even if the consequences aren't yet visible.

Keep reading... Show less

Beijing draws Chinese companies even closer

Chinese Communist Party Secretary Xi Jinping announced last week that the party must strengthen its leadership over private companies, and that entrepreneurs must meet the party's needs. 

Why it matters: Xi's new announcement will increase fears that Chinese businesses may serve as a Trojan horse for the CCP.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump to meet with Supreme Court candidate Barbara Lagoa in Florida on Friday

President Trump has arranged to meet with shortlisted Supreme Court candidate Barbara Lagoa during a campaign visit to Florida on Friday, according to two sources familiar with his plans.

What we're hearing: Sources who know both Trump and Lagoa say they still expect the president to pick Judge Amy Coney Barrett, but they view the Lagoa meeting as a wild card because they say she has a charismatic personality that would appeal to Trump.

Keep reading... Show less

The U.S. now has more then 200,000 coronavirus deaths

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus has now killed 200,000 Americans, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Whatever contextyou try to put this in, it is a catastrophe of historic proportions — and is yet another reminder of America's horrific failure to contain the virus.

Keep reading... Show less

In UN address, Trump says China "unleashed this plague onto the world"

President Trump used a virtual address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday to defend his response to the coronavirus and call on other countries to “hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.”

Setting the scene: Trump ticked through four years of major decisions and accomplishments in what could be his last address to the UN. But first, he launched into a fierce attack on China as Beijing’s representative looked on in the assembly hall.

Keep reading... Show less

Trump says he will announce Supreme Court pick on Saturday

President Trump tweeted Tuesday that he plans to announce his Supreme Court pick on Saturday.

Why it matters: Republicans are moving fast to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which would tilt the balance of the high court in conservatives' favor and have lasting impact on climate policy, immigration and the Affordable Care Act. Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who met with the president this week, is a frontrunner for the job.



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories