In the past few days, we may have seen the real shape of the November general election. If this is accurate, the Democrats have a much deeper reason to be nervous than they currently imagine.
There have been two vivid images of an incumbent president confronting a national crisis and a Democratic challenger issuing a dishonest commercial – which even The Washington Post denounced – while giving a widely panned speech on the coronavirus.
To be fair to former Vice President Joe Biden, there was no way a speech at the Hotel du Pont was going to visually compete with an Oval Office address and a White House Rose Garden press conference.
There was also no way that a candidate standing by himself could compete with a president of the United States surrounded by the heads of major corporations like Walmart, CVS, Target, and others as they all pledged to work with the president to help solve a national emergency.
In terms of sheer impact, nothing Biden could do could lead to the 1,900-point jump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Callista and I were watching the press conference, and Fox News had a small box with the Dow Jones numbers going up, and up and up. It was every president’s dream of real-time validation that made a joke out of the Biden attack speech.
However, Biden had two additional problems.
First, the Biden campaign released an ad that so distorted President Trump’s record that The Washington Post gave it four Pinocchios.
As Meg Kelly wrote in the newspaper’s Fact Checker column: “Ultimately, the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak, the fact that Trump had clarified his comments on the matter before the ad was released, and the blatant way the Biden camp isolated his remarks about the American Dream pushed us to Four Pinocchios. Campaigns must be willing to make their case without resorting to video manipulation.”
Biden’s speech got almost as negative a review as the campaign ad. As Collin Anderson wrote in the Washington Free Beacon: “Biden deployed an already-debunked Democratic talking point in Thursday remarks aimed at showcasing his own ability to lead the country through the crisis. The former vice president falsely stated that the Trump administration has cut investments in global health, a claim the Washington Post’s fact-checker rated ‘Three Pinocchios’ just days ago.”
Biden said that the Trump administration slashed investment in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-led package aimed at strengthening health initiatives abroad. This is a lie – and a sloppy one. The program is fully funded in President Trump’s proposed 2021 budget. In fact, the budget increases the program budget from $125 million to $175 million.
So the contrast is clear. On the one hand, there is a commander in chief leading the American people in a dual-front campaign to defeat a virus and relaunch a remarkably successful economy. On the other hand, there is a tired, inaccurate, and at times dishonest candidate attacking the president on behalf of a campaign while the president is fighting on behalf of the country.
The steady shrinking of former Vice President Biden will continue. Consider Marc Thiessen’s Washington Post column: “It’s fair to speculate whether Biden is mentally fit to be president."
Thiessen is not alone. On Tuesday, Fox News senior analyst, Brit Hume, said on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" that Biden could be “losing his memory and is getting senile."
Biden has a long history of putting his foot in his mouth, but Hume said Biden’s recent hiccups and mistakes on the campaign trail were beyond his normal quaint goofiness.
“‘More recently, however, he's begun to forget things,’ Hume added. ‘He didn't know what state he's in, he couldn't remember where he was when he met the Parkland [Florida] students, when he said he was in the White House. … I think that over time, the danger for him [Biden] and for his party is that he may say something that’s so outlandish and so suggestive that his cognitive faculties have failed him, that Democratic voters are going to say, ‘Oh, my Lord, what have we got here?’"
At this rate, President Trump will not be running against Joe Biden. President Trump is running against a virus and an economic slowdown. If he wins, he will grow into an even more historic figure of great accomplishment for most Americans. Meanwhile, Biden will shrink to irrelevancy and the election will be a landslide for President Trump.
To read, hear, and watch more of Newt Gingrich’s commentary, visit Gingrich360.com.