After months of the White House telling voters “Bidenomics is working” with mixed results, the President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign is pivoting to attacking Donald Trump’s economic record, according to Politico.
Team Biden plans to build on voters’ preexisting perception that Democrats care more than Republicans about regular Americans—a bias I pinpointed last fall as a natural starting point for a Biden messaging campaign.
Rather than trying to engineer a full-scale change of voters’ perceptions, start where they are. And by 10 percentage points, voters believe Democrats are “more concerned” about them than Republicans are, according to Civiqs tracking of the issue.
The key to that question is the fact that voters are forced to choose between two options rather than being asked: Do you think Democrats are concerned with people like you?
As one Biden insider told Politico, “The polling shows overwhelmingly that people think Biden cares about people like them and Trump does not. And that’s going to be the core of this economic attack.”
The campaign reportedly plans to focus its early attacks on Trump’s tax cuts, which primarily accrued to the country’s richest denizens.
“The only thing he’s ever succeeded in doing is cutting taxes for rich people,” Kimberly Clausing, a tax policy expert and former Biden administration official, said of Trump’s legislative record in office.
Those cuts also played a major part in the Trump administration adding $8 trillion to the national debt. In short, the rich got richer at the expense of American taxpayers.
Manufacturing also took a huge hit under Trump, with some 1,800 factories closing between 2016 and 2018—i.e., before the pandemic hit—according to the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning think tank. And those closures had a tangible impact on Trump voters in places like Lordstown and Youngstown, Ohio, where some voters expressed buyer’s remorse on casting a ballot for Trump.
And if voters thought inflation stemming from post-pandemic supply chain struggles were a drag, just wait until they get a load of the 10% tariff that Trump wants to put on all imported goods. Pro-Trump isolationists might be giddy about the idea, but American consumers will pay for it mightily. The Economist estimates the tariff would cost every American household an average of $2,000 a year. And even the right-leaning American Action Forum says the plan would “distort global trade, discourage economic activity, and have broad negative consequences for the U.S. economy.”
Biden has plenty of popular policies to point to when it comes time to draw the contrast with Trump, including capping insulin at $35 per month for Medicare enrollees, putting people back to work rebuilding the country’s infrastructure, and juicing American manufacturing.
Specifically, Biden can draw on his support for the United Auto Workers’ strike last year, and frankly, he should maximize the support of UAW President Shawn Fain on the campaign trail as much as possible.
During a speech endorsing Biden last week, Fain lit into Trump. “Donald Trump is a scab,” Fain said, to applause from union members. “Donald Trump is a billionaire and that’s who he represents. If Donald Trump ever worked in an auto plant, he wouldn’t be a UAW member. He’d be a company man trying to squeeze the American worker.”
Appearing on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday, Fain said the UAW had endorsed Biden because he “stood with the American worker.”
“Trump has a history of serving himself and standing for the billionaire class,” Fain said, drawing a pitch-perfect contrast between the two candidates.
The criticism clearly got under the skin of Trump, who took to Truth Social to lodge his displeasure. “I had the great privilege of watching Shawn Fain, the President of the United Auto Workers, this morning on DeFace the Nation. He is a real ‘STIFF’ who is selling the Automobile Industry right into the big, powerful, hands of China,” Trump wrote.
“Get rid of this dope & vote for DJT,” Trump added, promising that he would “bring the Automobile Industry back to our Country.”
Too late, though. That’s exactly what Biden is already doing, according to the UAW.
Tim Miller from “The Next Level” podcast comes on to discuss Iowa, New Hampshire, and the cracks they expose in Donald Trump’s MAGA movement.