Democrats say battle with Trump may help Biden

Democrats say battle with Trump may help Biden
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Democratic strategists say allegations that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Lindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment MORE asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe BidenJoe BidenFive landmark moments of testimony to Congress Democrats sharpen their message on impeachment Biden: 'I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears' than anyone else running MORE and his family will help the former vice president’s cause in trying to win the Democratic nomination.

The strategists — unaffiliated with any of the presidential campaigns — say Trump’s actions suggest he feels the most threatened by Biden as an opponent in the general election.

“I think it says they're afraid of him,” said Democratic strategist Karen Finney. “They’re putting time, resources and energy in preparing to take on Biden and that surely does say something.” 

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Democratic strategist Eddie Vale agreed: “Although I still subscribe to the theory it's too early … I definitely agree it's a sign team Trump is most worried about Biden.” 

To be sure, other Democrats interviewed for this piece wondered whether the scrutiny on Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine would be an unwanted narrative for the former vice president. 

Trump has said he brought up the Bidens with Zelensky in the context of corruption, and without offering any evidence on Monday he suggested that if a Republican had done what Joe Biden had done, he would have got the electric chair.

No evidence has emerged that Joe Biden did anything improper regarding Ukraine, and his campaign has pressed the media to handle the issue with care.

“These aren’t the kinds of stories you want to be talking about on the campaign trail,” said one Democratic strategist who has worked on presidential campaigns. “You want anything but these kinds of stories, even if they’re not true.” 

In recent weeks, after a string of verbal flubs, some Democrats have wondered if Biden has the tenacity and scrappiness to take on Trump. 

And as Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden: 'I'm more of a Democrat from my shoe sole to my ears' than anyone else running Press: Another billionaire need not apply Saagar Enjeti dismisses Warren, Klobuchar claims of sexism MORE (D-Mass.) has climbed in recent polls, they have questioned whether Biden’s electability argument is losing luster with Democratic voters.  

Biden initially reacted carefully to the new Trump controversy.

“Not one single credible outlet has given any credibility to his assertions,” Biden told reporters. “So I have no comment except that the president should start to be president.”

But hours later, Biden reacted with anger — and tied his answer to Trump’s fear of running against him. This has been an underlying message and even a reason for Biden’s presidential campaign.

“To get on the phone with a foreign leader who is looking for help from the United States and ask about me and imply things — this is outrageous,” he said sternly. “Trump is using this because he knows I’ll beat him like a drum and is using the abuse of power and every element of the presidency to try to do something to smear me.”