Media

MSNBC, CNBC founder: Biden ‘not ready for a prime-time election season’ against Trump

The founder of MSNBC and CNBC said Monday that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is not “ready for a prime-time election season” against President Trump in articulating “a clear and convincing message” on the coronavirus pandemic.

“Trump has been dominating the media as we all know, and Biden has not been in the spotlight,” Tom Rogers, currently the editor-in-chief of Newsweek, explained on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to co-host Mika Brzezinski. “But that’s going to shift. And when it shifts, Biden needs to perform.”

“The bottom line is the candidate needs to be able to articulate a clear and convincing message, and particularly when it comes to the pandemic … he’s not there yet,” Rogers continued. “And it pains me to say this, it really does, but his performance in being able to come up with a compelling narrative and a passionate storyline that really is ready for prime-time election season when it comes to talking about the legacy of Donald Trump, of mass death and economic collapse, he’s just not there yet.”

“His performances have been very unsatisfying and basically he’s been getting softball interviews with the exception of yours, Mika, on the sexual harassment issue,” he added in reference to Brzezinski’s interview with the former vice president earlier this month regarding assault allegations leveled against Biden by a former Senate staffer.

Rogers also argued that Biden has been helped by largely being out of the spotlight, given his performances, compared to the president. But as Election Day gets closer, the Democrat “will no longer be able to let Trump do the talking,” he added.

“Letting Trump continue to devalue his own political standing has been beneficial to Biden at a time when Biden’s own media appearances from home have unfortunately shown a worrisome inability to focus his message and articulate clearly and crisply,” Rogers explained. “As we move toward Election Day, Biden will no longer be able to let Trump do the talking. He will have to come out and present the case against Trump himself, as well as his vision for the future.”

The RealClearPolitics index of national polls shows a tightening race, with Biden leading Trump by 4.4 points. On March 21, when his campaign was largely sidelined due to the pandemic, Biden led Trump by 7.4 points.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden Mika Brzezinski

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