President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE and Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE each penned op-eds for Fox News published Friday, with the former vice president focusing on the coronavirus and rebuilding the country and the president underscoring his message around "safety and prosperity" four days before the election.
The op-ed by the Democratic nominee marks the first time he has written anything appearing on FoxNews.com. Biden last appeared on the network for a March 1 interview with "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceFauci to appear on Fox Business Friday for rare interview on the network The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's pre-debate COVID-19 test sparks criticism Bret Baier confirms his 'concerns' about Tucker Carlson's Jan. 6 documentary MORE, before the pandemic hit in full force.
"For eight months, we’ve lived through one of the most devastating tragedies in American history. But even as the numbers mount — with the worst-ever day of confirmed new cases coming just days ago — we cannot become numb to it," Biden wrote Friday. "We cannot let these lives lost and futures diminished become statistics or background noise — just a blur that passes by on the nightly news.
"Each is an American life that deserved better. And cruelest of all, we know that so much pain could have been avoided if only the president had faced reality and taken action sooner."
Trump, who has appeared on the network dozens of times since taking office, pointed to the government’s coronavirus relief efforts and the recovering economy as evidence he is best suited to continue to lead the country.
"Thanks to my emergency economic relief legislation, more than 159 million Americans received direct financial assistance during the pandemic. Meanwhile, our Paycheck Protection Program helped protect 51 million American jobs, allocating over $525 billion in forgivable loans for over 5.2 million small businesses," Trump wrote.
"As a result of our efforts and the tremendous momentum of the pre-pandemic economy, we’re witnessing the fastest labor market recovery from an economic crisis in history," Trump added. "The American economy grew at an annualized rate of 33.1 percent in the third quarter, another example of the economy beating expectations under my leadership. This is a new record for quarterly economic growth and is nearly double the previous record set 70 years ago."
The dueling op-eds come as Fox News has been carrying campaign rally speeches and stops of both Trump and Biden in recent days, along with appearances by former President Obama.
Trump has criticized the network for giving Democrats air time, including for “playing Obama’s no crowd, fake speech.”
Now @FoxNews is playing Obama’s no crowd, fake speech for Biden, a man he could barely endorse because he couldn’t believe he won. Also, I PREPAID many Millions of Dollars in Taxes.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2020
Fox News host Bret Baier pushed back on the air earlier this week.
“You’ve been watching President Trump in Salem, Wis., speaking for almost 42 minutes so far in front of another big crowd,” Baier said Tuesday evening. “We brought you his speech in Lansing, Mich., live earlier today. We also brought you live speeches from Joe Biden in both Warm Springs and Atlanta, Ga., and former President Obama’s speech in Orlando, Fla. All of those carried live on Fox News Channel earlier today.”
“It’s what we do to cover an important election fairly,” Baier continued. “Fair, balanced and unafraid. We are seven days from election night. We promise we are going to cover it all fairly and get in the news around the world in between the fast-moving political developments.”
Biden's lead has shrunk to 3.2 points in the RealClearPolitics index of polls in the key battleground states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona with just four days until Election Day. The lead was 5 points two weeks ago.