Former White House senior adviser and noted Democrat strategist David Axelrod said Tuesday that President Joe Biden and his campaign had better “get into gear” because they’re going up against a “formidable” opponent in GOP front-runner Donald Trump.
Axelrod, an adviser to former President Barack Obama, made the comments Tuesday morning in the aftermath of Trump’s landslide victory in the Iowa caucuses the night before.
“The president and his campaign need to get into gear, and they need a message,” Axelrod said on “CNN This Morning.”
Axelrod has been a frequent critic of Biden, previously saying that Biden is solely going after Trump as a threat to Democracy, reiterating Tuesday that Biden will need more than that.
“And they need a message that takes in not just democracy but the day-to-day concerns that people have, and they need to prosecute it every single day through every single surrogate,” Axelrod said.
“I’m not suggesting he doesn’t have talking points in his record that will support a message, but just let’s all be aware — and Trump proved again yesterday — he is not a normal candidate, and he is a pretty formidable candidate. And now he’s on the ballot,” Axelrod added.
Trump won in Iowa with 51% of Republican support, a margin of roughly 30 points over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, living up to the polls almost to the number.
Further, 66% of the caucusgoers said Biden’s win in 2020 was illegitimate. Biden almost certainly won’t win Iowa under any circumstances in the general election, but there are likely voters in swing states who feel the same way about the 2020 election, meaning Biden had better have a Plan B, Axelrod said.
“[Biden] needs a strong and repetitive narrative,” Axelrod told Politico last week. “I’m moved by the ‘soul of America’ argument, but I also am mindful of the fact that Americans have challenges in their day to day lives, and they’re probably not sitting around the kitchen table every day pondering what the Founding Fathers intended.”
Axelrod honed in on that again Tuesday.
“The thing that I would look at if I were the Biden campaign is that third of people who say, ‘No, the election was legitimate. Yes, I think that President Trump would be unfit if he were convicted of a crime,'” he said, according to the Washington Examiner. “It seems to me among that group, there are people who might consider voting for Biden, but I don’t consider myself a pearl-clutcher. I consider myself a realist.”
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