During the Democratic Debate, Mayor Pete Buttigieg defended former Vice President Joe Biden from President Trump’s attacks on Biden’s son, saying, “To be the kind of president, to be the kind of human being who would seek to turn someone against his own son, who would seek to weaponize a son against his own father, is an unbelievably dishonorable thing.”
Buttigieg defends Biden, " To be the kind of president, to be the kind of human being who would seek to turn someone against his own son, who would seek to weaponize a son against his own father, is an unbelievably dishonorable thing." pic.twitter.com/gqf5fDI3nz
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 8, 2020
Not only was this a top notch classy move, but it showed how Democrats are letting Trump set narratives against Democrats as Democrats and the base fight among themselves, as few people defend Biden.
Donald Trump is going after Joe Biden’s son for specific reasons. Trump perceives Biden to be the candidate he can’t beat in the Midwestern states that gave Trump his very slight electoral college lead consisting of a total of 77,000 votes across three states.
But additionally, and this is the part that matters because Trump did this to Hillary Clinton and he will do it to ANY Democrat who wins the nomination, Trump is doing this specific thing to Biden because Biden has suffered deep pain around his children already.
Vice President Joe Biden lost his son Beau Biden, an attorney and officer in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps, to brain cancer in 2015.
Joe Biden is no stranger to loss and pain around children. He lost his first daughter, Naomi, to the same car crash that killed his first wife, Neilia, days before Christmas in 1972.
If you think Trump isn’t making this specific to wound Biden about his children *because* he already lost his one son to cancer and daughter Naomi to a car crash, you don’t understand how Trump fights.
In 2016, Trump brought the women Hillary Clinton’s husband had had affairs with to a debate and sat them in the front row. This is how he fights: DIRTY AND LOW. As low as you can go.
Trump hits personally because he can’t fight on policy and he doesn’t understand politics enough to fight on issues. He fights dirty because this is what he has always done. He fights dirty because being hit in the gut with your most personal pain while trying to run a campaign or think during a debate throws most humans off balance.
Trump has thrown the nation off balance constantly as a tactic, and he is doing it to Joe Biden as a tactic.
Yet Democrats are too busy fighting among themselves to defend Joe Biden, when it could be them next. This narrow focus is allowing Trump to set narratives against Biden, and will allow him to do so to any competitive Democrat.
Democrats must do what Pete Buttigieg did tonight. They must defend Joe Biden, and one another, from scurrilous Trump attacks and keep the fight among themselves focused on policy and who can beat Trump by motivating the Democratic base.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.