Biden’s re-election bid faces vulnerabilities following the appointment of a special counsel
NEW YORK (AP) — As he prepares for re-election, President Joe Biden He already faces questions about his ability to convince voters The economy is doing well. There are doubts about the 80-year-old president’s ability to manage a second term. And on Friday, Biden faced a new setback at the attorney general Merrick Garland water spring Private lawyer to question his son, Hunter.
Biden’s challenges pale in comparison to his predecessor and potential future rival, Donald Trump, who faces three criminal indictments, with additional charges to be filed soon. The appointment of the special counsel was nonetheless a reminder of the vulnerabilities that Biden faces as he wages another campaign in a highly uncertain political climate.
There was little immediate sign that Garland’s decision had materially changed Biden’s standing within his party. If anything, it underscores the unprecedented nature of the upcoming election. Rather than a battle of ideas being fought on the traditional campaign trail, the next push for the presidency may be shaped by legal spins in courtrooms from Washington to Delaware and Miami.
“Before Trump, this is going to be a big deal,” New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said of Friday’s announcement. “Now, I don’t think it means anything. Trump has made everyone so numb to this stuff.”
Referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan, Buckley added, “Given how dismissive MAGA America is of the very real crimes committed by Trump and his family, it has numbed the minds of swing voters and Democratic or activist voters who would normally be fully engaged and angry.”
Polls have consistently shown that Democratic voters were not enthusiastic about re-electing Biden even before Garland’s announcement.
Only 47% of Democrats want Biden to run again in 2024, according to AP-NORC poll conducted in April. Democrats’ enthusiasm for Biden’s presidential campaign has consistently lagged behind Republicans’ enthusiasm for Trump: 55% of Republicans said they want Trump to run again in an AP-NORC poll. Biden’s approval rating in the Gallup poll has averaged 41% over the past three months. Only Jimmy Carter has a lower average rating in Gallup polls at this point in his presidency, while Trump’s ratings are nearly identical at 43%.
Garland announced Friday that he has hired David Weiss, the Trump-appointed US attorney in Delaware, as Private lawyer In the Hunter Biden investigation. It comes as talks of a plea bargain involving tax and gun charges in the case Weiss was already investigating have reached an impasse.
The appointment of a special counsel ensures that Trump will not stand alone as the lone presidential candidate grappling with the fallout from a serious criminal investigation in the midst of the 2024 campaign season.
Of course, the issues are not equal in the context of the upcoming presidential elections.
There is no evidence that President Biden himself has committed any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Trump has been charged in a conspiracy to undermine democracy because of his actions that led to January 6, 2021 attack in the Capitol Building.
He also faces separate charges of refusing to turn over classified documents after leaving the White House and financial crimes in New York related to a silent money case involving a porn star. Georgia prosecutors are investigating whether Trump violated state laws by interfering in the 2020 election.
However, Republicans had hoped the new special counsel would eventually divert attention away from Trump’s baggage while backing conservative calls to impeach the Democratic president, a proposal that has divided the GOP on Capitol Hill, which has long sought evidence linking Hunter’s wrongdoings. Biden alleged father.
representative. James Comer From Kentucky, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, has already obtained thousands of pages of financial records from various members of the Biden family through subpoenas to the Treasury Department and various financial institutions as part of a congressional investigation. He issued a statement Friday accusing Garland of “attempting to prevent congressional oversight.”
Comer vowed to “follow the Biden family’s money trail.”
Trump, the frontrunner in the crowded Republican presidential nomination battle, took the opportunity to put his potential general election opponent on the defensive, referring to the “Biden crime family” and the “Biden cartel.”
“If this special counsel is truly independent — even though he has failed to bring proper charges after a four-year investigation and appears to be trying to move the case to a place more friendly to Democrats — he will quickly conclude that Joe Biden, who is in trouble, the Trump campaign said in a statement. Hunter’s son and their aides, including the media, who colluded with the 51 intelligence officials who knowingly misled the public about Hunter’s laptop computer, must face the required consequences.
Back in New Hampshire, Buckley acknowledged that voters are not enthusiastic about re-electing Biden.
“But they really aren’t excited about Trump,” he said. There is seriousness about this election. People can tell they are not enthusiastic (about Biden). They can say, “Oh, he must never run again.” But the truth is, he’s the only alternative to Trump.”
Meanwhile, it is unclear how much interest key voters will have.
A Marquette Law School poll last month found that nearly three-quarters of Americans have heard Hunter Biden agree to plead guilty to tax evasion and a gun charge. Republicans were slightly more likely than Democrats to say they had heard “a lot” about the subject, though independents were much less likely to pay attention.
Democratic strategist Bill Burton suggested that the GOP’s focus on the president’s son would backfire.
“From a political point of view, I think Republicans are stupid if they spend so much time talking about the president’s son,” he said. People will vote on the economy. They will vote on who is tougher on social media companies and national security.”
Burton continued, “As a father, I think it’s disgusting that you can attack someone’s son like that.”
Lynley Sanders, polling and survey reporter for the Associated Press in Washington, contributed.
This article originally appeared on apnews.com