Dems plead with Biden to do more, not less, media as doubts grow about his capacity for the job

According to party faithful, a president who is more visible will help ease concerns about mental fitness.

The Democrats sent a strong message to the Biden campaign in the wake of the Special Counsel report: it’s time for a flood.

Biden’s aides have been warned by top party officials that Biden cannot back down in response to the Special Counsel report, which has fueled fears about his age and mental abilities. They claim that President Joe Biden needs to appear in public more often, as he has largely avoided interviews and press conferences.

The president should engage in his off-script, punchy exchanges with the media and voters that he has been known for. They believe this will reduce concerns about his mental acuity. Some say it’s worth taking the risk that his image could be tarnished by a few slip-ups.


Biden, 81, has made several stumbles in the past week. He appeared to call two dead European leaders living statesmen. Biden’s fiery remarks on Thursday night were also at times remarkably combative. At one point, he mistakenly called Mexico by accident in a comment that was clearly referring to Egypt.

Democrats, however, say that to resolve fears about Biden’s age they must get him in front of more people. This is even if it means taking risks. In certain circles, there is hope that the report will prompt a change in strategy at the White House, and lead to a more vibrant, visible version of Biden.

“What we witnessed [Thursday] was so rare because we don’t often get these moments and occasions where he is off script and engaged in the back-and-forth, especially in a prime time setting,” said Faiz Sharif, Bernie Sanders 2020 presidential campaign manager.

Alan Patricof is a venture capitalist, Democratic donor and a man who encouraged Biden to be more involved in the country. Patricof also defended Biden’s age, even though he was 89 years old.

Patricof stated that “He will have to be more outgoing and available, whether it is at press conferences or when traveling and meeting people.”

Dick Harpootlian of South Carolina, a major Biden donor and attorney, told the South Carolina Lawyer that he would encourage President Obama to prepare for the likely rematch between Donald Trump and Biden on the debate stage. “We oughta participate in it as much we can.”

Democrats have been worried for years that Biden’s sometimes low-profile public image was fueling criticism about his suitability for office. This allowed a caricature to replace the real president. The Hur report quickly transformed these fears into pleas to adopt a new strategy. Biden’s appearances, say members of the party, are becoming increasingly important in convincing voters that their critics who question his mental fitness have no basis.

The Democratic pollster who spoke openly on the subject said that voters will hear and see the president speak a lot in the coming nine months. They are more likely to rely on their own ears and eyes than this report. But it is important for the campaign to show the contrary.

Voters weigh what they perceive as one risk – Trump, whose risk is obvious – with another risk – a president on the decline.

Biden’s allies and advisers were furious Friday. They believed that Hur’s report, which described Biden as “a well-meaning, old man with poor memories” was gratuitous. It went beyond Hur’s purview to determine whether or not he had committed a crime in relation to his handling classified material.

At Friday’s press briefing, White House Counsel spokesperson Ian Sams called these “inappropriate critiques” and “flatly incompatible with long-standing DOJ tradition.”

Biden responded with passion and took questions from journalists Thursday night. Some Democrats think that even with the Sisi gaffe the president and top aides of the White House should directly confront their critics as Biden did in those remarks.

Biden’s allies, as well as the White House Press Corps, have expressed frustration that Biden’s formal interactions with the media have been restricted by the President’s aides. Biden has fewer, shorter unscripted interactions with the press than his predecessors. He also avoids the opportunity to interact with the media during foreign leader visits to the White House.

According to The American Presidency Project at the University of California Santa Barbara, in his first three year tenure, President Obama held 66 press conferences, while Trump gave 52, according to the same period.

Philippe Reines, a former Hillary Clinton adviser, said that the media’s lack of engagement was what caused a firestorm whenever Trump made a mistake. Trump, at 77, is only four years older than Biden. He makes his own gaffes. They don’t get as much attention because of his high visibility in the media.

“I would flood that zone and I felt exactly the same way with Hillary [Clinton]. Reines explained that if they don’t do this, the media and people will focus on the smallest of things. “The president’s problem isn’t to have him appear zero times and prevent zero things. “Go out there and let him say what he wants.”

The Biden campaign agrees with the idea that Biden needs to be more visible in an election year. That’s why they have increased their campaign events and traveled across the country. Officials note, however, that the campaign will be different from previous cycles due to Americans’ declining engagement with traditional candidate forums like debates and townhalls.

Pat Dennis, president of American Bridge 21st Century (a leading Democratic superPAC), said: “I spend a great deal of time studying media consumption studies.” “And how you deploy a candidate 2024 will look different than the way that you deploy a campaign in 2000 or 2004.”

The Biden campaign has made an effort to reach out to people in their own environment, and leverage Biden’s strengths of a retail politician. Social media has been used to highlight these intimate and small-scale conversations with voters. TikTok, and other platforms are where many Americans consume news.

The campaign believes these moments, such as when a Detroit resident rode the Beast in the White House and spoke to CNN about President Obama’s sharpness can sometimes be more effective in rebutting concerns about his age than a press conference at the White House.

Democrats do not dispute the importance of this kind of voter engagement. This is especially true for a President who is known for his ability of connecting with people in an intimate setting. They felt that the prime-time press conference on Thursday had its benefits. Networks carried an energized Bi