One of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s top campaign surrogates, Terry McAuliffe, recently acknowledged that the campaign prefers that the former vice president stay “in the basement.”
The former Virginia governor and campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton in 2016 can be seen and heard making the remarks to a group of Virginia Democrats in a video obtained by Fox News.
“People say all the time, ‘Oh, we got to get the vice president out of the basement,'” McAuliffe told the Norfolk City Democratic Committee on a June 6 Zoom meeting. “He’s fine in the basement. Two people see him a day: his two body people. That’s it. Let Trump keep doing what Trump’s doing.
“It’s hard for the vice president to break through,” he continued. “You’ve got the COVID crisis. He’s not a governor, doesn’t have the National Guard. He’s not the president, doesn’t have the briefing room. He needs to come out strategically. And when he says something like he did on race relations two days ago, it needs to have a big impact — thoughtful, and that’s what we’re preferring that he actually do at the time.”
Terry McAuliffe Biden June 6 2020
“He’s doing a lot of local. He’s talking to two, three governors a day. He’s doing roundtables, Zoom calls,” McAuliffe added. “A lot of it’s being done in those six battleground states that we have going forward.”
Biden’s public appearances, even from his basement, have been limited since the start of the coronavirus pandemic earlier this year. In that time, the campaign has struggled getting the message out and the former vice president has made a series of gaffes.
Recently, in an interview with black radio host Charlamagne tha God, Biden suggested that African-American voters “ain’t black” if they don’t vote for him. Just a week later, he said that “10 to 15%” of Americans — or roughly 50 million individuals — are “not very good people.”
Yet despite the limited, gaffe-filled appearances, Biden appears to have risen to a sizable lead in the presidential race, based on recent polling, which is likely why McAuliffe is insisting that Biden stay “in the basement” and “let Trump keep doing what Trump’s doing.”
While Biden continues to shelter in place, Trump, on the other hand, has opted to ramp up public appearances. His campaign announced a restart to the boisterous “Make America Great Again” rallies this month.
The president has also called on Biden to emerge from his basement as the pandemic wanes.
“I’d love to see him get out of the basement so he can speak,” Trump told Fox News in a telephone interview last month.