The Note: Oppo takes toll on Biden’s veepstakes contenders
The TAKE with Rick Klein
If this isn’t the week that former Vice President Joe Biden names his running mate — and it’s looking like it won’t be — this may be the week that she gets defined.
Team Biden has felt no particular urgency about filling out the ticket, with the nation occupied with other matters that continue to damage President Donald Trump’s standing almost by themselves.
But the veepstakes abhors a vacuum. The wait has unleashed opposition research from friend and foe alike, adding uneasiness to the highest-stakes decision Biden has had to make in his campaign
Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., is acknowledging a “lesson learned” on Cuba policy and is explaining a 2010 speech at a Church of Scientology. Her fellow Californian, Sen. Kamala Harris, is enduring more than her share of blind quotes and not-so-coded sentiments that seem to be aimed at nudging Biden in a different direction.
Meanwhile, a group of prominent Black clergy leaders are warning Biden that there’s “no substitute for a Black woman” on the ticket, after a range of progressive groups put down similar markers.
Biden is even being attacked on the airwaves by a pro-Trump group over the apparent lack of a Latina on his short list. The Spanish-language ad is making the false claim that Biden has committed to choosing a Black running mate.
Biden has grown used to setting his own pace throughout the campaign. But with just two weeks left before his convention, the coming time crunch could fray party unity at a moment his campaign needs it most.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
Local governments cannot print money. So, when unemployment skyrockets and tax dollars dry up, local budgets suffer.
Despite punting major public health decisions to local jurisdictions and abstaining from drafting or implementing a national plan for reopening schools, Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnucnhin told ABC’s Martha Raddatz the Trump administration was not going to “bail out” states.© Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, speaks to reporters at the Capitol with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a COVID-19 relief bill, Aug. 1, 2020, in Washington.
“The Democrats, right now, are insisting on over a trillion dollars to state and local governments. That’s something that we’re not going to do — to bail out those states that had financial issues,” he said.
With expanded unemployment benefits now officially expired for millions of Americans, the issue of funding local governments during this time of need is just one of many sticking points in the ongoing and slow negotiations for the next wave of coronavirus legislation between Republicans and Democrats in Washington.
Republicans say they will not send federal taxpayer dollars to states whose budgets were in the red long before the pandemic, a number of which have fiscally-strained state pensions.
Both sides Sunday expressed despair and frustration, and a deal still felt far off.
This week, with the start of the new month, many families will face the threat of eviction and teachers will look to move desks and buy masks themselves.
The TIP with Will Steakin
Three months to go until Election Day, and only weeks before early voting begins in some key states, Trump’s re-election campaign will once again look to reboot its strategy this week following a July filled with big staffing shake-ups and sinking poll numbers.
Trump’s team is set to debut a string of new ads targeting Biden after taking the drastic step to pull all TV spending for days amid an internal strategy “review” ordered by newly installed campaign manager Bill Stepien, sources tell ABC News.
The Trump campaign is coming to grips with Biden being a far more difficult target than their 2016 opponent Hillary Clinton, and moving forward it will look to zero-in on early voting states with messaging that reiterates Trump as the law and order president while targeting Biden as a puppet for the far left, sources said.© Alex Wong/Getty Images President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the James Brady Briefing Room of the White House, July 30, 2020.
But the move highlights the dire straights in which the president finds himself politically; less than 100 days out, the campaign is still searching for an effective way to target Biden, who despite facing a self-described Death Star-level onslaught of attack ads for months, has maintained an 8+ point advantage nationally, according to FiveThirtyEight’s average.
Still, with nearly $300 million in cash on hand as of June 30, the president’s team has a lot of money to drop on persuading voters ahead of November — even with time starting to run out.