President Donald Trump has once again went against his advisers’ advice about engaging in a word – and Twitter – war with Joe Biden, now widely considered as the Democratic frontrunner for the 2020 presidential elections. His latest tweets also seem to show that he’s likely unnerved by the former Vice President’s growing support from unions, the latest of which was the endorsement from the country’s top firefighters’ union.
Biden received the International Association of Fire Fighters union’s endorsement. Biden has also said that, “I make no apologies: I am a union man.” He added that, “We have to rethink how we define what constitutes a successful economy. It’s not enough for the stock market to rise. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s just not enough. Workers feel powerless, too often humiliated.”
Instead of lifting up America, “we’re tearing” it apart he further said.
Trump wrote four tweets that disparaged both Biden and union leaders. Several of Trump’s political advisers reportedly have warned him against these exact actions due to their concerns about increasing the popularity of a potential political rival.
But Trump being a regular Twitter user, he issued four successive tweets on Monday.
His first tweet of the day pertaining to the issue was, “Sleepy Joe Biden is having his first rally in the Great State of Pennsylvania. He obviously doesn’t know that Pennsylvania is having one of the best economic years in its history.”
He then quickly followed it with another tweet just four minutes after, “The Dues Sucking firefighters leadership will always support Democrats, even though the membership wants me. Some things never change!”
But Biden wasn’t taking things – and the tweet – sitting down, Within hours after Trump’s tweet, he tweeted, “I’m sick of this President badmouthing unions. Labor built the middle class in this country. Minimum wage, overtime pay, the 40-hour week: they exist for all of us because unions fought for those rights. We need a President who honors them and their work.”
The Twitter war between the two political leaders may have been going on for a while but with the upcoming elections, it has obviously intensified.
Not to be outdone, Trump tweeted about the topic on Monday afternoon: “Pittsburgh jobless rate hits lowest point since the early 1970s (maybe even better than that) and Sleepy Joe Biden just had his first rally there.”
In recent weeks, Trump has been advised against getting sucked into a one-on-one word war with the Democratic Party’s top presidential contenders including Biden. His political advisers were understandably mindful that word war on social media and traditional media this early can result in the Democratic contenders’ increased popularity among voters. But it was only a matter of time before Trump took to Twitter to express his views and the tweets have kept on coming.
With Trump taking on Biden, the perception that the former vice president will become a significant threat to the Republican president may have been reinforced. The campaign operatives behind Trump’s reelection efforts are cautious about weighing in on the Democratic presidential nomination process.
Trump engaging Biden in a one-on-one Twitter exchange has been likened to the President playing into the hands of the Democratic Party.
But not all of Trump’s aides, advisers and allies are too concerned about the word war and the President’s possible role in elevating Biden. Jason Miller, for example, believes that Trump taking shots at Biden was the right thing to do.
The former top communications adviser to the President’s campaign and transition, he added that, “Everyone in the media is going to be covering today’s Joe Biden event and they’re going to be talking about Joe Biden, so why miss the opportunity to help frame the debate?”
The Trump campaign operatives, of course, have released statements disparaging top Democratic candidates nearly as soon as they enter the race. But according to sources, they aren’t planning on going after specific candidates during the primary process.
Trump being the top strategist in his reelection campaign, his aides will most likely follow wherever he wants the campaign to go. This early, Trump has singled out Biden.
Biden, for his part, launched his campaign through a video blasting Trump about his response to the 2017 white supremacist and neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump said that there were “very fine people on both sides” that further ignited the debate about the increasing threat of white supremacist movements in the country.
The President added fuel to the fire when he defended his response. He said, “If you look at what I said you will see that that question was answered perfectly.” He also praised former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as among the “great generals”.
The word war can be traced back, in part, to Biden’s run for the Democratic nomination. He said that he’s aiming to build on Obama’s base by attracting white working-class voters, particularly in the states where his party lose its support during Obama’s administration.