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The 2020 Election is Now Being Played on President Trump's Turf

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

After months of being confined to his basement, Joe Biden was finally allowed out into the sunlight to deliver a speech in Pennsylvania about the recent riots plaguing American cities.

Until now, the Biden campaign strategy involved insulating Joe in the basement and avoiding any acknowledgment of the violence and anarchy. Why the sudden change of course and what does it mean?

It means the race is being played on President Trump’s turf now.

To date, interviews, speeches, and public appearances had been few and far between for Joe Biden. Even as President Trump spent time visiting swing states, the Biden campaign showed every intention of riding out the election at home. Abruptly, we’ve seen the strategy change and now we’re seeing Joe Biden slowly return back to the campaign trail.

Even after the strategy changed and the campaign planned to reintegrate Biden into society, his reemergence still got accelerated an entire week from the initial plan of post-Labor Day. In polling, however suspect, Biden’s maintained a comfortable lead. Why change a strategy that was apparently working?

It should be clear to everyone at this point that the Biden campaign got information saying there was a big problem. 

Biden's resurfacing is nothing more than a façade. He left his basement in Delaware to fly to Pennsylvania where he delivered a 12-minute speech, answered no questions from reporters, made a brief stop to deliver pizzas, and then retreated to his Delaware basement.

He’s traveling to speak to empty rooms. If he's not taking questions from local reporters, what's the point? He could have just stayed home and given these remarks virtually. Even when he did questions recently, he left it to staff to call on reporters giving the appearance of a screening process.

The only explanation for these trips from the former-VP is that the messaging from the Trump campaign about Joe Biden not leaving his basement is starting to stick. Americans want a strong leader in tough times. Real leaders don’t hide in the basement. 

 A leader would’ve spent the last several months demanding his team find a way to get him out of the basement and into American communities.  This is a race for the Presidency of the United States. If you want the title of Commander in Chief, you have to go get it. President Trump has been attacking this race with vigor as Joe Biden tries to run out the clock.

There’s also the complete reversal in strategy to have Biden speak out against the anarchy ravaging cities from coast to coast.

He’s spent months refusing to speak out against the radical left terrorizing cities out of fear it would cost him votes. When Biden was finally forced to comment, he failed to name Black Lives Matter, Antifa, or any of the primary violence-causing agitators, anarchists, rioters, arsonists, and looters from the left. He's still in denial about who is responsible. 

It’s clear as day that Biden is only speaking out now due to crumbling poll numbers.

President Trump has been advocating for law and order for months, warning us to beware of the people in our streets causing destruction. He’s the one who said from the very beginning it would be a statue one day but your business or home the next.

The President got bludgeoned in the press for taking a hard stance on law and order as Black Lives Matter and Antifa protests grew increasingly hostile and violent. Trump persisted in his tough stance and after 3.5 months, people are finally fed up with the destruction that has been constantly peddled by Democrats and the media as peaceful protests. After seeing footage of Kenosha, Wisconsin, the message is finally hitting home that these riots aren’t limited to cities like Minneapolis or Portland.

As the riots intensified, Joe Biden’s running mate publicly solicited funds to get the rioters and anarchists out of jail. Democrats and their surrogates have been in the media openly defending the violence in the streets. Allies in the media, like CNN’s Chris Cuomo, said on air: “Show me where it says protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful.” 

Biden’s only option now is to claim it’s all happening in Trump’s America. But look where this anarchy is happening. This lawlessness is taking place in Democratic-controlled cities and states. When President Trump has offered federal help, those offers have been publicly rejected by Democratic leaders in publicity-stunts as their cities burn. Now, Biden wants to blame Trump for the unrest and violence? That’s not going to work. He's been completely thrown off his game.

When a candidate makes a complete about-face, the response from the public is either uncertainty where the candidate stands or more commonly a belief the candidate is fake. That’s why Biden feigning a hardline stance against violence now won’t hold water with voters. 

If President Trump came out today and labeled himself the best candidate for big government policies to fight climate change, rightly, nobody would believe him. Similarly, why would Joe Biden expect anyone to believe he’ll be the candidate to get tough on these riots?

After President Trump said he was going to Wisconsin the predictable reaction from Democrats and the liberal media was that Trump would only make the situation worse. The Democratic leaders in Wisconsin said the President was only going to stoke division. Why? Because they’re afraid he’s going to look strong and presidential while Joe Biden watches from his basement window.

As football coach Herm Edwards famously put it: “you play to win the game.” For months, Joe Biden has been playing not to lose. Now, he’s had to completely reverse course and will be forced to play the fourth quarter on President Donald Trump’s terms.

Evan Berryhill is a lawyer and a political / communications strategist at GOPAC. Formerly, he worked as a communications staffer on Capitol Hill.

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