And it was a stark contrast to Trump, who traveled to Charlotte, North Carolina, Thursday afternoon to give a talk focused on health care and then to Jacksonville, Florida, for a rally.
In Jacksonville on Thursday night, Trump mocked Biden for calling early.
“Assuming he never campaigns and wins, you know how bad I feel? I work hard and you have to work hard,” Trump said of Biden.
Trump and Republicans have sought to understand Biden’s relatively sparse agenda, accusing him of hiding in his basement – where his campaign in the early days of the pandemic set up a camera so he could watch live events and sit down for interviews. Some Democratic candidates and officials have complained privately that Biden’s lack of action and his campaign decision to avoid the usual door-to-door control have put the party at a disadvantage.
But Biden’s aides say the former vice president is shaping the behavior advised by public health officials in the pandemic – and that voters will believe him in a responsible approach.
A look at seven days of campaign planning for both Biden and Trump – Monday through Sunday – underscores their divergent approaches: Biden is methodically targeting voters, but is willing to watch the news as he quietly prepares to backstage for big moments like the upcoming discussion. Trump’s approach to the flood zone puts him on the campaign trail almost every day, making him the dominant figure in any news story – but he often dilutes his message as he sparks new controversy in front of crowds, largely ignoring public leadership. health in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
In this seven-day window, Biden made two trips out of Delaware – and his campaign has not yet said if more are planned. On Monday, he visited Manitowoc, near Green Bay, Wisconsin – an area where Biden’s campaign hopes to win voters who backed former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 but backed Trump in 2016 – to deliver a message based on the class targeting Trump financial record.
He was at home Tuesday in Wilmington, watching virtual fundraisers. On Wednesday, he visited Charlotte, North Carolina, for an economic summit with small business owners, educators and employees – an effort to reach Democratic-based voters in a state that has already begun voting.
In both Wisconsin and North Carolina, Biden also gave interviews to three local television stations, but received no questions from the national press traveling on his campaign.
On Thursday, he told reporters he was preparing for the upcoming conversation with Trump at his home in Wilmington, Delaware. And as of Thursday night, the only additional trip his campaign announced over the weekend is a Friday trip to Washington, DC, to mourn the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Biden’s campaign has long made it clear he is willing to stand up to ridicule over his public program and does not see the former vice president needing to respond to any Trump attack or position himself as a major player in any national news.
Instead, aides said the campaign was looking for opportunities to send a message that would reach and engage voters in key areas – such as his economic speech in Wisconsin and other recent events focused on the Michigan auto industry. Tampa veterans Hispanic voters in Orlando – without diluting or distracting from this message.
Justin Nickels, the Democratic mayor of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, who met with Biden when he visited on Monday, said he knew Democrats would like to attend in person – but that they understood the pandemic makes the usual presidential campaign program of several large day until autumn impossible.
“I’ve been to a Packer game every year of my life, and this year I can’t. I’m disappointed, but at least I know I can watch it on TV. And that’s probably the best ratio for Wisconsin right now, “he said.
The Assistant argued that modeling the behavior suggested by public health experts during the pandemic – keeping events small and socially remote – is important to voters.
“Donald Trump’s facts only spread to voters that Trump still refuses to take this pandemic seriously, even after taking 200,000 American lives and destroying our economy,” said Biden spokesman Michael Ginn. “While Trump is playing politics with our health, Joe Biden is showing the American people how he would lead as President: listening to the experts, acting responsibly and doing everything he can to take control of this virus.”
Trump’s campaign responded by noting that Biden’s campaign journey is a relatively recent development – it has been largely off-road since the pandemic began in mid-March through the National Democratic Assembly in late August.
“If meeting with Americans across the country was not important, why did Joe Biden’s operators suddenly decide that the candidate should occasionally leave his basement to see voters?” said Trump campaign spokeswoman Courtney Parella.
Trump, meanwhile, has been much more visible: He visited Ohio on Monday, Pennsylvania on Tuesday, visited Florida and North Carolina on Thursday, and is scheduled to visit Virginia, Georgia, Florida and the next three. days.
Republicans said Trump campaign campaign rallies are boosting voter registration and the enthusiasm of the GOP base that could deliver Republicans and presidential candidates.
“Successful campaigns inspire people,” said Dallas Woodows, the former executive director of the North Carolina GOP. “I think you feel that when Trump does these things, and you know, he’s found a way to make it out and shorter. … You can just feel some energy coming from these things.”
He often attacks Biden in the wake of the campaign. But Trump also often sparks headlines over these gatherings and events: On Monday in Ohio, he continued to underestimate the impact of the coronavirus. In Pennsylvania on Tuesday, he carried out a racist attack on the representative of Minnesota, Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia. On Wednesday, he refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost to Biden.
The president seems to be targeting a different group of voters than Biden: his base, which shows the polls are overwhelmingly white and largely made up of men without college degrees.
His approach to the fall campaign suggests that his campaign sees its path to victory on November 3 as requiring greater participation from its largely rural, white base to offset the 2016 erosion among suburbs, the elderly and independent voters – and that he believes the way to reach these voters is a show of strength, providing full, wild crowds and an Air Force One backdrop despite the pandemic.
The cost of this approach is that much of the local and national news coverage of Trump rallies has focused on the fact that his crowds are packed together and largely unmasked.
Following a rally in Henderson, Nevada, where Trump’s campaign ignored state’s social distance rules banning large indoor gatherings, the Nevada company that hosted the rally was fined $ 3,000.
Trump’s campaign has largely ignored criticism that his rallies could spread the coronavirus.
“President Trump and we trust the American people. We truly believe in this nation that loves freedom that the American people know how to take care of themselves, their families and their neighbors and care about their future. Vice President Mike Pence told ABC on Wednesday when asked about the rally.