Trump's re-election team turns its focus back to Joe Biden

Following the former vice president's big Super Tuesday wins, Trump and his allies return to familiar attacks on the new Democratic delegate leader.

WASHINGTON — As quickly as his pivotal political comeback in South Carolina resurrected Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and catapulted him to success on Super Tuesday, it also renewed an urgency for the Trump campaign to reload its attacks against the former vice president.

For the better part of 2019, President Donald Trump’s allies treated Biden as the presumptive front-runner and spent considerable time and resources criticizing him. The president's own focus on Biden as a potential general election opponent was the focus of his impeachment in the House of Representatives (and later acquittal in the Senate) for attempting to pressure the Ukrainian president to launch, or at least announce, an investigation into unproven allegations against Biden and his son, Hunter.

In recent weeks, as Biden's fortunes in the Democratic primary were dimming, the Trump team's focus shifted towards to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as he racked up victories or near-wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. "Socialism" and "crazy Bernie" references outnumbered "sleepy Joe" at his rallies and in GOP talking points.

Now, as the sometimes pundit-in-chief acknowledges, Biden has bounced back and the Trump re-election team is working to slow his momentum in the hopes of a drawn-out Democratic nomination fight. “He is just as terrible a candidate right now as he was a few days ago,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said of Biden in a statement after Super Tuesday.

Trump himself, however, predicted Biden would eventually prevail during a Fox News town hall on Thursday, coincidentally held in Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pennsylvania. The president said he was “all set” to take on Sanders before Biden’s impressive campaign revival, wagering that “Bernie would be tougher” as the nominee because of his fervent following.

Despite the public bravado, senior campaign officials have long been concerned privately about a head-to-head matchup against Biden in the general election, specifically in key Rust Belt states.
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