Washington Examiner

Karl Rove: Biden’s 2024 campaign ‘will leave no strong imprint’

Karl Rove Criticizes Joe Biden’s Reelection Debut


Former White House adviser
Karl Rove
panned President
Joe Biden’s
reelection debut as a “second basement campaign” that was largely a dud.

Although noting that President
Barack Obama
similarly began his 2012 election bid via a video, Rove expressed confusion at the strategy, considering concerns about Biden’s age and the turmoil in Congress on full display that will likely overshadow his announcement.

Missed Opportunity



MCCARTHY MAKES LATE-NIGHT CONCESSIONS ON DEBT CEILING AMID GOP REVOLT

“Tuesday’s video will leave no strong imprint, and news of the president’s announcement will be drowned out by the debt-ceiling fight in Congress, which heats up this week with a crucial House vote,” Rove
wrote
in a Wall Street Journal opinion article.

Biden’s video was released on the four-year anniversary of his 2020 campaign launch on April 25, 2019. He released an
announcement
early Tuesday morning with a pitch to let him “finish the job.”

But the announcement came on the heels of a debt ceiling fight in Congress in which House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) dominated attention with his proposal. He managed to wrangle it through the House on Wednesday by a slim margin.

Rove also emphasized that the announcement did little to allay consternation about Biden’s age. At 80, he is America’s oldest president ever and will be 86 by the conclusion of a hypothetical second term.

“Many doubt he can last another term. If he’s re-elected and serves four years, he would be 86 — older than all but seven former presidents ever lived,” Rove said. “You would think the president’s team would try assuaging the public’s concerns by putting a vigorous, sharp Mr. Biden on display in person. Instead we got a video.”

The contents of the video were also a missed opportunity, in Rove’s eyes, due to the president’s decision to appeal to the Democratic base rather than make an overture to independents.

  • Inflation ravaging family budgets
  • Recession worries
  • Russia’s war on Ukraine
  • The Chinese threat
  • Crime
  • The crisis at the southern border

were all missing from Tuesday’s video, according to Rove.


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Rove was widely regarded as a political star in the George W. Bush administration. He posited that Biden’s apparent repeat of the so-called “basement campaign,” in which he largely refrained from blockbuster events in the 2020 cycle, presents an opportunity for the GOP.

“What if Republicans keep focused on popular policies, as Mr. McCarthy is doing? What if the GOP decides it doesn’t want a rerun of 2020 and 2022 and leaves Mr. Trump on the sidelines? Democrats would need more than easily forgotten three-minute videos,” Rove said.



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