How low will Trump go?: Jake Tapper wonders how Joe Biden will escape Trump’s bad behavior

CNN host Jake Tapper noted that for "months and months" President Donald Trump's team has been diligently working to set the bar so low for Vice President Joe Biden that they're finally realizing their horrific mistake.


With the expectations that Biden is mentally unfit, suffering from dementia, or being controlled by "people in dark shadows," Biden has a strong chance of out-performing President Donald Trump, who puts himself on an untouchable pillar of "stable genius."

"There's no doubt about it, Jake," said senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny. "Now, they're clearly trying to raise expectations for Joe Biden here. But it's certainly an example of the mixed messaging the Trump campaign, and indeed, the president himself, have employed as they've been trying to months trying to define Joe Biden. On one hand calling him sleepy and senile and raising the bar saying he has a lot of debate experience."

He noted that it's the reason that the Trump campaign has been struggling so much, because they can't come up with something to define Biden. The only attack that has taken off from the Trump team is the conspiracy theory that got Trump impeached, which doesn't attack Biden but attacks his son instead. As political strategists will say, if you're going after the candidate's family, you're losing.

Politico reporter Laura Barrón-López agreed that the Trump plan seems to be backfiring against Biden.

"I've also been talking to Republican pollsters who say that the Trump campaign for so long has pitched Biden as being an older man or out of step or slow, it could ultimately backfire if Biden delivers even a pretty stable performance," she explained. "One similar to what he delivered during the Democratic primary. Time and time again, Biden going into the Democratic primary debates was underestimated. And people thought that some of these dust-ups with the other candidates would ultimately hurt him. And then they saw that he prevailed and won the nomination."

Tapper noted that Biden's debate performances have been "fine" so far, even as his Democratic opponents ripped him to shreds in debate after debate.

"I wonder if the Republicans are regretting setting the bar so low," Tapper said.

Zeleny said that it's clear the GOP is scrambling to fix the problem they created for themselves.

"They're certainly now starting to raise the expectations. Jake, I'm thinking back to the debate that Joe Biden had in the 2008 campaign with Sarah Palin and [2012] Paul Ryan. And it is an unusual thing to be debating with ten people. That is not even like playing the same game. That's like playing football and basketball. This is the same game. The same plan here. We're going to see a contrast between President Trump and Joe Biden. You're going to see him weaving into answers some of the absurdities that the president said about the truth. it's really one of his last best chances for both of them here to reach tens of millions of Americans who will be voting."

Zeleny also said that Trump will be trying to get under Biden's skin by attacking him personally and going after his family.

Tapper noted that Trump has already done some of that by accusing Biden of being a pedophile, claiming his son somehow earned anywhere from $1 million, to $500 million to even $1 billion from the Chinese.

"Look, here's the other thing about Trump is that we have no idea what he's going to do," Tapper went on. "It won't be traditional. That's probably a good safe bet. But we're already being told that he's going to go at Joe Biden on a personal level, including going after his son Hunter. I mean, this is a president who literally has retweeted a tweet, accusing Joe Biden of being a pedophile. A false, disgusting smear that there's no evidence for whatsoever. I mean, is there any way that Joe Biden can escape, given how low Trump is obviously willing to go?"

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