Anxious conservatives and Republican operatives are desperate to use Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court hearings to save their party in the 2020 election -- but President Donald Trump is making their job more difficult.
In interviews with The Daily Beast, conservatives said that they had hoped Trump would keep quiet this week to keep the focus on Supreme Court hearings that could bring reluctant GOP voters back into the fold.
However, the president predictably blew all that up on Monday night when he held a rally in Florida in which he falsely claimed that he was "immune" from the novel coronavirus, which so far has killed more than 215,000 Americans in just eight months.
"Any time he is not on the front page, at this point, is helpful," veteran GOP strategist Alex Conant tells The Daily Beast. "[He] needs this election to be about something other than his own tweets and handling of COVID. Every time he steps on to the White House porch, the story is about him ignoring what his doctor has told him."
In contrast to nervous Republicans, Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told The Daily Beast that he hopes the president keeps holding rallies.
"With each appearance Donald Trump is providing an avalanche of reminders for why his presidency has been a train wreck for families: he has ramped up attacks on science, he keeps proudly attempting to tear the American people apart for perceived political gain, and he still has no intention of taking the pandemic seriously -- even after 8 devastating months and contracting the virus himself," he said.