- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2020

MSNBC’S Stephanie Ruhle said Wednesday that Joseph R. Biden may want to consider forming a “shadow government” if he wants to defeat President Trump’s reelection bid.

The “MSNBC Live” anchor told former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina that Mr. Biden needs to think “bigger” when it comes to “counter-programming” the Trump administration’s ability to speak directly to the American people via coronavirus press briefings.

Mr. Messina suggested getting former President Obama and high-profile Democrats should paint a stark “contrast” between the two men moments before Ms. Ruhle mulled various “shadow” options — including a “shadow SWAT team.”

“Do they need to do it in a bigger way?” Ms. Ruhle asked Wednesday. “What did you just call it? The president’s daily clown show? That’s his press briefing. Should Joe Biden be counter-programming that? Should he be creating his own shadow government, shadow cabinet, shadow SWAT team and getting up there at a podium every night saying, ‘here’s the crisis we’re in, here’s what we need to do to address this’?”

“Well, he’s done some of that, right?” Mr. Messina responded. “He’s released the most comprehensive plans of what to do during this COVID-[19] crisis. … As to, you know, his role in all this it’s tough, right?” 

Mr. Messina added that it was “really smart politics” of Mr. Obama to praise Vermont Sen. Bernard Sanders in his endorsement of Mr. Biden.

“Well, because he understands that Senator Sanders finished second in this race for the second time,” he said. “Millions of millions of Americans were excited about his candidacy. … Democrats just assumed [in 2016 that] everyone would get on board after the primary. … I think it’s really smart politics.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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