- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 16, 2020

President Trump’s reelection campaign is hoping to flush Joseph R. Biden out onto the campaign trail by accusing him of hiding from the public eye.

Polls show the 2020 election is shaping up to be a referendum on Mr. Trump’s first four years in office, and his team is hoping to shift some of the spotlight onto Mr. Biden, who has picked and chose his interactions with voters and the media over the past few months.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said Tuesday Mr. Biden would rather stick with the basement campaign than expose himself to scrutiny that traditionally comes with having a more visible presence on the campaign trail.

“It is now established that Joe Biden prefers campaigning from the comfort of his basement in Wilmington, DE instead of traveling the country meeting voters and making the case for his candidacy,” Mr. Murtaugh said. “This is obviously a tactic to help him avoid errors and embarrassing, lost trains of thought, while also conveniently preventing the press corps from asking him any questions in person.”

Mr. Biden has started hosting more campaign events after spending most of the past three months holed up in his basement in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He relied on getting his message out via virtual events and fundraisers.

Still, he stumbled at times, including when he told “Breakfast Club” host Charlamagne Tha God that black voters who support Mr. Trump “ain’t black.”

His recent return to the campaign trail also has featured some iffy moments.

With Mr. Biden up in most polls, some Democrats are hoping he sticks with the basement game plan.

“We hope that the media joins us in calling on Joe Biden to end his self-imposed isolation and give Americans what they deserve — a thorough examination and vetting of a man who wants to be president,” Mr. Murtaugh said.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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