Biden positions itself as the opposite pole to Trump
Tuesday, June 9, 11:01 a.m .: In the toughest months of the corona crisis, Joe Biden was barely visible. The designated presidential candidate of the US Democrats had withdrawn in his house, he could hardly make himself heard against President Donald Trump. The situation has changed completely as a result of the violent death of African American George Floyd. While the aggressively acting Trump has come under massive criticism amid the protests against police violence and racism, Biden positions himself as his counterpart – as a listener and reconciler.
The ex-vice president met Floyd’s family in Houston, Texas on Monday. At the funeral of the black man, who had been killed in a brutal police operation in Minneapolis two weeks ago, Biden wanted to address the mourners in a video speech on Tuesday.
Over the past few days, the 77-year-old, who de facto secured the Democratic presidential nomination in the November election, has repeatedly called on the population to unity – and accused Trump of dividing the country and turning it into a “battlefield”.
The former deputy of the first black US President Barack Obama has promised to tackle the problem of deep-rooted racism in the country with determination. Even before the Floyd case, Biden had made empathy a central pillar of his politics. This is important to many people after Floyd’s shocking death. And it is a clear demarcation from Trump, who is known to have a hard time sympathetic words.
In any case, the contrasts between the presidential rivals could hardly be clearer than these days. Trump has repeatedly fueled tensions in the country since Floyd’s death. In the face of riots on the sidelines of the mostly peaceful demonstrations, the self-proclaimed “President of Law and Order” threatened looters with firearms.
He dispersed peaceful demonstrators outside the White House and even threatened to deploy them. For many – including in the armed forces and Trump’s conservative camp – the president clearly went too far.
Good polls for Biden – but Trump benefits from unemployment
The Republican’s approval ratings have recently dropped further. According to a recent poll by the news channel CNN, only 38 percent of the citizens of Trump approve of their office. 65 percent of those questioned said that dealing with the protests did more harm than good. 63 percent criticize the right-wing populist’s handling of the racism problem.
In nationwide surveys, the president fell significantly behind Biden. On average, the incumbent is almost eight percentage points behind the ex-vice president popular with blacks, the CNN survey even sees a difference of 14 points. Even with core voters like evangelical Christians, the president recently lost support.
However, the polls five months before the election are only of limited significance. Trump has survived a number of scandals and impeachment proceedings largely unscathed during his tenure. The president even sold his handling of the corona crisis, which led to the highest death toll worldwide in the USA with more than 110,000 deaths, as a success.
Voters give Trump more economic competence than Biden, who, with his old age and susceptibility to promises, does not exude dynamism. Trump was most impressed by a surprising drop in the unemployment rate last week.
Political professor Daniel Gillion therefore considers Trump’s re-election to be anything but impossible. If the president turned serious to the problem of racism and further defused the corona crisis, he could live up to his reputation of the “Teflon man”, to whom nothing remains attached.
Political scientist Nadia Brown also points to Trump’s astonishing tenacity. “A cat has nine lives,” she says. “But Trump has twelve.”
Trump on Powell after criticism: “Pathetic” and bad for the United States
10:38 a.m .: US President Donald Trump has rejected former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s criticism of his office. At the same time, Trump accused the ex-chief diplomat of failure. “In his time he was weak and made every kind of concession to everyone – so bad for the United States,” Trump wrote on Sunday late that night (local time).
Powell, a Republican like Trump, was Secretary of State during President George W. Bush’s first term (2001-2005). He told CNN on Sunday that Trump was moving away from the constitution and would be “dangerous to our democracy, dangerous to our country.” “He’s lying about things and he gets away with it because people don’t hold him accountable,” said the ex-general, announcing that he would vote for Democrat Joe Biden in the November presidential election.
Trump said Powell gave the “fake news CNN” a “miserable interview.” As a minister, Powell was also completely wrong in his statements on weapons of mass destruction. “And do you know what this error cost us?” He added. Trump was alluding to the Iraq war that Bush started in 2003. The alleged weapons of mass destruction of the dictator Saddam Hussein were never found. Trump had previously described the Iraq war as a mistake.
Colin Powell and George W. Bush want to vote for Biden
Monday, June 8th, 10:36 am: Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell – a Republican – wants to vote for Democrat Joe Biden in the November US presidential election. That announced Powell on Sunday on the US channel CNN. George W. Bush also wants to vote for Biden, reports the “New York Times”, referring to confidants of the former republican president.
Ex-General Powell also criticized Republican President Donald Trump. Trump is moving away from the constitution and becoming “dangerous to our democracy, dangerous to our country,” Powell said. “He’s lying about things and he gets away with it because people don’t hold him accountable.” Powell had already voted for Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton in 2016; in 2008, he gave his own statements to Barack Obama and his Vice President Biden.
Trump immediately shot back on his favorite medium, Twitter. “Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction’? They didn’t, but we went to WAR! ”Trump wrote on Twitter. Powell was Secretary of State when the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. At the time, Trump had supported the war himself. A later tweet, in which Trump praises himself for his work, he initiated with the words: “Someone should tell the overrated Colin Powell, please.”
Numerous other former top politicians have criticized Trump in recent days for dealing with the protests following the death of African American George Floyd in a brutal police operation. Trump’s former Secretary of Defense James Mattis had called the president a splitter on Wednesday.
On Friday, Trump’s former chief of staff John Kelly joined Mattis’ criticism. Both Mattis and Kelly, like Powell, are former generals. Powell was Secretary of State from 2001 to 2005 under US President George W. Bush.
On Friday, several former U.S. Secretary of Defense opposed Trump’s threat to deploy the military over the U.S. protests. In a guest post published in the Washington Post, ex-Defense Ministers Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel, Aston Carter, and 86 other former defense policy officers and officers warned against using the military in ways that would undermine the constitutional rights of Americans.
Biden wins series of US primaries as expected
Thursday, June 4, 10.12 a.m .: Former US Vice President Joe Biden has won additional primaries in several states. The 77-year-old collected hundreds of additional delegate votes for his planned nomination as a Democratic presidential candidate.
The states of Indiana, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota as well as the US capital Washington had held primaries on Tuesday – amid the corona pandemic and the ongoing protests against racism and police violence in the country. According to preliminary results from Wednesday, Biden – as the only remaining presidential candidate of his party – won everywhere as expected.
Biden has already been designated as challenger by incumbent Donald Trump in the November presidential election. Biden’s official freestyle as a presidential candidate is to follow at a party conference in August. For a nomination, he needs at least 1991 regular delegates on his side. According to calculations by the US broadcaster CNN, Biden now has over 1900 votes following the recent votes. At one of the next primaries in June, he is likely to exceed the necessary threshold to secure the necessary majority for a nomination in a purely formal sense – possibly as early as next week. On June 9, primaries are scheduled in Georgia and West Virginia.
Several of the states that voted on Tuesday had originally planned the primaries, but postponed them to this date because of the Corona crisis. In one fell swoop a total of 479 delegate votes were distributed – 186 of them in Pennsylvania alone. According to the Democratic Party there, Biden in the state counted more than 90 percent of the constituencies to more than 77 percent of the votes. Left senator Bernie Sanders, who had left the Democratic race at the beginning of April, came to just under 19 percent in Pennsylvania.
When announcing his retreat, Sanders had announced that he would remain on the ballot papers for the remaining primaries in order to continue collecting delegate votes and thus at least gain influence over the content of the party conference, where the programmatic course is also being debated.
Biden has already assured Sanders a say there. Both teams have also set up joint working groups to work together on content-related concepts. The aim is to bring the party together in this way. Sanders has a clearly left agenda, Biden belongs to the moderate wing of the party. Leading Democrats have been demonstratively behind Biden in the past few months to pool all the forces of the party in the fight against Trump.
The US election campaign has been turned upside down by the corona pandemic. Rallies have been canceled for weeks because of the spread of the virus. Many primaries have been postponed, and the Democratic Party conference has been moved from July to August. It is unclear whether and when major campaign events can take place again. Many states have switched the area codes entirely to postal voting or at least significantly expanded this option.
Another crisis is currently emerging: demonstrations against police violence, racism and social injustice have been taking place in many US cities for days. The protests were triggered by the death of African American George Floyd after a brutal police operation in Minneapolis. Some of the demonstrations were violent. Trump recently announced that he would stop the riots with the military if necessary.
Biden sharply criticized his rival for dealing with the current crisis. “Donald Trump has turned our country into a battlefield torn apart by old resentments and new fears,” the ex-president said in a speech in Philadelphia on Tuesday (local time). He promised a different approach: “I will not act with fear and division. I will not kindle the flames of hatred.”
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