Democratic Insiders Say Biden Should Not Address Trump Charges

With indictments and criminal charges against former President Donald Trump piling up, critics and allies alike are uncertain about how these legal challenges will impact his 2024 White House bid.

While some of his GOP presidential primary rivals are already using the cases to make the point that he should not be elected to serve a second term, others are echoing his own assertion that the charges merely highlight the political biases of the prosecutors involved.

“It would be much easier for me to win this election if Trump weren’t in the race, but I stand for principles over politics,” said Vivek Ramaswamy last month. “I commit to pardon Trump promptly on January 20, 2025 and to restore the rule of law in our country.”

Meanwhile, the current predicament might seem to be a perfect opportunity for President Joe Biden to score some political points ahead of a likely 2020 rematch against Trump — but Democratic Party insiders are reportedly urging him to remain silent.

As allegations about corruption and bribery continue to dominate the latter half of Biden’s first term, many of his allies and advisers believe that addressing Trump’s legal situation would do more harm than good.

Former Democratic National Committee official Ivan Zapien, for example, advised that the “best bet for the Biden administration is to play it by the book rather than craft a strategy to deal with the legal cases,” adding that the president “should hande it the same way you would hug a porcupine — carefully.”

Other Democratic operatives agreed, including Eddie Vale, who said: “The correct move, and also the right political move, is for him to stay totally out of it, and let them do their jobs.”

The advice does not fall entirely along political lines, however. In fact, Republican Party operative Doug Heye is echoing these Democratic talking points while Democratic strategist Michael Ceraso has concluded that it would be risky for Biden to completely avoid the topic.

If Trump does not clinch the Republican presidential nomination, Ceraso said, the winner of the primary “can say Biden was quiet” when it came to discussing the Trump charges, potentially hurting the incumbent’s chances.

“I can see [Tim] Scott or [Nikki] Haley or [Ron] DeSantis making that point and it sticking,” he explained. “[Biden] can get hit for being mum in a time when we need leadership to say the hard things.”