Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday defended his light campaign travel schedule, maintaining that he’s not overconfident about his odds of defeating incumbent President Trump with one week to go until the November election.
“The reason it looks like we’re not traveling — we’re not putting on superspreaders,” Biden said when asked about his “light” campaign schedule. “We are doing what we’re doing here. Everyone is wearing a mask and trying the best they can to be socially distanced. It’s important to be responsible.”
Biden’s campaign pledged last week that he was “going to campaign aggressively” in the final 11 days before the election, but since the second and final debate on Thursday night, the candidate has only ventured out of Delaware a handful of times: to Pennsylvania on Saturday and again on Monday for an impromptu event 15 miles away from Wilmington.
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The candidate will stump in traditionally red Georgia on Tuesday, with two events scheduled in Warm Springs and Atlanta.
“He’s going to be all across the country in our battleground states,” Biden’s campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, told reporters last week. “He’s going to be fighting for every vote. You’re going to see him do in-person events. You’re going to see him do virtual events.”
The Trump campaign has frequently taken aim at Biden for his lack of campaign events — Trump has dubbed his Democratic opponent “basement Joe” — and reiterated that criticism Monday.
“No events for Joe Biden today???” Jason Miller, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign, tweeted. “He’s lid crazy!” (Calling a lid refers to a candidate or campaign indicating to the press that they will not hold any more events, typically for the remainder of the day).
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But Biden defended his campaign approach on Monday, saying he regularly works 12-hour days even if there are no public appearances on the schedule. He also noted that in the coming week he’ll make campaign stops in Wisconsin, Florida and Iowa.
Still, his campaign style has elicited some concerns from Democrats, who are wary of a 2016 repeat. Four years ago, Hillary Clinton was criticized for not holding enough campaign events or traveling to the pivotal battleground states in the critical final weeks leading up to the election. Famously, the former secretary of state did not visit Wisconsin and proceeded to lose the state by less than 23,000 votes.
Biden has visited Wisconsin just twice during the general election; he has not campaigned in the state since Sept. 20.
“There’s a lot we have been doing as well, in terms of being online, and everything from fundraising efforts to making sure we meet — I met today with a group of leaders in the Democratic party, laying out where we’re going to go, getting their input and the like, so we’re constantly, there has not been a day that hasn’t been a 12-hour day yet,” Biden said Monday.
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Trump has held 48 events in swing states over the past 40 days, which includes the time when he tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized. Biden held 37 events during that same time period, according to a Politico analysis.
Biden said he hoped to win Pennsylvania “by the grace of God” and expressed confidence in his odds of winning Michigan and Wisconsin.
“I’m not overconfident about anything,” Biden said. “I just want to make sure we earn every vote possible. As you know, that ‘blue wall’ has to be reestablished.”
Trump, meanwhile, is focusing his efforts on the “blue wall” that he knocked down in 2016 when he defeated Clinton by winning Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The president regularly holds more than one campaign rally per day and frequently visits more than one state on his whirlwind campaign tour of the country.
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