With two weeks until Election Day, Trump and his allies have zeroed in on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, launching vicious attacks and accusing the entire Biden family of corruption.
Some vulnerable Republican incumbents don’t think these attacks will move the needle toward Trump and, apparently, believe the commander in chief should pivot to more important issues, such as the economy, if he wants his party to win.
Sen. John Thune of South Dakota argued that the conservative base is already galvanized, suggesting Trump should try to appeal to undecided voters.
“He’s given the base lots of red meat, so they are, I think, sufficiently motivated. I think that you have to prosecute the case against the Democrats to win those people over in the middle that are going to decide this election.”
Thune added that Trump should not overplay his hand with regard to the alleged scandals involving the younger Biden because such charges could easily backfire.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said the presidential race seems to have turned into a personality contest, which could harm both Trump and the GOP.
He said if the election “were a contest of what policies are better to help the economy and help restore our jobs, I think the president would be winning supermajorities.”
Indiana Republican Mike Braun said Trump should, instead of just attacking Biden, discuss his administration’s policies at the upcoming presidential debate because “there’s a lot you could talk about in terms of what’s been accomplished.”
Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri echoed Braun’s sentiment, saying Trump should “talk more about what he has done and what he’s going to do” as opposed to just responding to “whatever topic comes up.”
According to The Hill, some Republican Party insiders fear the president will “go off-message” in the final stretch of the campaign, which could not only worsen his standing, but also jeopardize the GOP majority in the upper chamber.
Trump has indeed struggled to stay on message. Earlier this week, he slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which sparked strong backlash from GOP leadership.
Observers have warned that Trump’s focus on Hunter Biden could backfire. Notably, pollster Frank Luntz recently said the commander in chief and his campaign should focus on the economy and the coronavirus pandemic if they want to win.