Trump goes quiet as Biden flounders under pressure to step down

Washington DC - Since announcing his White House bid, Donald Trump has taken every opportunity to paint President Joe Biden as so weak and compromised that he would struggle to make it to November's election, let alone serve another four years.

Donald Trump (pictured) has gone uncharacteristically quiet as President Joe Biden struggles to assuage fears that he is not prepared to hold over for another four years.
Donald Trump (pictured) has gone uncharacteristically quiet as President Joe Biden struggles to assuage fears that he is not prepared to hold over for another four years.  © JIM WATSON / AFP

Yet, with the Democratic president suffering perhaps the worst week of his political career, his Republican rival appears to have resisted what must have been a potent urge to get out in public and gloat.

Trump's rally in Doral, Florida, on Tuesday will be his first public event in 11 days and only the second since Biden's prime-time televised meltdown at their June 27 debate in Atlanta that upended the election campaign.

Americans have become accustomed to the drumbeat of Trump's brash campaign rhetoric from the podiums of sports arenas, the precincts of courthouses, and conservative cable news studios – and when it stops, they notice.

Trump challenges Kamala Harris to multiple debates: "It's very important"
Donald Trump Trump challenges Kamala Harris to multiple debates: "It's very important"

"Trump's not talking much about Biden's bad debate. Trump's campaign is not blitzing ads about it," Democratic former White House aide David Axelrod noted on X Monday. "And Lara Trump said last week it would be an affront to democracy if Biden were not the nominee. Question: Why do you think they are uncharacteristically holding fire?"

The answer may simply be that the twice-impeached felon with civil court adjudications for sexual assault and widespread fraud has understood that sometimes, less is more.

"When your opponent is self-immolating, the wise thing to do is stay out of his way," said author, PR consultant, and former White House correspondent Ron Fournier.

Trump steps back as Biden struggles to convince voters

Joe Biden has failed to assuage fears that, at 81, he is simply no longer able to make the case against another Trump term.
Joe Biden has failed to assuage fears that, at 81, he is simply no longer able to make the case against another Trump term.  © IMAGO / ZUMA Press Wire

Since his widely-panned debate, Biden has failed to assuage fears that, at 81, he is simply no longer able to make the case against another Trump term – let alone lead the free world into the year 2029.

The president has said only the "Lord almighty" could persuade him to quit the race but clamor has been intensifying for a less heavenly intervention as a small but growing group of Democratic lawmakers has called on him to step aside.

All the while, Trump has passed up opportunities for his share of the limelight, preferring to go golfing in New Jersey than to generate headlines that could detract from Biden's tailspin.

Trump launches fundraiser after Biden drops out: "He just quit the race in complete disgrace!"
Donald Trump Trump launches fundraiser after Biden drops out: "He just quit the race in complete disgrace!"

He has even refrained from naming a running mate – a big political set-piece that could have garnered days of headlines ahead of next week's Republican nominating convention in Milwaukee.

"When Donald Trump makes a lot of noise and aggravates a lot of people, that's one thing," Democratic former New York governor David Paterson told local radio station WABC 770 on Sunday.

"But I think in this particular case, his silence indicates that, 'Why say something when everything's going my way and the Democrats are all over themselves?'"

Democrats weigh options amid Trump's boost in polls

Donald Trump (l.) saw a boost in the polls over Joe Biden following their disastrous debate.
Donald Trump (l.) saw a boost in the polls over Joe Biden following their disastrous debate.  © IMAGO / Newscom / EyePress

None of this is to say that Trump has been completely silent.

In the days after the debate, he has been his usual prolific self on his social media platform, Truth Social – relentlessly posting and reposting videos, newspaper articles, and allies' remarks on Biden's job performance and competency.

And even the new, restrained Trump has still been indulging in the occasional baseless smear – posting about his "crooked" opponent and the "fascist" Biden administration while reintroducing the nickname "Sleepy Joe."

Most Democrats see Biden's vice president, Kamala Harris, as the obvious replacement should he decide to quit the race, although several of the party's 23 state governors would also be in contention.

A poll released by CNN a few days after the debate found that Trump had an edge of 47% support to 45% in a matchup against Harris. His lead against Biden was a much wider 49% to 43%.

His rally will be the first opportunity since the clamor for Biden's withdrawal began gaining momentum to twist the knife in front of the TV cameras – or pull punches for an opponent he sees as critically wounded and an easier kill in November.

The event announcement hinted at a focus on immigration and the economy, two weaknesses for the Democratic president, with Trump underscoring how "Biden's failed presidency is having catastrophic consequences on Floridians and Americans alike."

"Four more years of President Trump will rescue Floridians from drowning in the Biden economy, revive the American dream, secure America's borders, stop the flow of deadly fentanyl, restore law and order in our communities, and Make America Great Again!" it said.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Press Wire & Jim WATSON / AFP

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