Even Fox News Can’t Resist Biden’s Presidential Charm as GOP Voices Join Democrats
“The Democrats are trying to make this a referendum on Donald Trump, not his policies, not the issues, but on Donald Trump himself.”
As a celebrity, President Donald Trump has been forced to endure critics from all walks of life since before he took office. However, since entering the realm of politics by igniting the ‘birther movement,’ Trump could always count on is allies at Fox News to generally defend his character and policies. But after the Democratic National Convention closed Thursday, even Fox News can’t resist Biden’s presidential charm.
Fox Hosts Show Different Colors
Dana Perino, host of the network’s “The Daily Briefing,” was the first high-profile anchor to come out with stellar remarks for Democratic candidate Joe Biden. A former White House Secretary under the George W. Bush administration, Perino commended the former vice president saying “He just took the moment,” after his nomination acceptance speech, Fox News reported.
“He had pace, rhythm, energy, emotion, and delivery,” Perino said. “I think if he looks back, he could say that’s probably the best speech of his life.
Her single criticism was of Biden’s proposal to create green jobs by revoking Trump tax cuts. The Fox News host confided she was “not exactly sure how that works.” Although Biden didn’t elaborate in the speech, which Perino said was only 20% policy (the remainder “appealing to the heart”), Biden did in fact explain how it would work.
“[W]e can pay for these investments by ending loopholes and the president’s $1.3 trillion tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent and the biggest, most profitable corporations, some of which pay no tax at all,” Biden said in his acceptance speech on Thursday.
Perino’s confusion notwithstanding, she wasn’t the only Fox News host to join a growing chorus of GOP figures to express increasing approval of Biden. Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” has assumed a more liberal-oriented mindset at Fox News over the past year and he reinforced it by calling Biden’s speech “enormously effective.”
“Remember, Donald Trump has been talking for months about Joe Biden as [being] mentally shot, a captive of the left,” Wallace said. “And yes, Biden was reading from the teleprompter and a prepared speech, but I thought that he blew a hole, a big hole, in that characterization.”
For Wallace, Biden’s performance solidified his allure as a presidential figure, a notion that is grasping many traditional conservative figureheads who find themselves increasingly unable to resist Biden’s presidential appeal.
Former GOP National Security Officials Side With Biden
On Friday, a group comprising more than 70 former national security officials went public with their support for Biden. The twist: they all served either Republican administrations or the party directly, NBC News reported.
“While we — like all Americans — had hoped that Donald Trump would govern wisely, he has disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term,” the group said in a joint statement published on a website for their political action committee, Defending Democracy Together.
The group’s thesis includes 10 concise points they argue makes Trump unfit to serve as president including: “dishonoring the office of the presidency,” anti-immigrant policies, praising foreing dictators, and bungling the US response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Carrying the Message to All Who Will Listen
The statement was expected to be published in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, according to NBC News. Michael Green, former senior director of the National Security Council, elaborated on why the group felt the need to resist Trump in an op-ed piece for Foreign Policy. In particular, he cited Trump’s mishandling of China, a quickly rising American adversary.
“For those of us who have spent our careers advancing U.S. partnerships and prosperity in Asia, the prospect of another four years under Trump is particularly alarming,” Green wrote.
“Trump has confronted China by starting trade wars with everyone else. Major democratic powers including Japan, France, and Canada are desperate to work with the United States to blunt China’s predatory technology policies. There is an opportunity to forge an international coalition on 5G telecommunications, for example, that would set the rules for economic competition and technology dominance in the 21st century, but Trump would clearly rather play the theater of tariffs, unilateral threats, fake deals, and bluster.”
GOP Pollsters Witness Effect
The effect of Biden’s allure at the DNC convention has even reached Republican pollsters. One such analyst was Frank Luntz who noted how Biden “changed the narrative” from Trump’s policies to his character, CNBC reported.
“The Democrats are trying to make this a referendum on Donald Trump, not his policies, not the issues, but on Donald Trump himself,” Luntz said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Luntz proposed Trump should counter Biden’s approach by focusing on the Democratic challenger’s policies, but issued a warning that the president shouldn’t take it “too far with over-caffeinated rhetoric.”
For a president as bombastic and audacious as Trump, that could prove an Achille’s heel for the GOP come November.