Former Democratic Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe told a group of Democrats in a conference call several days ago that it was better for the party if presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden was kept “in the basement.”
The recording of the remarks, obtained by Fox News, also shows several people on the call smiling or chuckling afterward, although most people remain expressionless.
“People say all the time, ‘Oh, we’ve gotta get the vice president out of the basement.’ He’s fine in the basement,” said McAuliffe. “Two people see him a day, he has two body people — that’s that.”
“Let Trump keep doing what Trump’s doing. It’s hard for the vice president to break through,” continued the former governor. “You’ve got the covid crisis, he’s not a governor, doesn’t have a national guard. He’s not the president, doesn’t have a briefing room.”
“He needs to come out strategically and when he says something, like he did on race relations two days ago, it needs to have a big impact, thoughtful, and that’s what we’re preferring that he actually do at the time,” he said, noting the former vice president has been meeting virtually with local and state officials, particularly in battleground states.
On the other hand, President Donald Trump has encouraged Biden to make more public appearances, having told Fox News in a telephone interview last month that he’d “love to see him get out of the basement so he can speak,” reported ABC News. The Trump campaign, which also scaled back the president’s public appearances, is expected to announce Trump’s signature campaign rallies will resume within the next couple of weeks, according to Politico.
During the conference call, McAuliffe also reportedly assured Democrats that the 2020 election would not have the same problems as the 2016 election, remarking that “we’re not going to have crazy Jim Comey coming out 12 days before the election.” He also said that he was “likely” going to run for governor again, but was focused on re-electing Biden for the time being.
A CNN contributor, McAullife formally endorsed Biden shortly after he was projected to win the South Carolina primary, his first primary-season victory over his multiple runs for president.
“I’ve thought long and hard about this. For me, it’s about beating Donald Trump, and to me it’s an electability issue — who has the best shot of beating Donald Trump,” McAuliffe told CNN host Anderson Cooper.
However, the former Democratic governor also hosted a fundraiser for Biden at his home in late 2019, so the development wasn’t exactly surprising, as has been reported by the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Dorothy McAuliffe, the former governor’s wife, was also a surrogate for Biden prior to the endorsement, and her name appeared last year in a list of bundler’s who raised at least $25,000 on behalf of the Biden campaign.
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