Politico columnist Jonathan Martin hammered President Biden's re-election strategy on Monday and argued that reportedly calling former Obama adviser David Axelrod a "prick" in private was not going to win him votes.
Martin also criticized Biden's decision to debate poll results with the White House press corps, adding that it wouldn't make his victory in 2024 any likelier.
"Calling David Axelrod ‘a prick,’ as a person who has heard Biden use the word says he does in private, is not a strategy to win 270 electoral votes. And repeating a PG version of the same animus in public while litigating polling with the White House press corps also won’t make Biden’s reelection any likelier," Martin wrote.
Axelrod has mused aloud whether it is "wise" for Biden to seek re-election as he faces grim swing-state polls and Democratic fretting over his age and ability to again defeat former President Trump. Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy asked Biden about polling that showed him trailing Trump in battleground states last week.
"Because you don’t read the polls — there are 10 polls — eight of them I’m beating him in. You guys only do two. CNN, New York Times, check it out. We’ll get you a copy," Biden responded.
Martin said the biggest causes for concern among voters and "Democratic elites" were Biden's age and the cost of living.
"For Biden to use fundraisers, as he did Thursday, to deny his difficulties and complain about press coverage may be therapeutic, but it doesn’t make him any likelier to defeat Trump once more," Martin added.
He said that the 2024 election would be "extraordinary."
"The oldest president in history when he first took the oath, Biden will not be able to govern and campaign in the manner of previous incumbents. He simply does not have the capacity to do it, and his staff doesn’t trust him to even try, as they make clear by blocking him from the press. Biden’s bid will give new meaning to a Rose Garden campaign, and it requires accommodation to that unavoidable fact of life," Martin continued.
Axelrod told CNN on Sunday that the president's "age issue" was the one thing hanging over him.
"The one number in the polling that was concerning, and in the CNN poll that followed after The New York Times poll, had to do with age, and that is one thing you can’t reverse no matter how effective Joe Biden is behind the scenes. In front of the camera, what he’s projecting is causing people concerns, and that is worrisome," Axelrod said.
Martin also suggested that the president appoint former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help facilitate a peace process in the Middle East.
In addition, he called on President Biden to take a proactive stance on his son Hunter Biden's legal problems.
"And it may be the most painful act he takes as president, but Biden should clear the air the best he can when it comes to his son Hunter’s business dealings. Whenever Hunter Biden has a legal resolution, which the president may want to encourage sooner rather than later, schedule an interview with this White House’s favorite ‘60 Minutes’ interlocutor and answer every question," Martin advised.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
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