"What he's doing is elevating Joe Biden and basically turning this into a one-on-one between himself and Joe Biden 18 months ahead of time," Maggie Haberman said.
April 30, 2019

CNN's New Day talks about Donald Trump's growing fixation on Joe Biden with White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.

"You know who is looking at the Biden candidacy very closely?" John Berman said.

"I think I know where you're going with this," Haberman said.

"I think it's the president of the United States. He's all over Twitter. He seems to be fixated on Joe Biden as a candidate. What is going on here? Are the president's advisers happy about this? You can make a case this is elevating Joe Biden," Berman said.

"Some are happy and are encouraging him, and I think others think this is not the way you handle a new entrant into a massively crowded Democratic primary field, when the party is figuring out who they want, how they want to challenge the president," Haberman said.

"Donald Trump believes he can brand anyone. He's watching the coverage, he's getting frustrated. He thinks what this race needs right now is him shaping it. What he's doing is elevating Joe Biden and basically turning this into a one-on-one race between himself and Joe Biden 18 months ahead of time. This is something you'd see a presidential candidate for re-election do in the summer of the election year, typically. This is taking place right now. It might not end up mattering, but this is not the way veteran political operatives would handle this."

"What is President Trump frustrated about, that Biden seems to be sticking it directly to him, or is he frustrated about the coverage?" Alysin Camerota said.

"A little of both. It's also that he thinks Biden can play to the white working class voters that elected him last time. Remember, we're talking about a couple tens of thousands of voters across Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania. That is what gave him the presidency. he is eyeing those constituencies very carefully. Joe Biden came out of this very clearly, out of the gate with his campaign, he is going to make an appeal for working class voters. He had the firefighters union. it is not the same as the AFL-CIO, but he is trying to send a message, and Trump is aware if that."

"Direct appeal of union voters to Biden is interesting. President Trump, in the campaign last time, did make a direct appeal to union voters," Berman said.

"Absolutely did. One of the, I think, underreported-on episodes in that campaign in the fall, it didn't relate to Russia or collusion, but it related to a lot of what Paul Manafort was involved in, playing on decades-old political contacts, where he was trying to pave some ground for Donald Trump with people he knew within the AFL-CIO. You know, people within the Trump campaign always claimed it helped. I don't know if we're going to know whether it did or didn't. At minimum, it gave them some link toward union workers, who they badly wanted."

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