Joe Biden’s campaign is facing criticism for now focusing on in-person canvassing after spending months avoiding it and criticizing Donald Trump’s campaign for holding events during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon said Thursday that “we’re now expanding on our strategy in a targeted way that puts the safety of communities first and foremost and helps us mobilize voters who are harder to reach by phone now that we’re in the final stretch.”
The strategy will focus on multiple swing states with several hundred volunteers canvassing in states like Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.
She is one of many Biden campaign and Democrat Party officials whose past comments are now revealing a ‘flip-flop’ of sorts on the issue of in-person campaigning in 2020, which the Trump campaign has been doing for months.
Biden campaign manager to @apalmerdc and @JakeSherman last month “I know the republicans want to say we have a million door knocks a week. Well that doesn’t really matter.”pic.twitter.com/Cn7haPedSX
O’Malley Dillon told reporters last month that “while you might hear our opponent spend a lot of time talking about the millions of door knocks or attempts that they’re making week to week, those metrics actually don’t have any impact on reaching voters.”
States director Jenn Ridder also downplayed the significance of in-person canvassing last month saying Trump’s voter outreach “fails to understand the concerns of Americans right now.”
“He is blatantly having events. He is blatantly going to doors,” she said.
Other political critics and media talking heads have taken their criticism further, questioning whether Trump’s refusal to slow down on in-person campaigning is dangerous during the pandemic.
The Trump campaign is risking the lives of their staff, the lives of voters, and risking becoming a super spreader organization during the middle of a pandemic. Sounds in line with how Trump is running the country. https://t.co/HWSPRjefAt
“The Trump campaign is risking the lives of their staff, the lives of voters, and risking becoming a super spreader organization during the middle of a pandemic. Sounds in line with how Trump is running the country,” DNC War Room senior spokesperson and advisor tweeted in August.
“This is a huge reversal for the Biden camp which attacked Trump camp for knocking,” Politico writer Alex Thompson tweeted in a string of messages.
Two months ago, BIDEN’s campaign attacked TRUMP’s for door-to-door canvassing, asserting it was “risking the lives of their staff, the lives of voters, & risking becoming a super spreader organization.”Now, Biden is launching door-to-door canvassing. https://t.co/FYRzv2Pl82
Trump campaign officials have also capitalized on the reversal to blast the former vice president and his party.
“Science hasn’t changed. Biden is pushing panic button!” Trump campaign senior advisor Jason Miller tweeted.
In the past 24 hours, Biden campaign:✅Embraced large crowds of supporters with no social-distancing.✅Announced plans for in-person canvassing door-to-door.They attacked @TeamTrump for these activities, calling it dangerous. Million dollar question: what has changed?!
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