According The Washington Post, former President Obama had a private meeting with President Biden this summer where he warned him that former President Trump is a “more formidable candidate” than many Democrats realize.
After speaking with two people familiar with the meeting, Washington Post White House reporter Tyler Pager wrote about the private lunch Obama had with Biden in June during which the former president told Biden not to underestimate Trump and pledged to support Biden’s re-election bid.
According to the sources, Obama “voiced concern about Donald Trump’s political strengths — including an intensely loyal following, a Trump-friendly conservative media ecosystem and a polarized country — underlining his worry that Trump could be a more formidable candidate than many Democrats realize.”
As such, the 44th president “promised to do all he could to help the president get reelected,” which, Pager added, “was a welcome gesture for the White House at a time when Biden is eager to lock down promises of help from top Democrats.”
The lunch was reportedly one of the two leaders’ regular “catch up” meetings, where they discuss “range of political, policy and personal matters, including updates about their families.”
Pager wrote, “The White House said there was no specific agenda for the June 27 meeting,” though Trump’s polling and continued hold over the Republican Party was a major topic.
The report said, “During their lunch, Obama made it clear his concerns were not about Biden’s political abilities, but rather a recognition of Trump’s iron grip on the Republican Party.”
Regarding Obama’s pledge to help Biden’s campaign, Pager noted how the former president’s aides say he “will reprise his playbook from recent elections.”
The article reminded readers of the Obama election strategy from recent years, stating, “In 2020 and 2022, Obama held large rallies in swing states, hosted fundraisers for Biden and other Democratic candidates and cut ads in some of the most competitive congressional races.”
Pager added, “He also appeared in nontraditional settings aimed at connecting with young voters, such as ESPN’s Manningcast during ‘Monday Night Football,’ collaborations with TikTok influencers and an interview during the NBA Finals.”
When asked by The Post about the lunch, senior Obama adviser Eric Schultz declined to comment, though he did confirm, “Obama will tailor his campaign activity to maximize its effect.”
Schultz provided The Post a statement, which read, “We place a huge emphasis on finding creative ways to reach new audiences, especially tools that can be directly tied to voter mobilization or volunteer activations. We are deliberate in picking our moments because our objective is to move the needle.”
According to people familiar with Obama’s campaign plans, the former president will begin fundraising for Biden this fall.
In a recent statement, Biden campaign spokesperson TJ Ducklo claimed, “President Biden is grateful for his unwavering support, and looks forward to once again campaigning side-by-side with President Obama to win in 2024 and finish the job for the American people.”
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