Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday predicted President Donald Trump will try to delay the 2020 presidential election in a ploy to snag a reelection victory.
“Mark my words, I think he is gonna try to kick back the election somehow, come up with some rationale why it can’t be held,” Biden said, according to a pool report of an online campaign event. “That’s the only way he thinks he can possibly win.”
Biden has repeatedly blasted the idea of delaying the general election, even after multiple states delayed primaries and caucuses due to the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats are pushing to expand mail-in voting for the general election to accommodate social distancing guidelines. But Senate Republicans and the Trump administration are resisting doing so, arguing it would be imposing federal guidelines in a domain reserved for the states.
Trump’s handling of the crisis has garnered fierce criticism, and the pandemic has failed to result in any bipartisan emergency support for the president seen in past crises. Public views on his leadership largely fall along party lines, polls show, and his critics have pointed to Trump’s insistence on policy that at times is at odds with his own health officials.
Biden often argues that elections were carried out during the Civil War and World War II, and that the country could still pull off an election during a pandemic. He has also previously said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that Trump “doesn’t have the authority to” delay the election, though “it’s possible they may start a drumbreat saying it should be postponed.”
The former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee made his remarks during a virtual fundraiser Thursday night featuring Kristin Chenoweth, Billy Porter and Melissa Etheridge. Biden has had to conduct his campaign events via video chat due to the pandemic.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh dismissed Biden’s remarks Friday as “the incoherent, conspiracy theory ramblings of a lost candidate who is out of touch with reality.”