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Why is Trump avoiding getting involved in the debate over Biden's health ?

Photo: Steve Helber Associated Press Donald Trump at a political rally in Chesapeake, Virginia on June 28

Camille Camdessus – Agence France-Presse in Washington

Posted at 7:40 a.m.

  • United States

Faced with growing speculation surrounding Joe Biden's state of health, Donald Trump is playing, in a very unusual way, the card of restraint.

While his Democratic rival is undoubtedly going through the worst week of his political career, the Republican candidate resisted the temptation to put him down in public.

No diatribe, no new killer nickname: Donald Trump, not really known for having his tongue in his pocket, has hardly commented on the storm that the Democratic president is facing around his candidacy.

He just boasted, in a few publications on his network, Truth Social, of having “annihilated” his rival during their televised duel on June 27.

Donald Trump's near silence is all the more surprising given that the Republican is usually the first to attack the 81-year-old president on his fitness.

In one of his favorite acts at campaign rallies, the showman with the famous red cap mocks the age of his rival. He plays a haggard, distraught Joe Biden, unable to get off stage, to the delight of his fans.

And says: “He is almost incapable of reading , to stand up! »

His camp has been saying for years that the American president is senile, with tendentious fabrications to back it up.

In an interview Monday evening with Fox News, Donald Trump soberly criticized Mr. Biden's performance during the debate, avoiding mention of a possible serious illness or attacking his mental health.

He added that he thought Mr. Biden would stay in the race.

“It was a strange debate, because right from the first two minutes, the answers he was giving didn’t make much sense,” he said. The Republican said he did not look at Mr. Biden during the debate, “except when he wandered off a little bit.”

When Asked if he thought Mr. Biden should step down, Mr. Trump responded, “Well, we prepared [for] him, but I don’t think it matters”

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“Deliberate” silence

So, how can we explain this change in posture ?

For Republican strategist Rob Burgess, the Republican candidate's virtual silence is absolutely “deliberate”.

Donald's opportunities are rare Trump, convicted criminally at the end of May in New York, to divert attention from his legal troubles. Or his positions, always very unpopular, on abortion.

“Why put yourself at the heart of a media whirlwind when it is not necessary ?” says Rob Burgess, member of Donald Trump's campaign team in 2016 and 2020, to AFP.< /p>

Is it also possible that Donald Trump, 78, will hold back for fear of being pitted against a younger candidate than Joe Biden in November ?< /p>

This is what David Axelrod, former Barack Obama strategist, insinuated.

“Trump doesn’t talk much of Biden's bad debate. His campaign does not advertise on this subject,” he said. “In your opinion, why such restraint ?” he wrote, with implication, on X.

See you in Milwaukee

In Florida, Tuesday, for one of his first campaign rallies since the debate, will Donald Trump resist the temptation to imitate a struggling American president ?

The Republican is to detail “how Joe Biden's failed presidency has had catastrophic consequences for Florida residents and Americans,” according to his entourage.

The event is scheduled on the outskirts of Miami, from 7 p.m.

On stage, the Republican should be accompanied by Marco Rubio, influential senator from Florida, who is on the list of three or four names that Donald Trump is considering as a vice-presidential candidate alongside him.

The profiles of Senator J.D. Vance and Governor Doug Burgum are also circulating, and the Trump camp was expected to formalize its choice in the coming days.

But, here again, the Republicans preferred to leave the spotlight on the trench warfare in which the Democrats are engaged , four months before the presidential election.

The name of Donald Trump's running mate will be revealed next week at the latest, when the Republican Party convention begins in Milwaukee. This major meeting will be an opportunity for Republicans to formally crown Donald Trump as the party's candidate. And to capture, again, a little light.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116