President Joe Biden's dark and divisive Thursday speech was not about America, but more about former President Donald Trump to try to turn the attention of the midterm voters to the past president rather than the struggles of the sitting one, according to presidential adviser Dick Morris on Newsmax.
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"The question is, why would Biden take these hits — take the risk of giving so incendiary and unpresidential and intemperate of a speech as president — and the answer is because he's essentially falling on his sword to bring the issue to Trump and making this issue all about Donald Trump," Morris told "Saturday Report."
Morris noted the persistent attacks on Trump are going to fail to keep him from running in 2024, as he wrote in his book.
"Now the only issue will be Trump and the archives, and it's a trivial issue: literally overdue library books; here's no national security implications," Morris told host Rita Cosby.
The FBI's raid of Trump's private residence in Mar-a-Lago was the first attempt to stop Trump; the speech was second, according to Morris.
"Third, I think it's going to be grand jury indictment of Donald Trump for the crime of not returning his library books, which is essentially what he did with the archives," Morris told Cosby. "The archives are essentially a library. His books were overdue.
"But they'll indict him and try to convict him. And the purpose of this is not to knock him out of the race — they can't do that — not to deny him the nomination — they probably can't do that — but to foment a primary in the Republican Party. They're hoping that [Florida GOP Gov.] Ron DeSantis and his people say, 'Why do we have to have this baggage in 2024; this guy is toxic in certain places; let's go past him. Let's go and get somebody else.'
"And somebody else would be a lot easier for the Democrats to beat, but that's their strategy."
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The speech is ultimately going to hurt Biden and Democrats in the polls and fail in its goal to put the midterm referendum on Trump instead of Biden, Morris concluded.
"I think Biden will fall 7 or 8 points in approval as a result of the speech," Morris continued. "Presidents have to be presidential. They have to be above it. They have to be dignified. They have to be ecumenic. They can't be mean-spirited.
"And he showed the exact opposite of what the president should be. The question in my mind is — he knows this and his advisers know this: Why did he give the speech? Why did he incur the negatives he's about to incur? I think the reason is that the basic Democratic strategy that I outlined in my book, 'The Return' is to make Donald Trump the issue so Joe Biden is not the issue."
Morris pointed back to "basement" Biden ostensibly removing himself as a target for political attacks, so that then-President Trump can remain the focus of the presidential election news cycle amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
When you think of the election of 2020, Joe Biden was nowhere to be seen. He was in the basement, hiding," Morris said. "The issue was Donald Trump, and now they want the issue to be Donald Trump again but not Joe Biden.
"And that way he can get away with the inflation, the gas prices, the horrible record of his presidency without people talking about it."
Still, Biden's speech failed to deflect and ultimately backfired.
"It was one of the two most important unforced errors by an incumbent president since World War II," Morris concluded, saying only former President Jimmy Carter's 1979 "malaise" speech is worse.
"This is a huge mistake. This is a historic mistake."
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Eric Mack ✉
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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