President Donald Trump asserted on Wednesday the reason former President Barack Obama hasn’t endorsed his former vice president, Joe Biden, is because the 44th commander in chief “knows something.”
The context of Trump’s remarks during the daily coronavirus task force briefing was a question regarding Sen. Bernie Sanders’ announcement earlier in the day that he was suspending his presidential campaign but would hold on to his delegates and seek to win more in the upcoming primary contests.
“Now, is he dropping out or not?” Trump asked. “That’s not dropping out. When you keep your delegates and then you want more delegates before you get to the convention, that’s a weird deal going on there. I don’t know what’s happening.”
The president then noted that Obama has yet to endorse Biden.
“And I don’t know why President Obama hasn’t supported Joe Biden a long time ago,” Trump said.
“There is something he feels is wrong. Why isn’t — he’ll come out. I’m sure he’s got to come out at some point because he certainly doesn’t want to see me for four more years.”
The president continued, suggesting there is a reason Obama hasn’t endorsed Biden, which he felt he knew, but the reporters were not dialed in on yet.
“He knows something that you don’t know, that I think I know, but you don’t know. So it’ll be interesting,” Trump said, referring to Obama.
He left the mystery hanging out there and moved on to the next question.
In fairness, Obama did not endorse his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, until June 2016, after she had secured the number of pledged delegates needed to win the nomination.
At least two possibilities immediately come to mind regarding the knowledge Trump is suggesting that Obama is now privy to.
First, the 44th president somehow knows (or suspects) that Biden will not ultimately be chosen as the Democratic nominee, though his former No. 2 seemingly is the presumptive one now.
According to RealClearPolitics, Biden currently has 1,217 pledged delegates to Sanders’ 914. A candidate must win 1,991 pledged delegates to secure the nomination.
It is unclear when, or if, many of the remaining state primary contests will happen before the Democratic convention, which itself may take place virtually.
If no candidate comes into the convention with the necessary pledged delegates from the primary contests, it will become a contested nomination fight, where anyone, like New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo or even Clinton, could emerge as the nominee.
The second possibility is that Trump is implying Obama knows the gaffe-prone and aging Biden is not up to the task of being chief executive of the nation.
If Biden were elected this November, he would be the oldest person, at 78, to assume or even hold the office of president.
When Ronald Reagan finished his second term, he was 77 years old. Trump would be 78 when leaving office if he served another four years.
Though Biden has been gaffe-prone throughout his career in public office, the frequency and the nature of the flubs seem to be more pronounced recently and perhaps related to age.
In at least one instance, Biden did not even know what state he was in.
Trump has raised the issue of Biden’s mental fitness to serve on multiple occasions, including by tweeting a montage of the former Delaware senator’s gaffes last month.
WOW! Sleepy Joe doesn’t know where he is, or what he’s doing. Honestly, I don’t think he even knows what office he’s running for! pic.twitter.com/454v9GFpgF
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2020
At a Fox News town hall event in Pennsylvania last month, Trump said, “Then we have this crazy thing that happened, right? On Tuesday, which he thought was Thursday. But he also said 150 million people were killed with guns and that he was running for the United States Senate.”
“There’s something going on there.”
The New York Times reported last August that Obama and Biden spoke “at least a half dozen times before Mr. Biden decided to run, and Mr. Obama took pains to cast his doubts about the campaign in personal terms.”
“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” Obama told Biden last year before the campaign launch, “according to a person familiar with the exchange,” The Times added.
Further Obama instructed Biden’s campaign staff that they needed to protect the candidate, if he did run, so he did not “embarrass himself” or “damage his legacy.”
That ship seemingly has sailed, but it will be interesting to see if Biden does in fact become the nominee or if what Trump understands that Obama knows is that the former vice president simply is not up to the task of being commander in chief.
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