Jun 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The Biden-Trump split screen

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump are plain as day as the two respond to recent protests.

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic.

  • Trump today at the White House: "It's a movement. If you don't put it down, it will get worse and worse. The only time it's successful is when you're weak, and most of you are weak."
  • Biden yesterday at a campaign site: "The only way to bear this pain is to turn all that anguish to purpose. And as president, I will help lead this conversation — and more importantly, I will listen."

Biden seems ready for revolution:

  • During a virtual roundtable today with four mayors, Biden led a discussion on how the country can move forward after George Floyd's killing.
  • "I hope collectively we can keep the pressure up because I don’t think this can continue without the public, across the board, just rising up," he said during a virtual roundtable with four mayors.
  • He was talking about Trump's handling of the coronavirus, but in the larger context of how the country can move forward after the deep racial divisions further revealed by Floyd's death.

Trump has chosen another path, as leaked audio revealed today:

  • “Most of you are weak,” Trump told state governors today. “You have to arrest people.”
  • “You have to dominate, if you don’t dominate, you’re wasting your time — they’re going to run over you, you’re going to look like a bunch of jerks.”
  • “You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again."

The bottom line: Voters are moving toward Biden in this moment. The most recent Washington Post/ABC poll has Biden with a 10-point lead over Trump among all registered voters. Just two months ago, Biden led by only 2 points.

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