Trump's ‘Walter Mondale’ strategy with Biden isn't working: report

Trump's ‘Walter Mondale’ strategy with Biden isn't working: report
Former Vice President of the United States Joe Biden speaking with attendees at the 2020 Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) Legislative Conference at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel in West Des Moines, Iowa. Credit: Gage Skidmore

Although the Republican-sponsored Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 did precious little for the middle class, President Donald Trump has been claiming that former Vice President Joe Biden — the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee — is pushing for a middle class tax hike. This claim, journalist Hans Nichols stresses in an August 10 article for Axios, is right out of President Ronald Reagan’s 1984 playbook. But so far, according to Nichols, Biden is not taking Trump’s bait.


“President Trump is trying to lure Joe Biden into a Walter Mondale trap, attempting to force the Democratic nominee to embrace middle-class tax increases as part of his election strategy,” Nichols notes.

In his 1984 reelection campaign, Reagan slammed Democratic presidential nominee Mondale (who had served as vice president under President Jimmy Carter) as someone who was anxious to raise taxes on the middle class. Reagan was reelected by a landslide that year, defeating Mondale by 18% in the popular voted and winning 525 votes in the Electoral College.

Trump, over the weekend, called for a payroll tax suspension.

“With his Saturday evening executive action to unilaterally rewrite the tax code,” Nichols reports, “Trump again is demonstrating the lengths to which he’ll go to change the conversation — and try to make the election a choice between him and Biden and not a referendum on him. In Biden’s response, he didn’t take the bait. Instead, he used the White House effort to suspend payroll taxes as a way to double down on his appeal to seniors and cast himself as the defender of Social Security.”

Biden, Nichols notes, described Trump’s plan as a “first shot in a new, reckless war on Social Security.”

According to Nichols, Biden has “stayed in touch with Mondale over the years” and has “studied Mondale’s papers to learn from history.”

Nichols observes, “Biden isn’t opposed to raising taxes on the wealthy, he told Wall Street donors as much in June. But he’s never said he’d raise middle-class taxes.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.