Andrea Mitchell Gushes Over Biden’s ‘Dramatic’ Campaign Attack Ad

On Thursday morning, NBC’s Today show cheered former Vice President Joe Biden officially entering the 2020 presidential race and delighted in him taking “direct aim” at President Trump with a nasty campaign video. Correspondent Andrea Mitchell was particularly enthralled, touting the “dramatic” video “using images from the Charlottesville white supremacist march.”

“He’s running....Former Vice President Joe Biden enters the 2020 campaign just this morning and takes direct aim at the President,” co-host Savannah Guthrie excitedly proclaimed at the top of the broadcast. Minutes later, she introduced the story by noting Biden “using a sharply-worded video on Twitter to announce his long-awaited decision.”

 

 

Mitchell began the report by declaring: “This time the 76-year-old former Vice President plunging into the youngest, largest, most diverse primary field in history and saying the country is in the battle for the soul of the nation. He says because of the Trump presidency.”

A clip ran of the campaign video in which Biden warned: “If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are.” Mitchell gushed over the attack ad: “In a dramatic campaign video using images from the Charlottesville white supremacist march, the former Vice President saying President Trump shocked the conscience of the nation by saying there were ‘some very fine people on both sides.’”

Another soundbite played of Biden fearmongering:

And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d ever seen in my lifetime. We are in the battle for the soul of this nation. I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an abhorrent moment in time.

Mitchell did briefly list some of the former Vice President’s weaknesses, such as an uphill battle on fundraising and his age. When it came to the issues, she predictably hit him from the left:

And after years on the public stage, along with his many accomplishments, positions Biden’s held that are now controversial. Voting for the Iraq war, authoring the 1994 crime bill, now resented among some minority communities, and his treatment of Anita Hill when he led the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Clarence Thomas.

Only 18 seconds of the over four-minute-long report mentioned Biden being accused by several women of inappropriate touching. Mitchell noted: “More recently, criticism that Biden has given unwanted contact to women, although not sexually. Biden responded to the allegations, saying he never touched anyone in ways he believed were inappropriate, but says he will be much more mindful of personal space.”

Following the taped portion of the segment, Guthrie observed: “He’s really just focusing on President Trump, saying this is a moment in time, a battle for the heart and soul of the nation. Not talking about policy or ‘I’m Joe Biden, this is where I’m from.’”

Mitchell concurred and continued to be impressed by his announcement:

He’s not going to go after fellow Democrats. He’s going after Donald Trump and he wants to show that he is the toughest, the strongest, the most experienced. Trying to make his age and long experience on the public stage a virtue, that he’s the one who can go after him. It’s a very dramatic and it’s kind of a shock technique to start with Charlottesville.

During her report, Mitchell also briefly shared the news that Comcast senior vice president David Cohen, the chief lobbyist for the NBCUniversal parent company, would be hosting Biden’s first campaign fundraiser.

The fawning coverage on the NBC morning show joined ABC’s Good Morning America and CBS This Morning in boosting Biden on the first day of his candidacy.

Here is a full transcript of Mitchell’s April 25 report:

7:06 AM ET

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Also breaking just this morning, former Vice President Joe Biden formally entering the 2020 race for president, using a sharply-worded video on Twitter to announce his long-awaited decision. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell’s up early with the story. Hey, Andrea, good morning.  

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Savannah. Joe Biden hoping the third time is the charm after failing to win the Democratic nomination in 1988 and 2008. Releasing this video this morning, announcing he is once again running for president. This time the 76-year-old former Vice President plunging into the youngest, largest, most diverse primary field in history and saying the country is in the battle for the soul of the nation. He says because of the Trump presidency.

JOE BIDEN: If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation, who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for President of the United States.

MITCHELL: In a dramatic campaign video using images from the Charlottesville white supremacist march, the former Vice President saying President Trump shocked the conscience of the nation by saying there were “some very fine people on both sides.”

BIDEN: And in that moment, I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I’d ever seen in my lifetime. We are in the battle for the soul of this nation. I believe history will look back on four years of this president and all he embraces as an abhorrent moment in time.

MITCHELL: Biden starts out ahead of the pack, getting a big boost from name recognition after decades  in the Senate and two terms as vice president. As well as sympathy for the loss of his son Beau. Biden does have a strong base in the labor movement. Now he’s planning to highlight that support with a union rally in Pittsburgh Monday.

CROWD AT INTERNATIONAL FIRE FIGHTERS ASSOCIATION EVENT: Run, Joe, run! Run, Joe, run!

MITCHELL But the political challenges are daunting. First, campaign money. Biden does not have the online base of small donors that have fueled Bernie Sanders’ campaign and helped propel Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris to become rising stars. A New York Times analysis showed Biden would have to raise $100,000 a day from now until Christmas just to match what Sanders has already banked by the start of this month. Second, the age factor. Although a year younger than Sanders, at 76, Biden has little experience campaigning in the digital age.

And after years on the public stage, along with his many accomplishments, positions Biden’s held that are now controversial. Voting for the Iraq war, authoring the 1994 crime bill, now resented among some minority communities, and his treatment of Anita Hill when he led the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Clarence Thomas.

BIDEN: To this day, I regret I couldn’t come up with a way to get her the kind of hearing she deserved.

MITCHELL: More recently, criticism that Biden has given unwanted contact to women, although not sexually. Biden responded to the allegations, saying he never touched anyone in ways he believed were inappropriate, but says he will be much more mindful of personal space.

BIDEN VIDEO: And I get it. I get it.

BIDEN: We’ll find out whether I can win in the primary. I’m an Obama-Biden Democrat, man. And I’m proud of it.

MITCHELL: Biden is telling his top supporters he needs to raise money fast to show strength in the first 24 hours. Starting tonight with a Philadelphia fundraiser hosted by Philadelphia’s mayor, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, and former Governor Ed Rendell. At the home of David Cohen, senior vice president of Comcast, the parent company of NBCUniversal.

GUTHRIE: It’s interesting, Andrea, to watch that video and you can kind of glean a few things about his strategy. Because he’s really just focusing on President Trump, saying this is a moment in time, a battle for the heart and soul of the nation. Not talking about policy or “I’m Joe Biden, this is where I’m from.”

MITCHELL: He’s assuming that people know who he is. He’s not going to go after fellow Democrats. He’s going after Donald Trump and he wants to show that he is the toughest, the strongest, the most experienced. Trying to make his age and long experience on the public stage a virtue, that he’s the one who can go after him. It’s a very dramatic and it’s kind of a shock technique to start with Charlottesville.

CRAIG MELVIN: We just heard him there mention President Obama. Some political experts have surmised that he is going to basically position himself as an extension of the Obama presidency. Do we suspect that his former boss may jump in this thing early and endorse him?

MITCHELL: No, not at all. They did put out a statement this morning praising his service as vice president. But it’s very clear that President Obama is gonna hang back, see who rises to the top, and not endorse early.

MELVIN: Okay.  

GUTHRIE: Alright, Andrea Mitchell on the political story of the morning. Thank you, appreciate it.

MITCHELL: You bet.

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