Trump feared Democrats would replace Biden with Michelle Obama, book reveals

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump held off from overly bashing President Joe Biden on the 2020 campaign trail due to a fear that the then-nominee of the Democratic Party would be replaced by former first lady Michelle Obama or another party fixture, a new book claims.

Excerpts of “Frankly, We Did Win This Election”: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost published Monday in Vanity Fair revealed that the former president feared that Mr Biden, whom he viewed as a weak candidate, could be swapped out at the last moment for Ms Obama or Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 nominee.

The book was authored by Michael Bender, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and is due out in August. The former president is among those who were interviewed for the work that chronicles his 2020 loss to Mr Biden.

“The president, meanwhile, had often complained that his early attack on [Elizabeth] Warren had damaged her presidential bid, which he regretted because he viewed her as an easier opponent than Biden,” reads one excerpt obtained by Vanity Fair. “Now he worried that a heavy blitz of attack ads would hasten the secret plot being hatched by Democrats, and his mind raced with who they might select in Biden’s place.”

The excerpts reveal that much of Mr Trump’s view of Mr Biden’s presumed weakness was the result of advice from Dick Morris, a former adviser to the Clinton administration who privately guided the former president during his reelection bid.

At one point during the heated campaign season, Mr Trump’s fury over losing to Mr Biden was evident, the book also reports, resulting in Mr Trump exploding during an unrelated Oval Office meeting and allegedly remarking, “How am I losing in the polls to a mental retard?”

Conservatives frequently argued throughout the 2020 election that Mr Biden, who went on to win the popular vote by millions and the electoral college in a landslide, was too old to serve as president, with some including Mr Trump claiming that Mr Biden’s mental faculties were diminished.

The former president dubbed his opponent “Sleepy” Joe Biden in an attempt to spread the idea of Mr Biden lacking energy throughout the campaign, a moniker that echoed previous insulting terms he used for previous opponents including Ms Clinton and Texas Sen Ted Cruz.

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