UPDATE, 7:10 a.m. PT Saturday: Joe Biden, at another fundraiser on Friday, said that President Donald Trump had “indicted himself,” telling a crowd of about 160 people that Trump “acknowledged that he asked three different countries to dig up ‘dirt’, any information that can get.”
Speaking at the hime of media executive Howard Owens and his wife Marnie, Biden also defended the timing of his call for Trump’s impeachment. He was later than other Democratic rivals. He said that such an action is a “trauma for the country” and he had to make sure that it was the right thing to say.
“The fact of the matter is, when I said he should be impeached, he should be impeached,” Biden said.
Rufus Gifford, the former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark and former finance director for President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, said that “I think you are seeing kind of a continued evolution in the way that the Biden campaign is responding[ to Trump’s attacks]. I think you saw in that in the last 24 hours and … I think you will see them attack in a more emphatic and personal way.”
He said that responding to Trump is “tricky,” because a candidate doesn’t want to get down “in the mud with him.” When Obama faced a crisis in his 2008 campaign over his association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, he responded with a speech on race, “A More Perfect Union,” that proved to be a turning point in his campaign.
“When you are attacked personally, which is what you are seeing here, I think you have to defend yourself with a degree of humanity and honesty.”
He added, “Joe Biden’s personal story is heartbreaking in so many ways and he has spent his career so devoted to public service. [With his attacks] Donald Trump has gone to the heart of Joe Biden’s strengths.” He said that there is a way for Biden to defend himself by drawing on his life experiences.
PREVIOUSLY, 6:35 a.m. PT Friday: Hours after Joe Biden said that he had to be more aggressive in debates, he made a swipe at Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer and a primary trafficker in claims and conspiracy theories about Biden and his son, Hunter.
“The guy’s a thug, Giuliani. No, he’s a thug. I know him,” Biden told about 100 people gathered at the Brentwood home of Paramount’s Jim Gianopulos and his wife, Ann.
According to a pool report, Biden continued, “And the president is the most dishonorable president in American history. And folks, he picked the wrong guy to pick a fight with, because I’ll tell you what. I’m going to beat him like a drum.”
The event at the Gianopulos home on Thursday evening was Biden’s second fundraiser of the day. Earlier, he spoke at the home of producer Michael Lombardo and his husband, Sonny Ward, an architect.
Biden’s comments about Giuliani were in reference to the arrest of two of Giuliani’s associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, on campaign finance violations.
Gianopulos introduced Biden, telling the donors gathered in his yard that “I know of no one who is more appropriate, more right, more the right person to put us back on track than Joe Biden.”
Biden also noted the presence at the fundraiser of Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was there with his wife Marilyn. Other co-hosts included Sony Screen Gems’ Eric Paquette and writer Jessica Postigo, Sony’s Tom Rothman and actress Jessica Harper, Legendary Entertainment’s Josh Grode, Cooper Hefner and Scarlett Byrne, Matt Rutler, and former ambassador James Costos and designer Michael Smith.
Others at the event included CBS’s David Nevins and Showtime’s David Nevins, Jim Wiatt, Disney/ ABC’s Dana Walden, attorney Ted Boutrous and attorney Skip Brittenham, according to a source who was there.
Earlier in the day, Biden also talked about the need to be more succinct in Democratic debates, a challenge given the time constraints. Some donors want Biden to hit Trump back harder in the face of the president’s personal attacks on his family.
Biden has fired off some punchy lines about Giuliani in the past.
In 2007, when Giuliani looked to be a front runner for the Republican nomination and Biden was running in the Democratic primary, he mocked the New York mayor’s frequent invocation of his handling of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
“There’s only three things he mentions in a sentence — a noun, a verb, and 9/11. There’s nothing else!” Biden said in a debate that year.
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