How Biden aides are trying to shield the president from protests

How Biden aides are trying to shield the president from protests

NBC News reports:

President Joe Biden’s team is increasingly taking extraordinary steps to minimize disruptions from pro-Palestinian protests at his events by making them smaller, withholding their precise locations from the media and the public until he arrives, avoiding college campuses and, in at least one instance, considering hiring a private company to vet attendees.

The efforts have resulted in zero disruptions at events the White House or the campaign have organized for Biden in the five weeks since he was interrupted a dozen times during an abortion rights speech in Virginia. But they have also meant that Biden is appearing in front of fewer voters and not personally engaging with some of the key constituencies whose support he is struggling to gain, such as young voters.

“He’s better in small venues,” a Biden ally said, citing retail politics as “where he thrives.”

“But the downside is that means he doesn’t reach as many voters,” the person added. “The point is to reach as many voters as you can, and those small events don’t.”

The campaign is applying the guarded approach to its marquee fundraiser this month with Biden and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, as first reported by NBC News.

Organizers are discussing whether to hire a private company to vet attendees, according to three people familiar with the planning. The lowest-cost tickets will be set at a price still high enough — the campaign hopes — to interest only true supporters of Biden’s re-election effort, these people said.

And the moderator of a discussion with the three presidents will be late-night host Stephen Colbert, whom the campaign sees as a low-risk, friendly choice, the people familiar with the planning said. [Continue reading…]

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