Biden talked a tough game when asked about his debate strategy over the weekend, but those close to the campaign tell us he's being advised to avoid too much direct confrontation or fact checking with the tough-talking Republican president.
Democrats believe that Trump is at his best when he's playing in the mud, and they want Biden to rise above the insults and disinformation to present a clear contrast to voters. Such a disciplined strategy is far easier said than done — especially for Biden, who has lost his cool with voters on the campaign trail at times and generally struggled with staying on message when given a long leash.
Despite the concerns of his advisers, Biden sounded like he was spoiling for a fight on MSNBC over the weekend. He compared Trump to a Nazi and argued that “the people know the president is a liar” and later added: “He doesn’t know how to debate the facts because he’s not that smart.”
The Democratic base no doubt wants Biden to take the fight to Trump, but the former vice president may win the long game here by playing it safe.