The TAKE with Rick Klein
Even before President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden travel to Kenosha — and whether Biden actually makes such a trip at all this week — what’s happening there is shaping the framing of both campaigns.
In the strange realities of 2020, the incumbent sees tensions and clashes as politically advantageous, and his tweets and rally comments are doing little to bring calm. The president will be in Kenosha on Tuesday “to meet with law enforcement and survey damage,” according to the White House; there’s been no word on whether he will meet with Blake’s family.
The challenger, meanwhile, is denouncing violence “unequivocally,” and hoping a lower-key approach will make for a better comparison with the president. Biden is planning a trip to southwestern Pennsylvania Monday to address the question of “are you safe in Donald Trump’s America,” according to his campaign.
“I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same,” Biden said in a statement Sunday, reacting to violence that turned deadly in Portland, Oregon. “The job of a president is to lower the temperature.”
Lowering temperatures is not on-brand for Trump. His campaign sees clashes and confrontations playing out in American cities as potentially making the “law and order” case even more effectively than the president himself did last week.
But any sense of the race reaching an equilibrium is being challenged by unpredictable events, with complicated motivations behind them.
The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks
With Election Day around the corner and multiple examples of misinformation and false claims spreading online and from elected leaders this week alone, voters will need to be on high alert for facts and reliable sources between now and November.
Last week, Michigan’s state officials announced they were investigating a widely inaccurate robocall that seemed to target Black voters in the crucial swing state with threatening and incorrect information about voting by mail. This weekend, it was a member of Republican House leadership sharing a doctored video of a disabled activist talking to Joe Biden, designed to shortchange the words of the Democratic presidential nominee.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf told ABC’s Jonathan Karl Sunday that the intelligence community is also continuing to track disinformation campaigns from foreign nations, including Russia.
Of course, admissions like those from the Trump administration made the director of national intelligence’s decision to stop giving members of Congress in-person intelligence briefings on matters of election security all the more shocking and confusing.
In the final stretch of the Massachusetts Senate primary, Rep. Joe Kennedy III, who is challenging Sen. Ed Markey for his seat on Tuesday, got a boost from Vicki Kennedy, the late wife of Sen. Ted Kennedy, his great uncle, on the campaign trail over the weekend.
It’s an embrace of his storied family’s legacy that Kennedy downplayed earlier in the race.
But with Markey heading into Tuesday with momentum, the congressman, in the unexpected role of the underdog, is leaning into his last name, hoping his family’s history of service resonates with primary voters.
“I hope with all my heart you vote for Joe. I’m so proud of him. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it deserves the best. He reminds me of Bobby, and Jack, and Teddy. It doesn’t matter whether he’s in your living room, dining room, at a rally. He’s just himself, and he’s so very special,” Ethel Kennedy, the clan’s matriarch, said in a video from earlier this month of her grandson.
ONE MORE THING
President Donald Trump’s efforts to build his appeal and define his opponent at the Republican National Convention, using pageantry and the White House as the backdrop, had little apparent impact on the electorate’s impressions of both him and former Vice President Joe Biden, a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finds.
ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. Monday morning’s episode features ABC News’ Kayna Whitworth, who recaps a violent weekend of protests in Portland, Oregon, as President Donald Trump continues to rail against the city’s leadership. ABC News’ Trish Turner explains why the director of national intelligence is putting a stop to in-person election security briefings. And, Kelly Carter from ESPN’s “The Undefeated” has more on Chadwick Boseman’s legacy in Hollywood and the Black community following his death. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
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FiveThirtyEight Politics Podcast. On the final night of the 2020 Republican National Convention, President Donald Trump gave a historically long speech on the White House South Lawn. The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast crew takes stock of what he said and — perhaps more importantly — what he didn’t say. https://bit.ly/2w091jE
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