Democrats not ready to ditch Biden over Hunter scandal fallout, strategists say

They aren’t thrilled with 80-year-old President Biden as their party’s standard-bearer in the 2024 election, but Democrats appear far from ready to cut bait with the president due to his connections to his son Hunter Biden’s expanding legal scandals.

Former Hunter Biden business partner Devon Archer on Monday told members of the House Oversight Committee in a closed-door interview that the younger Biden included his father on speakerphone while meeting with business associates at least 20 times. The Republican controlled panel is investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings with foreign companies and what, if any, role his father played in those interactions.

The closed-door interview revelations will likely fuel Republican attempts to link the president to Hunter Biden’s business transactions, which could politically wound the elder Biden as he runs for re-election in 2024 to a second term in the White House.

But a Democratic lawmaker on the committee argued that Archer’s testimony does not show that then-Vice President Biden was involved in son Hunter’s business dealings.

‘The witness indicated that Hunter spoke to his father every day, and approximately 20 times over the course of 10 year relationship, Hunter may have put his father on the phone with any number of different people, and they never once spoke about any business dealings,’ Rep. Dan Goldman of New York told reporters on Capitol Hill.

‘As he described it, it was all casual conversation, niceties, the weather, ‘What’s going on?’’ Goldman added. And he emphasized that ‘there wasn’t a single conversation about any of the business dealings that Hunter had.’

Devon Archer’s interview comes in the wake of a whistleblower’s allegations that the FBI and the Justice Department are in possession of an unverified document that claims a criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions. And House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently floated that the Republican majority in the chamber could consider an impeachment inquiry into the president over the unproven claims of financial misconduct.

The president’s approval ratings have been underwater for nearly two years and polls suggest Democrats are anything but enthused with Biden seeking a second four-year term in the White House. But regardless, Democrats don’t appear buying – at least right now – what the Republicans appear to be selling.

Veteran Democratic consultant and pollster Doug Schoen argued in an opinion piece this past weekend that Hunter Biden’s multiplying legal controversies ‘are now Joe Biden’s problems.’ 

But Schoen, a top political adviser to then-President Bill Clinton and on Michael Bloomberg’s unsuccessful 2020 presidential campaign, told Fox News Digital on Monday that ‘from what I have seen, there still has been no direct evidence, or even testimony today from Devon Archer, Hunter Biden’s former partner, that President Biden was involved in their business dealings.’

‘At this point there is nothing to lead me to say anything about the president’s likely candidacy being impacted by any developments in the Hunter Biden case,’ Schoen emphasized.

Asked if Democrats would look to jettison Biden as their party’s nominee if the president becomes increasing entangled in his son’s legal predicaments, Democratic strategist and communicator Chris Moyer told Fox News ‘no way.’

Moyer, a presidential campaign veteran, scoffed at suggestions that party leaders would consider asking Biden to step aside in 2024, adding that ‘Republicans are always going to try to find something to drum up.’

‘There’s good news about the economy almost every day. That’s what’s going to matter most not just to Democrats but also to key swing voters in the general election,’ he argued.

Longtime political scientist Dante Scala of the University of New Hampshire emphasized that ‘until Democrats are confronted with incredibly solid evidence that the father himself has some wrongdoing in all this, their default is to confine the sins of Hunter Biden to Hunter Biden.’

Hunter Biden’s legal saga and the mounting inquiries come as the battle for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is heating up, and as Biden faces long-shot Democratic presidential primary challenges from Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – the environmental lawyer and high-profile vaccine critic, and scion of arguably the nation’s most famous family political dynasty – and best-selling author and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson, who’s making her second straight White House run. And progressive activist and professor Cornel West has launched a third-party bid for president that has some in the party nervous he might siphon votes from Biden in November 2024.

‘The Hunter Biden circus is a concern for Democrats if President Biden’s opponents in the primary begin to bang the same drum as Republicans,’ warned longtime progressive strategist and communications consultant Michael Ceraso.

Ceraso, a veteran of Sen. Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign and now-Transportation Secy. Pete Buttigieg’s 2020 White House bid, noted that ‘we have a short-term memory in politics, but Bernie benefited from the allegations stacked against Secretary Hillary Clinton. Her past propelled him to be competitive. Whether West or RFK lean in and step in line with Republicans to propel themselves in the primary is anyone’s guess. But six months of weathering Hunter-related attacks from primary challenges before advancing to the general election is not ideal for the president – especially when he needs to drum up support from voters around the policies the Democrats and his White House passed.’

‘Many Americans – those who are likely to elect to stay home on Election Day, or flip parties based on the candidate and their personality, and not the issues – need convincing that the president deserves a second term,’ Ceraso argued.

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