Biden campaign’s favorite time of the week? Trump’s day off

President Biden’s campaign appears to be adopting a “Mean Girls”-esque motto in trying to claw back some coverage from former President Trump’s hush money trial: On Wednesdays, we make news.

Biden’s camp has utilized Wednesdays — the single weekday during which there’s a break in Trump’s New York City trial — to blanket the airwaves, throw some political punches and draw attention to the commander in chief’s reelection bid.

Last Wednesday, Biden released a video proposing a pair of debates with Trump.

“Make my day, pal,” Biden said into the camera in a message to Trump, who had repeatedly challenged the president to debate him “anytime, any place.”

“So let’s pick dates, Donald,” Biden said, before adding, “I hear you’re free on Wednesdays.”

Biden’s campaign sharpened the jab shortly after the video was released by hawking $32 “Free on Wednesdays” T-shirts. A campaign aide told The Hill that in the 24 hours after the video posted, they sold more than 1,000 shirts.

On a Wednesday earlier this month, Biden sat down for a rare interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett. The president made waves when he warned that his administration would stop supplying Israel with offensive weapons if Israeli forces launched an invasion of Rafah.

A week earlier — on a Wednesday, naturally — Biden launched more pointed attacks at his White House rival while delivering remarks at a campaign fundraiser.

“The other day a man came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, I’m being crushed by debt. I’m completely wiped out,’” Biden said at the event in Washington, repeating a quip he had said before.

“I looked at him and said, ‘I’m sorry Don, I can’t help you,’” Biden cracked.

With Trump’s trial out for the rest of this week and about to go to the jury, it’s unclear how much longer the Wednesday strategy will be employed by Biden. But Democrats say it’s been a highly effective game plan to date.

“I think it’s smart to understand the news cycle that we are living in, and accepting it and trying to preempt it when you can,” Michael LaRosa, former press secretary to first lady Jill Biden and special assistant to Biden, said.

Between the debate pitch to Trump and the CNN interview, LaRosa said, Biden’s campaign has “managed to really monopolize the news cycle” on Wednesdays.

It’s a move that LaRosa, now at the lobbying firm Ballard Partners, said Biden’s team has “struggled with doing and breaking through so far, in terms of producing events, surprises and news that can sort of win the coverage at the end of the day.”

MSNBC host and former White House press secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged the “unique challenge” the Biden campaign has faced with their opponent seemingly sucking up all the media oxygen with the criminal case, to which he’s pleaded not guilty.

“It is an important story to cover,” Psaki told The Hill in a recent interview, “but it blocks out the sun. It doesn’t leave a lot of space for other coverage of other issues.”

The Biden campaign said the trial helped show a contrast between the two candidates.

“While Trump is ranting and whining on social media, the President is on the ground, touting his record accomplishments and promising to fight for Americans on those issues that will decide this election,” said Lauren Hitt, a spokesperson for the Biden campaign.

Danielle Alvarez, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, said the Wednesday strategy “is proof that these are the Biden sham trials and that this was political all along.”

“This is absolutely proof,” Alvarez said. “And are they cutting through? You’d have to tell me what they’re doing on Wednesdays because I’d have no idea.”

“The energy and momentum for President Trump is like nothing we’ve ever seen before,” she said.

LaRosa, a former producer on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” said nonstop coverage of Trump’s legal battles “immunizes voters to the extent that they already are indifferent to Trump’s flaws as a human being.”

“The saturation of news coverage is eerily reminiscent of 2016 when I was a TV producer. This isn’t someone who is afraid of oversaturation, in fact, he thrives on it,” LaRosa said of Trump.

“So the more we’re talking about Donald Trump, the happier Donald Trump is, and the worse it is, frankly, for the Biden campaign because whenever — if there’s an hour of television, cable news, or whatever — you’re leading and likely ending with Donald Trump, and what is sandwiched in the middle? More likely than not, more angles to a story around Trump,” LaRosa said.

“Biden, his accomplishments or his record, unless it’s bad news, are likely squeezed out of every show’s rundown. For persuadable or undecided voters, that airtime devoted to all things Trump, and his legal drama or latest outrage of the day, is airtime Biden’s record is not getting,” he said.

During the 2020 campaign, Biden also had trouble breaking through the news cycles because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the wall-to-wall cable news coverage around it. In order to help his cause, Biden ended up building a studio in his basement where he could speak directly to the American public.

Now, even with the bully pulpit and megaphone that come with the presidency, Biden is looking for ways to cut through the noise.

“It’s unusual for a president to have difficulty breaking through,” another strategist said. “Usually it’s the opponent who has to resort to these kinds of strategies to be heard.”

“Biden has to take advantage of these moments,” the strategist said, referring to Biden seizing on Wednesdays. “It’s creative. But I don’t know if it will help.”

So far, Democratic strategist Brad Bannon said the White House hasn’t done the best job successfully communicating Biden’s economic accomplishments.

In the coming months, the Biden campaign is going to have to figure out a way to use their platform to spotlight Biden’s vision against that of Trump, who even Democrats acknowledge is effective at branding.

“People dismiss Trump as an idiot, but when it comes to dealing with the media, he’s a master,” Bannon said. “Can you imagine any other person with deep legal problems who is this competitive in a presidential race?”

Biden, he said, has got to do a better job getting on the board: “They’re the White House, for God sakes.”

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