An outrageous lie.

There were at least, like, 40+ other racist presidents before him.

Oh, wait. I see. This is just a clever if cynical ploy to get people to concede that Trump is racist in weighing precisely how racist he is relative to his predecessors, isn’t it?

Actually, I don’t buy the “clever ploy” theory because this soundbite is destined to be more trouble for Biden than it’s worth. Not among the right but among the left, who’ll take offense at his egregious historical myopia. Modern Democrats don’t go around absolving people of racism, especially figures from less enlightened times. They indict them for it. And there are plenty of presidents who warrant that indictment:

It is highly un-woke to wave off racism by America’s centuries-long string of white male leaders just to score a point on the current guy. Why, certain progressives might tell you that even Barack Obama is racist.

I mean, he’s against cancel culture, isn’t he? What could be more racist than that?

Here’s the full context of what Biden said today:

Biden signaled that he shared the questioner’s concern that Trump frequently refers to the pandemic as the “China virus,” saying, “the way he deals with people based on the color of their skin, their national origin, where they’re from, is absolutely sickening.”

“No sitting president has ever done this,” Biden said. “Never, never, never. No Republican president has done this. No Democratic president. We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed, they’ve tried to get elected president. He’s the first one that has.”…

“And the way he pits people against one another is all designed to divide the country, divide people, not pull them together,” Biden continued. “Look what he’s doing now. He’s blaming everything on China. . . . He’s using it as a wedge.”

Defending China’s honor might not be a genius play in this particular election. It’s also why Pelosi’s sudden insistence on describing the coronavirus as the “Trump virus” to counterprogram the president calling it the “China virus” is a bad idea. You don’t want American voters to feel they’re being forced to choose between Trump and China. That’s an easy choice, even for conscientious anti-Trumpers.

Interestingly, WaPo notes that Biden once declined to call Trump a racist when invited to do so last year, criticizing his “racist policies” instead. What’s changed since then? Did the references to the “Kung flu” finally persuade Biden, or are there more strategic reasons for the shift?

Since we’re on the subject of the election, two quickie polls to share. Here’s the latest from a swing state:

That swing state is … Texas. No one thinks the votes will be there for Biden in the end, but a competitive Texas means a not-so-competitive Rust Belt. Today Trump-friendly Rasmussen found Biden ahead by five in a new poll of Pennsylvania and by four in Ohio, which isn’t even supposed to be in play. In fact, Trump’s margin four years ago over Clinton in Texas was only slightly bigger than his margin in the Buckeye state.

The other poll comes from Morning Consult. Note the result among independents:

The question asked in this case was which candidate voters trust more to handle the economy. That’s been Trump’s bread and butter all year; even as his numbers have collapsed relative to Biden’s on various other personal and policy metrics, he’s continued to lead on the economy in most polls. If that begins to change, the situation for the GOP will begin to look hopeless. Which is why it’s very important that the party not hand Democrats an easy political victory by cheaping out on the next round of coronavirus stimulus.

I’ll leave you with this teaser released by Team Biden today of him and Obama sittin’ around, bitchin’ about Trump.