Still, allies say, Trump — rightly or wrongly — sees everything as personal. And his penchant for giving his opponents nicknames and pointing out what he sees as their physical faults has kept him from landing a real punch on Biden. He has tried tagging Biden as untrustworthy — “Corrupt Joe” — and lethargic — “Sleepy Joe” — but it hasn’t dragged Biden down with voters as Trump had hoped.
“Sleepy sounds pretty good when you’ve had four years of exhaustion,” a White House official quipped.
Another person close to the president echoed the argument that the strategy hasn’t worked, “given the chaos” of the administration.
The strategy Trump’s advisers hope he’ll embrace includes reviving controversial statements Biden has made over the years on race, gay rights and women, as well as drawing attention to Biden’s record in ways that put him at odds with the white working-class voters he and Trump are vying to win over in November.