To Biden’s camp, it’s a continuation of the discredited criticism that the shelter-in-place phase of Biden’s campaign would hurt him and help Trump after the pandemic first hit. (Trump needled him endlessly for being “sleepy” and staying in his basement, but Biden’s team has chuckled as he maintained his polling lead). A Biden adviser said it’s fine to let Trump hold big, dangerous rallies during a pandemic. Anyway, Trump’s aversion to telling the truth has taken all the sting out of the attacks, Biden’s staff asserts.

“This is a referendum on Trump, and we’re not playing his game. You shouldn’t, either,” the Biden adviser instructed. “Real people don’t care about Biden’s travel. Fox [News] does. This is not what people are talking about. Look at the polling: It’s littered with hot takes about Biden that have been proven stone-cold wrong time and again.”…

A top Democratic pollster agreed with Biden’s campaign, but with a more brutal assessment of the candidate. The person pointed to his penchant for gaffes and rambling stories as part of the strategy for keeping Biden bottled up.

“The fact is a cardboard cutout could beat Trump. But Biden could lose to him,” the pollster said. “There’s no win in Biden being out on the trail the way Trump wants. The Biden campaign has been smart about that.”