LOS ANGELES — Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE will seize on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE’s impeachment when he takes the debate stage here on Thursday, using the historic House vote to bolster his case against the president.
In a briefing with reporters at a hotel in Los Angeles’s upscale Westwood neighborhood, senior officials on Biden’s campaign said the former vice president will use the debate to speak “directly to the American people” about his strategy to take on Trump in 2020.
They also dismissed the notion that Biden could use the debate to more aggressively challenge his rivals for the Democratic nomination, saying that it would be “a mistake” to do so in the shadow of Wednesday’s vote in the House to impeach Trump.
“Vice President Biden is going to spend this evening focused on his case against Donald Trump,” one senior campaign official said. “He believes it would be a mistake for Democratic candidates to spend three hours attacking each other tonight.”
The senior official said Biden was also prepared to “push back on the notion that it is somehow naive or unattainable to believe that we can unite this country, that we can get things done.”
“That’s the case he’s obviously been making since he came into the race,” the official said. “It’s one he feels very strongly about and you’ll hear that tonight — a really forceful case for his belief that the president has a responsibility to unite the country.”
That argument could put him at odds with some of his rivals, such as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), who have argued that a Democratic president should not expect unity or cooperation from Republicans if Trump is defeated in 2020.
“He’s here to make his case why he’s the candidate that can unify the country,” the senior official said.
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