Trump and Biden Surrogates Go Toe-to-Toe on Sunday Shows


After two news-filled weeks in American politics — with former President Donald J. Trump convicted of 34 felonies, and President Biden issuing the most restrictive border policy of any modern Democrat — surrogates for the two campaigns flooded the morning news shows on Sunday to promote their candidates.

Republicans defended Mr. Trump against what they insisted was an unfair trial in New York. And discussion of Mr. Biden’s executive order resembled a fun-house mirror, with Republicans criticizing a policy they had backed under Mr. Trump and Democrats backing one they had condemned.

Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, who was campaigning for Mr. Trump in Wisconsin, said it “would be beneficial” for him to choose a woman as his running mate. His campaign’s shortlist, according to people briefed on the process, consists of seven men and only one woman, Representative Elise Stefanik of New York.

“All the polls tell him in these swing states that a woman on the ticket helps him win,” Ms. Noem said on CNN. She added, “I have spent the majority of my time here in Wisconsin talking to women and talking to those people that are independent and on the fringe, and they’re leaning towards Donald Trump, but they also want to know that their perspective is going to be at the table when decisions are made.”

Ms. Noem was once seen as a potential running mate herself, but her stock fell when she published a book in which she described shooting her 14-month-old dog, Cricket, after it disrupted a hunt and killed a neighbor’s chickens. She defended herself again on Sunday, saying she had “protected my children from a vicious animal.”

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican who has sought to set his own border policies, condemned the executive order Mr. Biden issued last week to close the border to asylum seekers when crossings surge — a measure similar to one Mr. Trump tried to enact in 2018.

“What Biden has done is not doing anything to actually secure the border,” Mr. Abbott said on Fox News, arguing that the restrictions were not being sufficiently enforced.

He then made a questionable claim that — because Mr. Biden’s executive order closes the border to asylum seekers only when illegal crossings reach a seven-day daily average of 2,500, which they have regularly done — Mr. Biden was “actually authorizing more people to cross the border illegally.”

Senator Chris Coons, a Delaware Democrat and co-chairman of Mr. Biden’s re-election campaign, opposed asylum restrictions when Mr. Trump enacted them. But on Sunday, he defended Mr. Biden’s similar restrictions because, he said, their motivations were different.

“There’s a stark difference in the values that President Biden and former President Trump bring to trying to address the issue of border security and immigration,” Mr. Coons said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” noting Mr. Trump’s ban on people entering the United States from several majority-Muslim countries and his separation of children from their parents, as well as his opposition to a bipartisan border-security deal that Mr. Biden supported.

“Former President Trump actually wants a problem to solve through his election rather than a solution that a bipartisan group of senators stood behind,” he said. “President Biden is moving ahead with forceful leadership at securing our border. President Trump is simply making a political issue of this.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, a Democrat, dismissed many Republicans’ assertions that they supported unfettered access to contraception.

“When the U.S. Senate puts forth policy to ensure that they have an opportunity to enshrine access to contraception, and Republicans vote against it and kill that bill, it is very much at risk here in this moment,” she said on CNN, referring to legislation that Republicans blocked last week. “I think that what we’re seeing out of the Republicans, saying that they want to protect this, is disingenuous at best and an outright lie at worst.”

In response to a question about the trial of Mr. Biden’s son Hunter, she praised the president for affirming that he would accept the verdict and would not pardon his son.

“There is a stark choice in front of us between a president who respects the rule of law and a former president who is a convicted felon, who wants to use the implements of government to go after his enemies,” she said.

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who is on the Trump campaign’s list of possible running mates, said on “Fox News Sunday” that Mr. Biden wasn’t sending enough aid to Ukraine, a claim that ignored the fact that his fellow Republicans for months blocked aid Mr. Biden had supported.

Mr. Cotton also accused the president of insufficiently backing Israel. Mr. Biden, while increasingly criticizing Israel’s actions in Gaza, has supplied billions of dollars worth of weapons to support them, alienating opponents of the war whom Mr. Cotton said the president was “catering to.”

Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio, another possible running mate to Mr. Trump, criticized Mr. Biden for his trip to Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day, and for an ad from his campaign that featured veterans denouncing Mr. Trump.

“Joe Biden is trying to cover himself in the glory of the Greatest Generation, despite trying to destroy everything that they fought for,” Mr. Vance said on Fox News. “So he’s made up these ridiculous accusations that Donald Trump doesn’t respect veterans.”

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