Ex-Trump aide says former president shouldn't go after Hunter Biden during debate

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An ex-Trump administration aide warned former President Trump against going after Hunter Biden during Thursday night’s first presidential debate, saying the move could easily “backfire” and actually make Biden look better.

Former White House Deputy Communications Director Sarah Matthews said in an MSNBC interview Wednesday that Biden hitting Trump for his felony conviction and denial of the 2020 election results is the quickest way to “get under his skin.”

“Going after him for being a convicted felon, I could also see Trump taking the bait on that one as well,” she said. “And maybe lobbying against Joe Biden that his own son was convicted recently. I think that that plays into Biden’s favor because it goes to show that there is an equal system of justice.”

She pointed back to the 2020 election debates, where Trump’s attack on Hunter Biden’s drug addiction led to a softer moment for Biden showing care as a father, something which voters connected with.

“It was a moment with the American people where they saw how good of a dad he is, and it actually curried more favor for him with sympathy,” she said. “A lot of families out there can relate to that struggle. And so if they decide to go down that route, and Trump decides to kind of go after Hunter Biden as a counter-attack, I could see that actually backfiring on him.”

Matthews also remarked that the Trump campaign has set a low bar for Biden, consistently attacking him for his age and claiming he has mental difficulties. Those low expectations make it easier for the president, she argued.

“I think what we’ve seen from Trump and his campaign shows that he actually is a little bit nervous about what’s going to happen tomorrow,” she said.

“They’re trying to set the bar a little bit higher, which is quite difficult though, when it seems like they’ve set the bar so low for Biden when they’ve constantly attacked him for his mental acuity,” she continued. “And so if Biden just shows up and looks in charge and engaged, I think tomorrow night, then he is going to have a strong performance. So I know that Trump and his team are worried about that.”

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