Former VP Joe Biden has now on a number of occasions passed on the opportunity to directly engage with his fellow Democratic candidates.
This is likely to earn Biden some applause from a Democratic base that is largely focused on the incumbent president, Donald Trump.
But is Biden really avoiding attacks on his Democratic opponents?
In late April, as Biden was gearing up to announce his campaign with the endorsement of the International Association of Firefighters, its General Secretary-Treasurer Ed Kelly appeared on Fox News to condemn Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders’s proposal to let all incarcerated people vote — including the Boston Bomber.
Kelly, who has been a strident advocate for Biden, called the Sanders proposal “ridiculous.” It’s an important detail to note that Kelly was one of the firefighters in Boston who responded to the Boston Bomber’s attack.
There’s also this article in the Philadelphia press that notes that Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren fundraised with some of the same people she criticized Biden for fundraising with during his campaign launch week. Note that the timing of this article came shortly after her initial criticism of Biden and that people who attended the fundraiser were interviewed.
It’s highly likely these events were coordinated by the Biden communications team.
If so, it would be a clever way to maintain an image of not fighting with your Democratic colleagues while also effectively attacking them through surrogates.