Biden versus Trump: US election battle is set

UNITED STATES (AP) – The stage is set for November.

Barring unforeseen disaster, Joe Biden will represent the Democratic Party against United States (US) President Donald Trump this fall, the former vice president’s place on the general election ballot cemented by Bernie Sanders’ decision to end his campaign.

Biden likely won’t secure the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination until June. But without any Democratic rivals left, a general election campaign that will almost certainly be the most expensive and the nastiest in US history is underway.

“It won’t be easy. Nobody’s confused about that. But we are ready for the general election. We are ready for our standard-bearer,” Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said. “I’m confident because Joe Biden’s values reflect the values of the majority of the American people that we can win.”

In Biden and Trump, voters will choose between two white septuagenarians with dramatically different prescriptions for healthcare, climate change, foreign policy and leadership in an era of extreme partisanship.

United States President Donald Trump during a daily briefing on COVID-19. PHOTO: AP

At 77, Biden becomes the oldest major party presidential nominee in modern history. And having spent most of his life as an elected official in Washington, no nominee has had more experience.

But in Trump, Biden is up against an adversary the likes of which he has never faced in his decadeslong political career. The 73-year-old Republican president opens with a massive cash advantage and a well-established willingness to win at any cost.

Trump’s campaign is moving forward with a multipronged attack that mixes legitimate criticism with baseless charges and, in some cases, outright conspiracy theories. It’s similar to the unconventional playbook Trump used against Hillary Clinton four years ago with unexpectedly devastating success.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said Biden will be portrayed as too liberal for most Americans. Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, predicted Trump would “destroy” Biden, whom the president and his allies have nicknamed ‘Sleepy Joe’.

“President Trump is still disrupting Washington, DC, while Biden represents the old, tired way and continuing to coddle the communist regime in China,” Parscale said.