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Biden Interview With Univision Slams Trump, Full Of Softballs

The contrast between Donald Trump on Univision last year and Joe Biden on Univision Tuesday was night and day, but the result was still pretty much the same.

Exactly five months after a controversial interview with the 45th President by Enrique Acevedo, the anchor of Televisa’s  En punto was broadcast on the Spanish-language network, a sit-down with the 46th POTUS aired. However, while the unctuous November 9, 2023 Trump interview at Mar-a-Lago saw the former Celebrity Apprentice host spouting grievances, stolen election conspiracy theories and self-aggrandizement, Biden went nearly full policy wonk tonight.

Including a stroll through the Oval Office discussing the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez, and a clearly scripted aside that the iconic labor leader’s granddaughter Julie Chavez Rodriguez is chairing his reelection campaign, the multi-channel, multi-lingual Biden special may have sought to distinguish itself as always from Trump. However, the truth is tonight’s interview with Biden was almost equally as softball as when Acevedo spoke with the Republican in his flag filled Florida lair.

With almost none of the follow-up questions nor challenging of assumptions or assertions that Noticiero Univisión  co-anchor Jorge Ramos would have brought to such an interview with a President, the highly scripted Acevedo let Biden turn their discussion into a series of talking points with a whiff of stump speech.

Mainly prerecorded at the White House on April 3, there was no mention of breaking news like the Arizona Supreme Court’s resurrection of the state’s 160-year old abortion ban law or efforts by English-speaking news outlets to get Biden and Trump to commit to debates. Evergreen in some aspects, if Univision were criticized by Democrats, progressives, John Leguizamo and  many Latino groups for the interview with the divisive Trump last fall, tonight’s Biden interview saw a network that had learned little in the interim.

In fact, exactly the presentation the White House and the Biden reelection campaign desired, the approximately 40-minute presentation saw the 81-year old POTUS flexing his command of his briefs and policies. Healthcare initiatives, education policy, gun control, immigration legislation possibilities and border reform, Congressional realpolitik were among the issues Biden kept in the air, occasionally looking down at notes he was holding.

Asked about what he would or could do via Executive Order about the southern border crisis now a bipartisan deal was effectively killed by Trump’s “death grip” over the GOP, Biden replied “we’re examining whether or not I have that power .. we’re trying to work that, work through that right now.”

Acevedo let that go and shifted gears to the role of Mexico in easing migration to the US.

As well as deviling into his relationship with Mexican President López Obrador, the need for more aid to Ukraine,  and the retail politics of Latino voting concerns, Biden made news hours before the interview aired with what is his strongest rebuke yet of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Well, I will tell you, I think what he’s doing is a mistake,” Biden said of Netanyahu’s ongoing bombardment of Gaza since the horrific October 7 attack by Hamas that left over 1200 Israelis dead, mass rapes and hundreds taken hostage. “I don’t agree with his approach,” Biden added after months of strong support for the Israeli government. “I think it’s outrageous that those four, three vehicles were hit by drones and taken out on a highway,” the Commander-in-chief declared of the fatal attack last week on a World Central Kitchen convoy that left seven aid workers dead.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and the IDF have said the attack was a mistake and have promise a thorough investigation. The killing of the multi-national WCK workers has increasing aligned governments around the world, including the Biden administration with protesters and others demanding a ceasefire and massive humanitarian relief in Gaza.

Still with all the topics Biden covered with Acevedo the real heart of the Univision interview was Donald Trump.

Responding with “Donald Trump, seriously” to Acevedo’s question of what he considered “the primary threat to freedom and democracy at home,” Biden returned again and again to taking swipes at his predecessor. “Look at the way, when he talks about minority populations or Hispanics,” Biden declared, aware of the potentially millions watching.

In what is certain to be a much closer election than 2020, Biden used the forum to center viewers on the consequences of a Trump return to the White House. “He has a very, very, I think, jaded view of the Constitution,” Biden said. “He made it clear that he doesn’t plan on abiding by parts of it if he thinks it’s not appropriate. And it’s just… at least he’s saying it out loud.”

Near the end of the special, Acevedo asked Biden how he wanted to be remembered whether he wins reelection or not. “I hope my legacy is that I was honest, straightforward and did what I said,” the President responded.

Expect to see that in a campaign ad soon.

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