Trump presses attack on Biden’s war on the suburbs

Yesterday, we asked whether President Trump will make Joe Biden’s war on the suburbs an issue in this campaign. Today, Stanley Kurtz reports that Trump already has.

In a speech Wednesday in Atlanta on “Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure,” the president emphasized his determination to eliminate President Obama’s radical and legally baseless rule on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH). Trump stressed Biden’s determination to “hold hostage billions in federal Surface Transportation Grants for states and localities unless the states and local suburban communities abolish single-family zoning rules.”

Holding this money hostage is Biden’s special contribution to the war on the suburbs. It goes beyond the already oppressive AFFH rule. As Stanley explains:

Under the original rule, localities could at least opt out of their HUD grants — and thus out of federal control — even if at the cost of millions of dollars. But what suburb can afford to cut itself off from state road repairs? With that addition, Biden’s plan truly constitutes a war on suburban independence.

Stanley wonders whether the Trump campaign will include ads and speeches on this issue that bring it into focus, rather than just passing mentions in extended speeches on other topics. The question is important because the mere accusation that Biden will wage war on the suburbs is not likely to convince suburban voters — a cohort that, in many areas, doesn’t view Biden as menacing and isn’t inclined to take Trump’s word for things.

For the charge that Biden will wage war on suburbs to have its optimal impact, and not be shrugged off as exaggerated at best and racist at worst, the Trump campaign will have to explain it, not just assert it. Yesterday’s statement about Biden withholding key transportation grants unless communities abolish single-family zoning rules is a good start.

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