Sharpton warns Biden team it's too cocky about beating Trump: 'I tell them their confidence is misplaced'

MSNBC’s Al Sharpton said Friday he’s warned the Biden White House it’s too confident heading into another election battle with Donald Trump.

Responding to a new TIME report that laid out a grim picture of the president’s re-election hopes, Sharpton told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that he’d had frank conversations with Biden officials at the White House.

“I tell them their confidence is misplaced,” Sharpton said. “I think they’re absolutely too confident.”

He noted that through his daily radio show and progressive activism, he had spent more time talking to people on the ground.

“I’m talking to real people, from church people to street people that come to my rallies or call the show, and I’m hearing more ambivalence to questioning than I am comfortable with as someone who doesn’t want to see Trump in,” he said.

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MSNBC’s Al Sharpton appears on “Morning Joe” on March 22, 2024.

Sharpton’s strong criticism of former President Trump as an unacceptable alternative to Biden, he said, was getting tuned out.

“I really think [Biden’s team has] to have an aggressive move to really get their message out to connect to people what they’re doing and to connect to some of the active people on the ground,” Sharpton said. “Just having politicians validating other politicians, people don’t trust that.”

TIME correspondent Charlotte Alter said she’d also found through her reporting that the Biden team was confident of victory again after beating Trump in 2020. Sources told her the president has been warned by his allies that he needs to step up his efforts and recognize that the world is far different from the COVID-ravaged election four years ago.

“There’s a lot of overconfidence coming from the Biden camp, a sense that he’s already the only guy who’s ever beaten Donald Trump in a presidential election,” she said. “I think there’s a sense that what worked last time will work this time. Our reporting shows that’s not necessarily clear that the same exact strategy will work this time that worked last time. The country is different. A lot has changed.”

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Polls show Biden with historically poor support as a Democrat with minority voters, which could cost him key swing states if turnout is poor enough that Trump offsets it with his advantage with White voters.

“Biden’s standing among the coalition of voters that elected him in 2020 has significantly eroded,” Alter said. “You know, there’s a lot of room for him to improve. It’s not insurmountable, but people are concerned that the campaign doesn’t quite seem to be taking this as seriously as it needs to. Young voters have soured on him. Voters of color are souring on him. Remember, Trump doesn’t need to outright win these voters to win the election. He just needs to run up his margins, and right now he’s doing that.”

Former President Obama is among the sympathetic voices to express concern to Biden, Alter reported, writing about a private meeting the two had in December.

“He expressed concern the re-election campaign was behind schedule in building out its field operations, and bottlenecked by Biden’s insistence on relying upon an insular group of advisers clustered in the West Wing, according to the same Democratic insider. Biden needed to get it together, or Trump would sweep the seven key battleground states in November, six of which Biden carried in 2020,” she wrote.

Biden has an extensive cash advantage over Trump which the Republican is trying to level, reported this week.

David Rutz is a senior editor at Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @davidrutz.

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