POLITICO Playbook: The power of incumbency

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fairly difficult
And House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy offers a plan to reopen Congress.
POLITICO Playbook: The power of incumbency Presented by

President Donald Trump used a two-hour-long virtual town hall held at the Lincoln Memorial to discuss his hopes for a quick vaccine and swipe at Joe Biden. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo


WHILE JOE BIDEN is relegated to his basement in Delaware, President DONALD TRUMP held a virtual town hall on Fox News on Sunday night at the Lincoln Memorial -- an imposing and dramatic backdrop that was the most vivid illustration of the logistical advantages afforded to the incumbent president.

THE BIG NEWS … TRUMP said during the two-hour-long event that he was "very confident" there would be a vaccine by the end of the year -- a much quicker timeline than public health experts expect. "We're pushing very hard," TRUMP said. RED LINE ALERT … TRUMP said the administration is not "doing anything" legislatively without a payroll tax cut. This is in addition to Senate Republicans' demand that Democrats agree to limiting liability for businesses in the post-coronavirus world.

THE PRESIDENT said he expected the coronavirus would eventually kill between 75,000 and 100,000 Americans, an upward revision from his previous estimate of 60,000. The U.S. death toll was nearly 68,000 as of this morning.

TWICE during the town hall, TRUMP said that BIDEN has "written a letter of apology" for calling him xenophobic. This is not true, as far as we know. TRUMP was shown a tweet by BIDEN criticizing the administration's performance in the leadup to the coronavirus, and the president used the opportunity to take a swipe at the former VP'S intelligence. "Joe Biden didn't write that," TRUMP said. "That was written from a young man that got very good grades at a very good school. That was not written by him. I promise you that."

AND VP MIKE PENCE admitted he was wrong and said he "should have worn the mask at the Mayo Clinic."

NEW … MCCARTHY'S PLAN TO OPEN UP CONGRESS: House Minority Leader KEVIN MCCARTHY has been vocal about his…
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