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Trump's trials throw a wrench in his campaign schedule as Biden gets busy

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump was hyper critical of President Joe's Biden campaign schedule dubbing his sparse event calendar and low-attendance rallies, a result of following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic, a "basement campaign."

Now, as Trump lags in fundraising and faces a robust legal schedule, the Biden campaign is attempting to flip the term back at Trump as his court obligations put his campaign schedule in limbo.

"Is not campaigning -- as your opponent relentlessly campaigns in battleground states -- and hiding in your basement a good way to assemble a winning coalition of voters?" the Biden-Harris campaign wrote in a memo sent out to the press last week.

MORE: Without a bond posted, Trump risks losing prized assets following fraud judgment

PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump appears in the courtroom for his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Oct. 24, 2023 in New York. (Maansi Srivastava/POOL/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: Former President Donald Trump appears in the courtroom for his civil fraud trial at New York State Supreme Court on Oct. 24, 2023 in New York. (Maansi Srivastava/POOL/AFP via Getty Images, FILE)

Trump's legal schedule is still up in the air as he faces four criminal trials with different timelines.

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Trump will stand trial over a hush payment to Stormy Daniels beginning with jury selection on April 15, his classified documents trial is scheduled for May 20, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proposed Aug. 5 as a start date for the trial on his 2020 election interference case in Georgia, and no date has been scheduled for his D.C. federal election interference case. Several of the cases could be delayed as the Supreme Court weighs his presidential immunity claims.

Aside from voting in the Florida primary last Tuesday, Trump didn't have any campaign events last week, playing rounds of golf and holding political meetings as the campaign also works to catch up to Biden's team on its fundraising efforts. Now, the Biden campaign has begun to capitalize on Trump's thin campaign schedule with a more robust campaign schedule than earlier this cycle.

PHOTO: Former President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump arrives for a campaign event in Rome, Ga., on March 9, 2024. (Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Former President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump arrives for a campaign event in Rome, Ga., on March 9, 2024. (Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images)

MORE: Trump expected in court Monday for hearing on trial date in New York hush money case

Earlier this election cycle before the Biden campaign recently ramped up its efforts, Trump was on the campaign trail more often than Biden, hitting multiple general election battleground states such as Michigan and Pennsylvania. Meanwhile, Trump's Republican challengers were zeroing in on early-voting states and Biden was focusing on his presidential duties.

Since Super Tuesday, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris together have barnstormed across key battleground states holding more than a dozen events in Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Michigan and Texas.

In contrast, Trump has only held two campaign rallies since Super Tuesday: in Georgia and Ohio. The Trump campaign scrapped a rally previously planned event in Arizona in lieu of the Ohio rally in order to boost Trump-endorsed Senate candidate Bernie Moreno.

The rally helped push Moreno into a primary victory; however, Trump's comments that there will be a "bloodbath" for the country if he doesn't win the 2024 general election created a media frenzy for the week.

"We're gonna put a 100% tariff on every single car that comes across the line, and you're not gonna be able to sell those guys if I get elected," Trump said at the event while criticizing overseas manufacturing production.

"Now, if I don't get elected, it's gonna be a bloodbath for the whole ... that's gonna be the least of it, it's gonna be a bloodbath for the country, that'll be the least of it."

Trump's campaign has pushed back on claims Trump was talking about violence throughout the country should he lose reelection in 2024, arguing he was talking about the destruction of the auto industry.

In recent weeks, Trump has faced criticism for comments he made during his few appearances. Last week, while describing what the world would be like if he lost the 2024 election, Trump said the antisemitic trope that Jewish Democrats "hate" Israel and "should be ashamed of themselves" -- and then doubled down on the comments. Trump faced criticism from many -- including Biden as well as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, the highest-ranking Jewish official in the U.S. and a consistent supporter of Israel.

Earlier this month, Trump floated cuts related to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare in a potential second term in order to curb the tens of trillions of dollars in national debt.

CNBC anchor Joe Kernen asked Trump if he had changed his outlook on how to handle entitlements, adding "Mr. President, it seems like something has to be done or else we are going to be stuck at 120% of debt to [gross domestic product] forever."

"So first of all, there is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting -- and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements, tremendous bad management of entitlements," Trump replied.

"There's tremendous amounts of things and numbers of things you can do, so I don't necessarily agree with the statement," Trump said. "I know that they're going to end up weakening Social Security because the country is weak."

The Trump campaign has pushed back against Biden's criticism of the comments, saying his words are being distorted. Trump's campaign has attacked the Biden campaign for sharing snippets from Trump's answer rather than the longer exchange.

MORE: Trump keeps losing some Republican primary voters to Haley: Will it matter when he faces Biden?

There were times earlier last year when Trump was similarly quiet on the trail, going weeks without a campaign event even as his 2024 Republican challengers were aggressively campaigning in the early states. However, he dramatically ramped up his campaign schedule leading up to early voting states, holding campaign events back-to-back in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina even as he was keeping up with a clashing court schedule.

With Biden out on the road, the Trump campaign has sought to highlight blunders he's made as Trump and his allies throw accusations around about Biden's mental acuity -- claims Biden and his team have dismissed. In a new campaign ad released earlier this month, Biden acknowledged his advanced age.

"Look, I'm not a young guy," Biden said with a chuckle at the start of the ad, speaking directly to camera. "That's no secret. Here's the deal, I understand how to get things done for the American people."

Trump is three years younger than Biden.

Trump supporters -- as well as political experts -- note that Trump's primary schedule didn't impact his ability to ultimately clinch the Republican nomination, arguing that his campaign has been able to make headlines in other ways.

PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks, as he announces a preliminary agreement with Intel for a major CHIPS and Science Act award, during a visit to the Intel Ocotillo Campus, in Chandler, Ariz., March 20, 2024. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters, FILE)
PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks, as he announces a preliminary agreement with Intel for a major CHIPS and Science Act award, during a visit to the Intel Ocotillo Campus, in Chandler, Ariz., March 20, 2024. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters, FILE)

"The campaign has curbed hosting the big rallies that Trump likes to save money. But Trump's name is still on the front page of every media outlet in the country on a daily basis. So even if he's not doing events, his visibility remains high," said Dan Eberhart, a longtime Republican donor who served as bundler for Gov. Ron DeSantis during his presidential bid. Eberhart said he now supports Trump.

This time around, Trump's campaign boasted a bigger war chest of $42 million entering March, according to campaign finance data. Still, Trump's campaign is being relatively frugal with its campaign fund as it tries to build a war chest that can compete with Biden and the Democratic Party's $100 million cash on hand, according to campaign finance data.

"He has also benefited from staying out of the spotlight and having to answer questions from reporters every day. It certainly hasn't hurt him in the polls," Eberhart said.

Political strategist Charlie Kolean said it's not surprising that Trump is not campaigning as much after securing the Republican nomination, considering his campaign is facing a cash crunch and he continues to be tied up in courts.

"I think it's intentional," Kolean said, adding that he doesn't believe Trump's lack of campaign events in recent weeks as Biden ramps up his campaigning will hurt the former president's campaign.

MORE: Harris says US has not ruled out 'consequences' if Israel invades Rafah

Trump's few in-person campaign events following Super Tuesday is especially notable compared to his 2016 campaign, when he was criss-crossing the country and holding more than a dozen campaign rallies within two weeks of Super Tuesday as he was still competing against his Republican primary rivals.

"I think you're going to see a lot more of this," Kolean added. "When Trump is doing an interview, I think it will be more controlled, with more friendly-ish type outlets, and I think when Trump does a rally, it's gonna be more strategic."

Trump's trials throw a wrench in his campaign schedule as Biden gets busy originally appeared on abcnews.go.com