CNN host Don Lemon thinks that President Donald Trump is using issues like race to manipulate his voters into voting against their own interest.
In his opening commentary, Lemon showed the clip of Trump’s supporters chanting “send her back” at Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), who is a Somali immigrant who came to the U.S. when she was just 12 years old.
He then cited a tweet that Trump sent out earlier Wednesday.
“New Poll: The Rasmussen Poll, one of the most accurate in predicting the 2016 Election, has just announced that “Trump” numbers have recently gone up by four points, to 50 percent. Thank you to the vicious young Socialist Congresswomen. America will never buy your act! #MAGA2020,” Trump tweeted.
“There it is,” Lemon said. “He told you exactly what this is all about. When I said, you read the room. Be strategic. This is about 2020. And then there’s this.”
Trump then tweeted, what Lemon called a “not at all subtle message” that America is “one squad under God.”
“Get it?” Lemon asked. “Well, his son Eric Trump is flying the flag too.”
He then showed a clip of the younger Trump, saying that 95 percent of the country is behind Trump on this message because they love this nation. Lemon explained that 95 percent of Americans are behind the country, but not Trump. Trump is trying to associate himself with the flag and the country as a whole, much in the way George W. Bush tried to do in the 2004 reelection. He cited Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saying something similar and excusing away the president’s racist statements.
“Here’s the thing: The president is clearly trying to cast this broader debate as a choice between him and progressive members [of Congress],” Lemon continued. “This fight has dominated the conversation. You have had your resolution. The Democrats are rallying behind the members. Are you concerned the president is goading you?”
He explained that the more Trump doubles down on attacks, the more Democrats fight back. The more attention then gets taken away from their agenda, which is something they can actually win on.
Internal polling for Democrats shows that if they use a message about how ineffective Trump has been, that he hasn’t kept any of his promises, that it moves people to vote for Democrats. When they devolve into a debate over Trump being a racist, they lose, because people already have decided either he is or isn’t a racist.
“Brace yourself,” Lemon went on. “You’ll hear more disgusting, manipulative, garbage. If you think he’s learned his lesson. He did. The lesson of 2016. When hate and divisiveness helped him win the White House. It worked in 2016. But it failed in 2018. Let’s not forget that utterly racist divisive campaign ad right before the midterm. Stoking fear of immigrants with images of crowds of people and unknown locations. It didn’t work last year. When a blue wave of Democrats took control of the house. It didn’t work then. It wasn’t on the ballot specifically. The question is, will it happen in 2020. Will it work? President stirred up the crowd tonight with the attack on Congresswoman Omar. And they chanted ‘Send her back.'”
Watch Lemon’s commentary below:
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