Trump 2020 campaign officials have had to make major changes to their re-election strategy for November by switching to defense due to his administration’s coronavirus bungling instead of attacking his presumptive opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
According to a report from Politico, Trump campaign officials are privately “fretting” that the president is damaging his chances of being re-elected by appearing at the daily press conferences held by the White House coronavirus task force and are reaching out to conservative news sources to help bury bad news.
“Faced with endless video clips of Donald Trump downplaying the escalating outbreak, Trump aides and allies are working furiously to instead highlight the president’s recent actions and comments,” Politico’s Anita Kumar wrote. “Their effort comprises three tactics: Blanket supporters with detailed timelines of every action the Trump administration took. Amplify praise of those actions. And forcefully push back against anyone who criticizes those actions.”
Kumar notes, “Trump’s aides and allies [now] realize the president’s campaign for a second term has been completely transformed in a matter of weeks. It will now come down to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his response to a devastated economy,” while pointing out that attacks on Biden have been shelved for the near future.
“The Trump campaign had wanted to focus on a long list of other issues as the president launched a general election race against Democrat Joe Biden: the president’s impeachment acquittal, Biden’s acuity and overseas actions by Biden’s son, Hunter,” the report states. “Instead, it has shifted almost entirely to rehabilitating Trump’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.”
“Trump allies who were confident about the president’s reelection prospects just weeks ago — thanks to a strong economy and record stock market — have begun to fret as they see him being blamed by state and local leaders, members of Congress and public health officials for failing to quickly test patients and distribute masks, ventilators and other supplies,” Kumar explained. “Trump allies said the campaign had no choice but to do what it always does when a crisis engulfs the presidency, from impeachment to the threat of war with Iran: quickly and quietly follow the president’s lead — pushing out new talking points, buying new Facebook ads and lining up voices to defend the president forcefully.”
According to a Republican close to the president, “They want to try to control that narrative as much as possible. It’s irresponsible to do anything else.”
Speaking with Politico, 2016 campaign adviser Michael Caputo said that Trump will continue to be at a disadvantage the longer the coronavirus crisis continues.
“They can criticize him for every move he makes,” he said of Biden’s campaign.
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Biden demands Trump put aside ‘pettiness and ideology’ and reopen Obamacare exchanges to fight coronavirus
On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that former Vice President Joe Biden is calling on President Donald Trump to end the "pettiness and ideology" and reopen Obamacare's health insurance marketplaces so uninsured Americans can obtain coverage and protect themselves against the coronavirus pandemic.
“During this outbreak, when health care coverage is more important than ever, Donald Trump is refusing to give those who have been uninsured access to the best resource we have: the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces,” Biden told the Beast. “This is no time to put pettiness and ideology above helping those who are in the greatest need.”
Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report
In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.
With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.
"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.
Anti-science Christians who went ‘all in’ for Trump bear responsibility for COVID-19 crisis: religious extremism expert
Appearing on MSNBC with host Ayman Mohyeldin, the author of a widely shared New York Times article on the dangerous rise of religious nationalism lambasted religious leaders who are still holding public services when the government is advising social isolation and claimed they are making things worse for the rest of the country.
Speaking with the host, Katherine Stewart, who is also the author of the book "The Power Worshipers," explained that years of anti-science rhetoric from the predominately rightwing evangelical movement is a contributing factor as to why the country is in the throes of a deadly pandemic that may lead to over 250,000 deaths.