In interviews with Axios, several staunch allies of Donald Trump are openly stating that the president has 4-8 weeks to salvage any chance of winning re-election due to an economy that is still spiraling out of control because of the COVID-19 crisis.
According to Stephen Moore, whose name the president once floated for a spot on Federal Reserve, "If the administration mishandles its economic recovery efforts, he said, Trump is 'in big trouble.'"
"Other conservative leaders — including former Congressman and Club for Growth President David McIntosh, a Pence ally who served in the same Indiana district immediately before the Vice President — said they worry that there isn't enough attention being placed on the longer-term, post-coronavirus economic strategy," Alayna Treene of Axios writes, adding that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has become a focus of concern.
"I don't think [Mnuchin] has yet started thinking about that long-term, how do we incentivize the rapid recovery or the V-shape bounce back?" McIntosh explained. "I understand their planning process, to deal with emergency. But now it's time to start thinking of the exit strategy.”
According to a Republican strategist who didn't want their name used, "Red flags are going up. We understand that there is this sort of survival phase, but there's a concern that Mnuchin is overplaying that and not looking ahead. The emerging consensus is the next phase needs to be about economic growth, not about making government bigger through massive spending and increased regulation that stifles the economic recovery."
As Treene explains, "Trump built his re-election pitch on the idea the U.S. has seen historic prosperity under his leadership — but now the economy is in shambles," and that he is looking to create a second task force -- one that reportedly includes his daughter, Ivanka Trump -- to oversee the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and that is not being well received.
"McIntosh poured cold water on the idea of a totally separate task force, warning that a second group would create 'competing centers for decision making,'" the report states. "Instead, McIntosh recommended that they instead beef up the existing task force led by Pence with outside business advisers, not more government officials, 'to give them that perspective of what matters in the real world economy.'"
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