While Donald Trump seems to be reveling in his daily press conferences that handing him hours of free airtime prior to his re-election drive, one Republican campaign consultant is warning that the president is handing Democrats highly damaging quotes on a daily basis that will come back to haunt him in November.
According to a report in the Washington Post, Trump’s assertion “I don’t take responsibility at all” for the failure to provide tests for the coronavirus will continue to be a centerpiece in attack ads Democrats will be spending millions on to remind the country of his many failings.
“Within days of President Trump’s assertion that “I don’t take responsibility at all” for coronavirus testing failures, Democrats were spending millions in key November states on an ad that replayed a series of his most pungent remarks.“One day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear,” Trump can be heard saying of the virus, before the ad ends with his refusal to let the buck stop with him,” the Post reports while noting his comments are accompanied by a graph showing a huge growing spike in infections.
“As Democrats escalate their general-election campaign against the president, they have targeted his failure to act urgently to deflect the damage the coronavirus is wreaking over lives and the economy, as he brushed aside intelligence briefings and warnings from health officials while holding fundraisers and gathering thousands of his followers at rallies, the report continues with Guy Cecil, chairman of Democratic PAC Priorities USA saying Trump’s press conference dissembling is making his job easier.
“It’s important when you have a president who’s literally just lying, misinforming, mismanaging, that you use the president’s own words,” he explained. “And you help people understand that we are in this position now because the administration didn’t take it seriously.”
“We could run a 10-minute ad every hour, and still not scratch the surface of how the president has misinformed people and sent contradictory messages,” he added.
Former RNC spokesperson Doug Heye, who now works as a GOP strategist, agreed.
“If we’ve gotten to a place where coronavirus is fully behind us — which it may not be — as a daily health concern, and the economy is really showing signs of coming back, then that’s an argument for the president. If it’s not — well, that’s going to be a problem for him,” he explained before adding that Trump’s “‘rally-type’ news conferences could be ‘extremely effective’ in Democratic ads attacking his response as unfocused and lackluster.”
As Trump 2020 campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany is claiming, “While irresponsible Democrats were focusing on impeachment, President Trump was taking early and unprecedented action to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” Democratic pollster Geoff Garin begged to differ.
“Trump has failed miserably, at a moment of national crisis, to transcend partisanship,” he explained. “And in fact it’s fair to say that his conduct has exacerbated partisanship as opposed to overcoming it. Presidents in a moment of crisis are supposed to be figures of unity, and that has happened to the most slight and marginal degree for Trump.”
According to a top Republican strategist who is close to the White House, but wanted to remain anonymous, Trump’s daily briefings have not been helpful to his re-election campaign so far.
“I think part of the mistake that Trump made is — not only on the seriousness of it — but the political impact of it,” the strategist elaborated. “And I think it’s recognizing that this is a moment to be a hero, an unlikely hero. But I think he appears to be warming up to the role — not playing it anything close to flawlessly, of course, but recognizing the moment and starting to respond to it.”
“It is vitally important not to give Trump a free hand to write his own coronavirus narrative,” added Democrat Garin. “Democrats have to hold him accountable not just for his past failures, but his current ones. And not give him a free hand to write Paul Bunyan stories about his role in addressing this.”
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