‘Disaster for the ages’: Steve Schmidt hammers Trump for bringing ‘mourning’ to America
Steve Schmidt (MSNBC)

Former Republican strategist Steve Schmidt blamed President Donald Trump for the staggering number of lives already lost to the coronavirus pandemic.

Schmidt appeared Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," where he explained why he and other "never-Trump" conservatives made the "Mourning In America" ad that has driven the president crazy.

"He started rage tweeting at about 1:00 in the morning, when he saw it after it ran," Schmidt said. "It had been viewed more than 16 million times, it's raised over $1 million. What the ad points out is that the president, who ran saying, 'I alone can fix it,' and, 'I'll make America great again,' has presided over an era unlike any other in American history. He's brought tragedy to the country. This is a moment of profound American weakness."

Schmidt said the president had mishandled every opportunity in the fight against the deadly virus, and has abdicated his leadership role.

"He has handled this with a level of ineptitude and incompetence that is simply staggering," Schmidt said. "The cost is immense human suffering in the country. We have 70,000 dead Americans, that number will cruise through 100,000. We have a shattered economy. We'll see unemployment rates of 30 percent."

All this suffering was avoidable, he said, if the president had managed the crisis with any competence.

"None of this had to happen," Schmidt said. "He was not on his game, he left the country unprotected. He's been lying to the country, he has been talking about his television ratings. His eye is not on the ball. The reality is, we have the worst president in American history at the moment of one of the greatest crises in the country's history."

Schmidt said Joe Biden should hammer away at Trump's glaring weaknesses.

"He has an incapacity for empathy," Schmidt said. "He has no instinct for leadership. He is a mess."

"He is an unsteady hand at a moment in crisis," he added. "All over this country, there is death that did not have to be. He told the American people that he had been assured by the Chinese, no problem -- 15 Americans have this, soon it will be gone. This is a disaster for the ages."