During an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday, President Donald Trump was asked a softball question about what he would focus on as a priority for his second term, if re-elected. Trump flubbed the question, and Hannity moved on without trying to press the matter.
On Saturday, The Wall Street Journal spoke to White House aides who tried to clean up the embarrassment of the incident.
“The president is sort of singularly focused right now on dealing with the virus that’s still with us, and getting Americans back to work,” one senior administration official told them. “Now that doesn’t mean that extensive legwork isn’t being done.”
Meanwhile, White House spokesman Judd Deere said, “As the president continues to lead a whole-of-government response to a global pandemic, restore law and order to our communities, and rebuild the economy, the White House is engaged in an ongoing policy process for a bold second-term agenda that continues the Transition to Greatness.”
But in another recent interview with the Journal, even Trump himself acknowledged that the recent national disasters have potentially upended ideas he had for economic policy in his second term. “It would have been much different if you asked me that question three months ago, because the economy was really rocking and I would have been cutting debt,” he said. “I would have been cutting expenses. I would have been cutting a lot of things.”
Recent polls have shown the president down double digits against former Vice President Joe Biden, and trailing in most key battleground states.