On CNN Monday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman suggested that the president's appeals to racism are not an organized strategy, but simply what pops into his head.
"Has stoking racial division now become a part of the president's re-election strategy?" asked anchor Wolf Blitzer.
"So, I want to reject two things you said.," said Haberman. "One is 'now become,' and the other is 'strategy.' This is not a strategy, but what the president prefers to do and what he wants to talk about and consistently talked about for several years or decades."
"The reason it stands out so much now, it is so out of step with where the rest of the country is in this movement, which is one of the biggest civil rights movements in decades that comes against systemic racism in policing and in other areas of American life," said Haberman. "He is choosing to talk about other things. He is choosing to talk about the Confederate flag and demanding an apology from the one Black NASCAR driver."
"I think that he is playing into white grievance politics that got him elected in 2016," said Haberman. "I think he thinks it will help him again. This is a different election. Joe Biden is not Hillary Clinton. It is hard to re-run the same race. I do not think it is a strategy, but what he wants to do."