According to a report from Politico, a substantial number of Republican insiders now see no way for Donald Trump to turn around his re-election campaign before November.
With less than 100 days to go before the election and his polling numbers in free-fall, the president has been getting input from unofficial advisers like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) who have urged him to use some of the campaign tricks that served him well in 2016 -- but others close to the president say they won't work this time.
"Trump, according to 15 Republicans interviewed over the past week, is troubled that his usual arsenal seems to be having no effect," the report states, before adding that attacks on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have fallen flat and that his greatest impediment to being re-elected -- the COVID-19 pandemic -- is not a foe that can be destroyed with a tweet.
“The enemy here isn’t something that punches back via Twitter,” explained a former senior White House official. “You need an enemy and Covid’s not cooperating, Biden’s not cooperating.”
The report goes on to note that finger-pointing has begun over the collapse of the campaign, with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows taking a fair amount of the criticism.
"The question of Trump’s descent raises the question of whose fault it is. Some political operations can be turned around by a change in staff. In March, former Rep. Mark Meadows became the president’s new chief of staff and has slowly reconfigured the president’s White House team. The Meadows era has coincided with the president’s steep decline, a fact that some Trump aides are quick to note," Politico reports with one White House official stating, "I don’t think his newest team is serving him well. In fact it’s worse than ever. They came in thinking they know best, and they’ve not bothered to understand the president or West Wing.”
“I don’t know if they’re giving him the whole picture,” the official added. “It’s very much Kool-Aid drinkers and he doesn’t want that. He never has.”
According to another Republican, Trump’s ongoing struggle to lay a hand on Biden shows the campaign has no strategy going forward.
“What do you mean by strategy?” asked an associate of the president. “I don’t think Donald Trump wakes up and says, ‘Here’s my strategy. Let me tweet out something.’ I don’t think there’s a political strategy there. He believes the way he interacts and communicates is what got him elected and he’s going to continue to do that.”
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