In a report from Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller of the Associated Press, aides to Donald Trump admit that time is running out to salvage the president’s re-election bid and that they may have to bank on the president’s performance in the debates with former Vice President Joe Biden to turn things around.
With fewer than one hundred days to go before November’s election, the report notes that early voting starts soon which is not good for a president with high disapproval numbers due to a crippled economy and an ongoing coronavirus health crisis.
According to conservative campaign consultant Steve Schmidt, notable for his opposition to the president, it may already be too late for Trump.
“He’s losing and the trajectory of the race is moving away from him,” explained Schmidt who ran Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. “People vote at a moment in time: Even if there is something of a political recovery for the president in October, that is irrelevant for those who already voted.”
With the campaign in “re-set” mode after the demotion of Brad Parscale, and advertising suspended, campaign insiders admit they have big problems in states the president can’t afford to lose.
“The campaign downplayed the ad pause, saying that the new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, wanted to analyze when and where Trump’s advertising message was being delivered,” the report states, adding, “The campaign has all but pulled the plug on competing in Michigan and, privately, acknowledges deficits in vital battleground states like Florida, Wisconsin and Arizona, though it insists the margins are manageable and smaller than what is reflected in public polling.”
According to former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, Trump has the added problem that voters are currently tuning him out.
“By the speed at which news and events move in 2020, it’s not necessarily the case that he is running out of time,” he explained. “Much of the public will not pay attention to what he will say on law and order and the economy until he gets over the COVID hurdle first.”
With that in mind, campaign aides hope debates — and lots of them — might help the president break through to voters once again.
“Many around the president are focused on the debates as perhaps the best chance, pushing for more showdowns with Biden to increase the chance of the former vice president faltering on stage,” the report states while adding, “The president’s advisers are also trying to re-imagine a campaign without its trademark rallies. Trump has been traveling to both smaller campaign gatherings and official events in swing states — on Friday, he attended one of each in Florida — and White House aides are readying a calendar full of day trips for the weeks ahead.”
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‘Truly grotesque’: On way out the door, Trump prioritizes bringing back executions by firing squad and electrocution
Among the slew of potentially destructive policy changes the Trump administration is rushing to implement on its way out of power is a rule that would authorize the return of electrocutions and firing squads for federal executions, an effort critics slammed as a twisted priority amid deadly public health and economic crises.
ProPublica reported Wednesday that the rule, first published in the Federal Register by the U.S. Justice Department in August, "has raced through the process with little notice but unusual speed—and deadly consequences."
"This rule could reintroduce firing squads and electrocutions for federal executions, giving the government more options for administering capital punishment as drugs used in lethal injections become unavailable," ProPublica noted. "The Justice Department surfaced the proposal in August and accepted public comments for only 30 days, instead of the usual 60. The rule cleared White House review on Nov. 6, meaning it could be finalized any day."
Americans ‘won’t stand’ for election results not being honored: Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden said Wednesday that Americans "won't stand" for the results of the November 3 election not being honored.
"Our democracy was tested this year," Biden said in a Thanksgiving Day address in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. "And what we learned is this: The people of this nation are up to the task.
"In America, we have full and fair and free elections, and then we honor the results," he said. "The people of this nation and the laws of the land won't stand for anything else."
Biden did not mention Donald Trump by name but he was clearly referring to the president's refusal to accept the results of the election.
The strange truth about our Trump addiction
Are we addicted to Donald Trump? It's a question that's haunting journalists and political commentators, most of whom hate Trump but cannot deny that his name drives traffic and ratings. Even though Trump lost the election and Joe Biden will be the next president, Trump continues to be the big attention draw for political websites and cable news networks.
Part of that is completely understandable. Trump is still big news. He literally spent the past few weeks attempting a coup. While he failed, that doesn't change the history-making fact that he even tried, or that he got so much support. Certainly Biden, whose main activity is finding boring-but-competent people to staff his administration, can't compete with that, and there's no real indication that he wants to. (Unlike Trump, Biden views governing as a job and not just an opportunity to get attention.)