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Cohen Testimony Not Shifting GOP Base, Campaign Vets Say

michael cohen delivers impassioned remarks to the media
Michael Cohen (Getty Images)

Wednesday, 13 March 2019 07:10 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The marathon testimony of Michael Cohen before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform certainly sounded ominous for President Donald Trump. Among other things, the lawyer charged his former client was a "racist" and a "liar."

But just over a week after Cohen began testifying, three seasoned Republican campaign operatives who spoke to Newsmax agreed he had not made a dent in the president's Republican base.

The analysis of the three echoed a Politico/Morning Consult poll released as Cohen began testifying showing 81 percent of Republicans viewed Trump favorably.

The same poll showed only 11 percent of self-identified Republicans believe there was collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, while 73 percent deny it.

"Grass roots Republicans, in my view, see the Cohen hearings as Washington noise," North Carolina's veteran political analyst Marc Rotterman told Newsmax.

Rotterman believes Cohen's televised salvos against Trump "only strengthen the president with his base. It may well drive many independents into his corner, as nothing seems to get accomplished that helps their families."

Lew Moore, longtime Washington state GOP operative and national campaign manager of Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign, agreed.

"Cohen's testimony appears to me to have minimal impact with the roots, and he evidently continues to lie, further damaging his credibility," Moore told us.

He added "grass roots folks I know are furious at what they see as double standards. In news media coverage, by social media companies, and at the Department of Justice, among other places. They see Trump as authentic, and effective in pursuing the conservative agenda, warts and all; while [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and company are viewed as craven, posturing partisans whose policies have failed, and who are now empowering socialists."

"If Cohen's intent was to bring down the president, then he failed in epic fashion," said Chip Saltsman, former Tennessee Republican chairman and manager of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign. 

The last week, in Saltsman's view, "has been played in Washington and the national media as bad for the president. Again, this is not the effect they were hoping for. The Republicans and independents I have been with think the Democrats have overplayed a weak hand."

Specifically, Saltsman cited "this last document request plus the [special counsel Robert] Mueller report is actually starting to play out as the witch hunt the president described many months ago.

"They are now looking desperate in finding something — anything — to justify all this nonsense. Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, they are seeing record low unemployment, better paying jobs, and companies coming back home."

Saltsman added, with the 2020 Democrats "fighting over who can quadruple the national debt quicker, eliminate any barriers for illegal immigration and give away the most stuff, I'm feeling optimistic for the president."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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Michael Cohen's testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform certainly sounded ominous for President Donald Trump, but campaign veterans view it as Democrats having "overplayed a weak hand," Newsmax's John Gizzi reports.
michael cohen, testimony, impact, house, oversight
Wednesday, 13 March 2019 07:10 AM
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