Democrats running for president are treading carefully when it comes to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, fearing that taking a strong stance too early could hurt their chances in 2020.
“I really think we have to divorce that right now from any 2020 campaign,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who is expected to announce a presidential campaign this Sunday, told Politico. “Our democracy depends on allowing this investigation to be completed and finding out what a foreign country did and make sure that we do everything right, because this is now and 2020 is then.”
“Smart campaigns will war game this very quietly,” added Ben LaBolt, who worked as a spokesperson for former President Barack Obama’s White House and re-election campaign. “They’ll have smart plans on the shelf. But it’s not something they’ll talk about. It’s not something that they’ll broadcast.”
An unnamed Democratic strategist working for a 2020 candidate called the Mueller probe, “the elephant in the room,” and said that “the Russia issue is one that the political and pollster class says, ‘Stay away from right now.’ But ultimately the story will take us there and we will have to deal with it.”
“Everyone is wrestling with what to do with it,” said Scott Mulhauser, who served as a senior aide to former Vice President Joe Biden. “The smart campaigns are thinking through this, planning and continuing to assess this in real time as it evolves, to figure out what they need to say and how they say it, to ensure viability and to ensure credibility at the same time.”
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