Instead of selling President Donald Trump to voters, his campaign managers are looking to take Joe Biden down, Politico reports.
With recent polls indicating Trump’s popularity is wavering over his response to the coronavirus, campaign officials are launching attacks on his presumptive opponent.
The campaign released a digital ad slamming Biden over his ties to China. It has started a weekly online program called "War Room" where Trump’s advisers call out Biden on different topics.
But the Republican National Committee has a different approach, Politico says. The RNC wants to boost Trump up as his support begins to dwindle. To do so, the RNC launched an outreach effort to hit 20 million swing voters.
Volunteers have praised Trump’s ability to work with Democrats through the coronavirus pandemic and his decision to ban travel from China in scripted phone calls to battleground state voters. The RNC also has already paid top dollar for a digital ad campaign that highlights praise Trump has received from Democratic governors Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York.
“The most important thing — and the lesson that most successful candidates learn early on — is to define your opponent before they define you,” former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told Politico. “We’ve got what I think is the greatest counter-puncher in the history of politics in Donald Trump, and when he brands people, it tends to stay with them for a long, long time.”
Lewandowski is serving as a senior adviser to the re-election campaign.
Others close to the president say he should wait until the Republican National Convention to start campaigning heavily and handle the coronavirus crisis now.
“His best strategy is to follow FDR’s example and be Dr. Defeat the Virus and then Dr. Create Jobs and Prosperity,” Former House Speaker and Trump adviser Newt Gingrich told Politico.
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