Jonathan Lemire: Trump Campaign Is Desperate to Make the Election About Anything But the Pandemic

Jonathan Lemire: Trump Campaign Is Desperate to Make the Election About Anything But the Pandemic

AP’s Jonathan Lemire suggested on Monday that President Donald Trump’s campaign is trying to distract from his handling of the Coronavirus pandemic and is leaning in to ‘law and order’ rhetoric in an attempt to do so – but he doubted their chances of success.

He spoke to Morning Joe‘s Joe Scarborough about the latest Trump campaign tactics and attacking Democrats for the violence despite the fact Trump is president.

“That is the case they’ve tried to make and as we know, they seem to have settled on in the closing argument in the last two plus months, the idea that Joe Biden though perhaps not a member of the radical left himself, is their puppet, that he is the one who is not strong enough to stand up against these forces who are overrunning American streets, in Trump’s view.”

“We have seen, of course, they are leaned into this. They have tried this before. They have leaned into the law and order argument and we know polling suggests it didn’t work last time. The Black Lives Matter movement and the protests from coast-to-coast after George Floyd’s death were widely popular according to polling and Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, said to me back then that he’s never seen a politician so out of step with the moment as Donald Trump was. And of course he inflamed the situation with his march to Lafayette square to the church holding a Bible for a photo op.”

“The President of course is going to Kenosha tomorrow. It’s hard to imagine it doesn’t stoke tensions there. And we should note, the governor has asked him not to come. Yet he is pushing forward and will be there tomorrow. Is there pressure for Joe Biden to address this? Yes, there is, and he has done so, we’ve talked about this this morning. There is talk of Joe Biden heading to Kenosha himself, perhaps later this week.”

“We’ll hear from him today in Pennsylvania on this very issue. But the president they feel this depiction of American citizens out of control, unsafe, even though he’s President, that works for him, in part because as one adviser put it to me candidly in the last 72 hourse, any day or any moment that the national discourse isn’t about the Covid-19 pandemic and the President’s handling of that crisis is a day they want.”

“They want to try to talk about anything else. They want to do anything they can to make this race anything other than a referendum on how the President has handled the pandemic because at this point voters widely disapprove of it.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is Political Media Editor