- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 23, 2020

President Trump is acting like someone who knows he’s in for a dogfight in November, elevating the “socialist” in the Democratic field, knocking Michael Bloomberg and imploring “American patriots” to flood his campaign with cash to teach his foes a lesson.

Mr. Trump broke his one-day presidential record for tweeting as his impeachment trial unfolds in the Senate, though an all-but-assured acquittal has him looking beyond the drama and jockeying for a campaign advantage. He tweeted or retweeted 142 times on Wednesday, the day of opening arguments by House Democratic impeachment managers, eclipsing his single-day record of 123 tweets set in December.

As senators heard a second day of arguments Thursday, his reelection campaign sought to pad its record-breaking coffers by raising $2 million in 24 hours.

“The Left’s entire scam is based off of hearsay, NOT FACTS, and it should have never gotten this far. But, it looks like it’s going to take more than just the truth to get through to their tiny brains so we’re going to have to do something BIG to get their attention,” the campaign wrote in a fundraising pitch to supporters.

Mr. Trump then flew to Florida on Thursday for winter meetings — a pep rally of sorts — with the Republican National Committee. Officials said they won’t be raising money during the session at Trump National Doral Miami.



“The goal is to help highlight the record energy and momentum we are seeing across the country for our unparalleled infrastructure and ground game that will be key to reelecting President Trump and Republicans up and down the ballot in 2020,” RNC spokeswoman Mandi Merritt said.

Mr. Trump will return to Washington immediately for a live speech to thousands of pro-life marchers Friday. It will be the first time a sitting president has attended the annual March for Life in person, as Mr. Trump shores up support from voters who cite abortion as a top concern.

Mr. Trump is revving up his campaign as potential 2020 foes implore Iowans for primary delegates and congressional Democrats accuse him of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

Impeachment managers say Mr. Trump postponed military aid to Ukraine because he wanted newly minted President Volodymyr Zelensky to assist investigations that might benefit him politically. Mr. Trump denies the charge, saying he was worried about misspending U.S. funds in a country with a history of corruption.

The impeachment focuses on former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, though Mr. Trump is fixated of late on the two other “Bs” in the 2020 race — Bernie and Bloomberg — as he prepares to claim vindication on the campaign trail.

Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont has solidified his position in the top tier of presidential candidates vying for a strong start to the Democratic primary season Feb. 3.

“Crazy Bernie takes the lead in the Democrat Primaries, but it is looking more and more like the Dems will never allow him to win! Will Sleepy Joe be able to stumble across the finish line?” Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday.

Ross Baker, a politics professor at Rutgers University, said it’s clear that Mr. Trump has ulterior motives in highlighting Mr. Sanders’ surge.

“Because the impeachment centers on his efforts to undermine Biden, who he believes would be his most formidable opponent in 2020, he has backed off on Biden but embraced the Democrat he most he believes is the most beatable — Bernie Sanders,” Mr. Baker said. “The president relishes the idea of running against an opponent who would not reject the label ‘socialist.’ The president believes that the label is toxic.”

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that Democrats should view Mr. Sanders as more electable than Mr. Biden.

“If Democrats were serious about electability, they’d nominate the guy who actually won primary contests and proved he can play David to Goliath in key places four short years ago,” Mrs. Conway wrote.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump has been talking down Democratic contender Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire former New York City mayor.

Mr. Bloomberg is deploying a unique strategy against Mr. Trump this cycle, foregoing early primary states and focusing on Super Tuesday states that will vote March 3. He’s also buying ads in states that Mr. Trump needs to win in November — think Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida — and vowing to spend against the president even if he loses the primary.

He has spent $225 million on advertising since entering the campaign in November.

Mr. Trump has been venting on Twitter, saying Mr. Bloomberg is weak on the Second Amendment and misconstrued his administration’s fumbles over Obamacare. On Thursday, the president suggested Mr. Bloomberg is trying to buy soft treatment from Democratic rivals.

“Mini Mike Bloomberg is playing poker with his foolhardy and unsuspecting Democrat rivals,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “He says that if he loses (he really means when!) in the primaries, he will spend money helping whoever the Democrat nominee is. By doing this, he figures, they won’t hit him as hard during his hopeless ‘presidential’ campaign.”

“Obsessed much?” Mr. Bloomberg tweeted in reply. “It shouldn’t be this easy to distract the President of the United States.”

The White House insists Mr. Trump is focused on his day job, despite the fervor around 2020 and impeachment.

Mr. Trump invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Benjamin Gantz, the chairman of the Blue and White Party, to the White House Tuesday to discuss regional issues and the prospect of peace with Palestinians.

The president said he will announce his long-awaited Israeli peace plan before the visit.

“I’d love to be able to do that deal. They say that’s the hardest of all deals,” he told reporters on Air Force One. “I love doing deals.”

The president said he thinks the plan can work but that he had spoken to the Palestinian side only “briefly.”

“They have a lot of incentive to do it,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m sure they maybe will react negatively at first, but it’s actually very positive for them.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide