- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday upped the ante in her bid to engage President Trump in a political mudfight, comparing him to a child with “doggy doo on his shoes.”

Mrs. Pelosi was prompted by a reporter at her weekly press conference to weigh in on whether Mr. Trump’s recent tweets were appropriate.

“It’s like a child who comes in with mud on their pants,” she said. “He comes in with doggy doo on his shoes and everybody who works with him has that on their shoes, too, for a very long time to come.”

Earlier this week, Mrs. Pelosi called Mr. Trump “morbidly obese” when criticizing him for using hydroxychloroquine as a way to stave off coronavirus.

Mrs. Pelosi defended those comments Wednesday.

“I gave him a dose of his own medicine,” she said. “I was only quoting what doctors had said about him so I was being factual in a very sympathetic way.”

Mr. Trump brushed off the personal attacks.

“I don’t respond to her. I think she’s a waste of time,” he told reporters.

The relationship between the speaker and the president have been rocky since he took office, but the bad blood escalated with Mr. Trump’s impeachment late last year. The Senate acquitted him in February.

Last year, Mr. Trump called off talks for a $2 trillion infrastructure deal after Mrs. Pelosi insinuated he was engaged in a cover-up.

Mrs. Pelosi made headlines for ripping up a copy of his speech — which Democrats railed against as overly divisive — at this year’s State of the Union address.

“He’s called women one thing or another over time and I think he thinks that passes off as humor,” Mrs. Pelosi said about her “morbidly obese” comments, repeating her claim about payback. “I could take offense at a lot of things, but they don’t really mean that much to me.”

Democratic strategist Brad Bannon warned that Mrs. Pelosi is playing Mr. Trump’s mud-slinging game.

“This is what I call the Trump trap,” he said. “What Trump does is he keeps badgering and insulting people until he drags them down to his level.”

“The president’s opponents, in general, have to resist the temptation of responding to personal insults from the president, with personal insults against him, though,” he added. “I’m sure she’s very frustrated and angry with the insults that have been directed to her and other female Democratic members of Congress, and she’s responding in kind. But I think that’s a mistake … the speaker has bigger fish to fry.”

The speaker needs to keep the conversation policy-oriented and focus more on clashing with the president on his approach to the coronavirus, he said.

Jim Manley, another Democratic strategist, agreed that Mrs. Pelosi was letting politics get personal but said he didn’t expect that to affect coronavirus legislation negotiations, since Mr. Trump has delegated most of the responsibility to Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.

The Democrats’ $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last week but remains stalled in the GOP-controlled Senate, where there is little appetite to negotiate with Mrs. Pelosi on a fifth massive spending package.

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