Donald Trump’s campaign continues to motor on.
Polling remains stable, although now he is ahead in only one state: Georgia.
I wrote in a previous post that I hoped Trump would talk with Indiana governor Mike Pence about the vice presidency. Evidently, so did Paul Manafort, who is working closely with the candidate on his VP choice.
Indiana’s WISH TV news reported that Trump met with Pence on July 2 at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
He is also in discussions with other VP hopefuls, including Newt Gingrich, Sens. Jeff Sessions from Alabama and Bob Corker from Tennessee as well as New Jersey governor Chris Christie. It is thought he might announce his running mate before the GOP convention opens on July 18 in Cleveland.
The WISH report added much more information about Christie, himself a former GOP presidential candidate, beginning with this:
Christie has carved out an integral role inside Trump’s orbit. He’s operated, aides and advisers say, as a sort of all-purpose counselor of sorts to Trump in recent months — part strategist, part sounding board, part friend, and often (perhaps to the surprise of many in his home state of New Jersey), a calming voice of reason.
WISH went on to say that Christie has worked with Trump on crafting speeches intended to limit damage on toxic subjects; he has made a significant number of phone calls to hesitant GOP donors and governors and he openly defends Trump’s positions to the media.
Sometimes local American media do a much better job of reporting stories than the bloated outfits from major cities. This is also true of French newspapers. The regional ones dig deeper and write newsier articles than the nationals.
Post-Corey Lewandowski, Trump has hired four seasoned operatives intended to add professionalism to the campaign. On June 21, CNN reported:
Trump announced the hiring of four veteran operatives — including new national political director Jim Murphy, a former Bob Dole adviser, and surrogate director Kevin Kellems, a Dick Cheney aide who recently worked on Indiana Senate races.
Manafort must almost certainly know Jim Murphy already. Manafort worked on Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996.
These men, very well connected, are necessary hires to counteract Lewandowski’s self-enforced isolation from the Republican Party, according to CNN.
By the way, the same CNN article says that Lewandowski’s downfall came after he planned to, in his words, ‘take Jared down’. That would be Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband. He and Trump are very close. For whatever reason, Lewandowski’s rapport with Kushner broke down. Lewandowski then wanted to start planting negative stories about him in the press. The Kushners were pivotal players in Lewandowski’s dismissal.
Ivanka was also no doubt displeased that Lewandowski upset her former employee, Hope Hicks, one of the Trump campaign’s spokeswomen. Exactly one month before his departure, the New York Post featured details of an angry exchange between the two on their Page Six:
Onlookers were stunned to see Hicks, 27, hollering at Lewandowski, 42, in plain view of passersby on 61st Street near Park Avenue.
One witness told us, “Hope was screaming at Corey, ‘I am done with you!’ It was ugly, she was doubled over with her fists clenched. He stood there looking shocked with his hands on his head.”
Back now to Mike Pence. His meeting yesterday with Trump must have been significant, because The Washington Post reported on it at length, calling it ‘warm’ and noting that Mrs Pence was also there:
the presence of Karen Pence is probably a sign that the Pence family is comfortable with the prospect of the Republican governor joining the ticket.
Both men greatly admire Ronald Reagan. They got on well when Trump stopped by the governor’s mansion before engaging in primary campaigning back in April. Furthermore, Trump has hired Pence’s former pollster Kellyanne Conway as a senior adviser.
Pence, who originally supported Ted Cruz, would be a nice bridge between Trump and Republicans who believe he is not conservative enough. Pence is mild-mannered and softly spoken, a perfect foil for Trump’s brashness, especially in the Midwest. He would also be able to advise Trump on governors’ concerns as well as the machinations in Washington. He was a congressman prior to becoming governor and served on various subcommittees dealing with judicial, foreign policy and business matters.
Trump says that his family will become more visible in his campaign. Melania and his older children will be speaking at some of his events. After Father’s Day, PJ Media’s Roger L Simon wrote:
… it’s likely that Trump was a terrific father, given the way his adult children—Eric, Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Tiffany—have turned out. (I’m guessing young Barron will be fine too.). Kudos to Donald–being a parent is the most important job we have in life and therefore one of the most important recommendations you could have for the presidency. (I’m serious.) And now Donald is being repaid by his kids, who are the ones to give him the straight truth after a month of rough sledding. He’s obviously been listening and he shouldn’t stop …
Wouldn’t it be amazing if the Trumps turned out to be some surprising modern Manhattan version of the von Trapp Family (Trump-Trapp… who knows?) …
Roger Simon isn’t the only one feeling optimistic. So is veteran GOP strategist Ed Rollins, the chairman of Great America PAC. In an article for Real Clear Politics, he says that Brexit will buoy Trump’s campaign no end:
One of the things that stunned the so-called experts is the huge turnout that led to Brexit. The same thing happened on this side of the Atlantic during the Republican primary season. An enormous number of people voted for the outsider candidate. The previous record was 10.8 million votes for George W. Bush in 2000 – Trump blew past that record with over 13 million primary votes. In the nine presidential elections I have worked in, I have never seen such voter energy and enthusiasm.
This amazing turnout reflects the simple fact that Donald Trump has broad appeal. Independents in particular are responding to him. Our recent polling in two battleground states shows independents flocking to Trump over Hillary Clinton. In Ohio, independents go for Trump by 19 percentage points. In North Carolina, they prefer him over Clinton by 24 points.
These numbers show just how upset the American people are with the status quo …
Trump’s problem continues to be not so much with voters but with the anti-Trump GOPe. On June 30, he told talk radio host Mike Gallagher:
When you have guys like Bill Kristol who has been calling it wrong on me for two years. When you have all these guys. You know, It was a rough primary and they got beat up, but they went after me too. And we beat them up and now they don’t want to endorse. It’s almost in some ways like I’m running against two parties.
That said, Trump concluded:
I think we’re going to win. The people are so fed up with politics and politicians, but I think I’m going to win either way.
That same day, the presumptive GOP nominee returned to New Hampshire for a rally in which he explained what he wants on trade:
A couple of people in the Republican party say Trump is against trade. I’m not against trade; I just want to make better deals. I think it’s great. I think having trade is great. I want to make better deals …
I don’t want to stop free trade. I love free trade. But I want to make great deals. I want to take a deal that’s faulty — where we’re losing hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars a year — and make it good. Isn’t that a positive thing?
Later, he gave an interview to Fox’s Bill O’Reilly. The subject was Hillary Clinton:
All of the phobias that nobody even knows what she is talking about to be honest with you. Why doesn’t she say it like it is? It’s just ridiculous and frankly she knows exactly what’s happening, she sees what’s happening. People are tired. They’re losing their jobs, their jobs are being taken away, companies are moving to Mexico – just moving. We are losing our jobs, we’re losing everything in this country. We’re losing our spirit. I was in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia and I want to tell you the lines of people that we had they are so sick and tired of hearing things like what she is just saying. Nobody even knows what she is talking about and you tell me that’s presidential? She’s presidential sitting there? I don’t think so.
He told O’Reilly that if Clinton is elected, terrorism will become such a serious problem that
we won’t even have a country anymore. We will be afraid to walk outside. One other thing, they are letting tens of thousands of people come in from Syria and nobody knows who these people are and a lot of those people are ISIS.
Still on June 30, Trump spoke with Mike Gallagher and rightly criticised Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch’s private meeting the day before:
I think it’s so horrible. I think it’s one of the biggest stories of this week, of this month, of this year. I’ve been talking about the rigged system, about how it’s rigged, and this is terrible, and I don’t understand why nothing’s happened.
That evening, he told Sean Hannity the same thing.
Trump, 70, is indefatigable — a rally and several interviews, all in one day. Imagine what he could do as leader of the free world.
On July 2, he tweeted:
It was just announced-by sources-that no charges will be brought against Crooked Hillary Clinton. Like I said, the system is totally rigged!
A new movie will be coming out this month in the US, Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party. It is the brainchild of conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, who also appears in it. The film tells of his experience after he made the 2012 film 2016: Obama’s America. In 2014, he was sentenced to eight months in a San Diego halfway house and a fine of $30,000 after being convicted of making illegal campaign donations.
Like the Obama film, Hillary’s America will be appearing in only a handful of cinemas. In addition to D’Souza’s story, the film will also re-enact the beginnings of the Democratic Party, clearly racist until the late 20th century, and explore via interviews what the future holds in store should the US continue to elect presidents from that party. The trailer sums up the film well, it would seem.
It sounds like a must-see for all Trump supporters and will no doubt prove him right.