Elizabeth Warren Scaring The Bejesus Out Of Trump Campaign Now
There was a time, a few months ago, when everyone had written off Elizabeth Warren. Well, not me, because I am a fabulous genius, but lots of other people. The "very reasonable" talking heads on all the various news channels, the kind of people who used to say things like "Oh, we'd like universal health care too, but 'the people' will never go for it!" but who definitely did not actually want universal health care for any reason, and even the Trump campaign. Though, to be fair, the Trump campaign didn't think Trump had much of a chance of winning in 2016 either.
But now, as more and more people hear her speak, hear her plans, hear what she wants to do and how she wants to do it... Elizabeth Warren is rising up in the polls. She's a contender. In the most recent Quinnipiac poll, she was closing in on Sanders for second place nationally, and in California and Nevada polls, she's in second place.
And now, according to a report from Politico, the Trump campaign is now scrambling and panicking and... stalking her?
Trump aides and their allies at the Republican National Committee, who initially believed their money and manpower were better focused elsewhere, are digging up opposition research, deploying camera-wielding trackers, and preparing to brand Warren as a liberal extremist. The reassessment of Warren, confirmed in conversations with more than a half-dozen Trump advisers, reflects the volatility of the massive Democratic primary and how the reelection campaign is reacting to it.
Of course, Warren has already transcended the biggest thing they had on her, so it's not clear what they think following her around with a camera is going to do to help them. What are they gonna dig up? That she wants even MORE awesome things for America?
The Trump camp is quite scared that Warren may kick his ass when it comes to winning over working class voters, probably because her policies would actually help them.
Campaign pollster John McLaughlin has sounded the alarm internally, stressing that Warren's attacks on Trump threaten to undercut his support from the working-class voters who propelled him to the presidency.
"Although our own early published polls and internal polls discounted Elizabeth Warren, her recent momentum in May and June in national and early caucus and primary states into a strong second place to a flat Joe Biden is a cause for our campaign's attention," McLaughlin wrote in a text message to POLITICO.
"Sen. Warren's attacks on President Trump's policies need to be rebutted," McLaughlin added. "We can't just allow her to continue to attack the President in key states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and elsewhere."
Oh, I think you're gonna have to. Especially when this is what you think a good rebuttal to her policies is:
"There's no question that Elizabeth Warren is on the move, has momentum and could well end up as our opponent," said Tim Murtaugh, a Trump 2020 spokesman. "We have to make sure voters know about her proposals for government takeover of health care, free health care for illegal immigrants, radical environmental restrictions, and increased taxes — all proposals that will devastate this country."
Yeah. You know what's actually devastating to people? $500,000 for an air ambulance ride that isn't covered by their health insurance! Hell, almost any ambulance ride! School loans! Climate change! Not being able to afford child care! If all of that can be taken care of by rich people paying two cents in taxes on every dollar after $50 million, I don't think people are going to see that as something that will "devastate this country." That's not a very good boogie woman. Especially when 70% of Americans, including a slim majority of Republicans, now support universal health care.
People aren't scared of that anymore, not like they used to be. It doesn't seem that radical anymore. The Overton Window has shifted. He's the one who needs to be in the position of explaining why he thinks it's good and necessary for people to lose their houses over ridiculous medical bills.
The campaign reportedly started getting scared when Tucker Carlson, of all people, "praised" Warren. Which was weird, and not a thing we'd take as a compliment, but here we are:
Biden will still receive a significant share of the campaign's attention. But Trump aides say they're less certain that he'll be their eventual opponent.
The reelection campaign first began taking note of Warren's momentum several weeks ago, when polling showed her gaining substantially on Biden and Sanders. They were startled earlier this month when Tucker Carlson, a host on Trump-friendly Fox News, used the opening monologue of his show to heap praise on the liberal senator.
Warren's populist economic agenda, Carlson said, "sounds like Donald Trump at his best."
I will tell you. I thought that Trump was already more scared of Warren than anybody by his determination to take her out so early. That was my instinct. I don't think he's nearly as scared of Biden, and I couldn't tell you why, but I just feel it in my bones. And if he is, he's right. Because he should be scared.
She's really, really, really good at this shit.
AND NOW.... YOUR OPEN THREAD!
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse