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Politics ‘They agree with me.’ Trump courts Sanders supporters at rallies; progressives say it won’t work

11:25  27 october  2020
11:25  27 october  2020 Source:   usatoday.com

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But I've always said , and I said it strongly, it 's very hard for somebody that does tremendous numbers of deals to run for politics, run for political office, any office, let alone president. and get a declaratory judgment from the courts because you could have started the process six months earlier.

WASHINGTON – As he crosses the country in the closing days of his reelection campaign, President Donald Trump is increasingly relying on an unlikely figure in an effort to drive a wedge through the Democratic Party: Sen. Bernie Sanders.

After months of invoking Sanders to paint Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as too liberal for most voters, Trump more recently has embraced the Vermont independent senator to highlight divisions among Democrats and to try to recapture some of the crossover appeal that worked to his advantage in the 2016 election.

“He did us some big favors,” Trump said of Sanders in Pennsylvania Monday. “We had a lot of Bernie’s people come with us last time because they agree with me on trade.”

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" Trump supporters held a little rally in front of one of the billboards yesterday, then overnight it was vandalized." Her group is called "Huddle "If he loses, and who knows what happens, it 's called an election, he should be ashamed of himself because he didn' t work ," Trump told supporters at a rally

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Speaking to a New Hampshire rally days earlier, Trump offered some backhanded praise for the senator from the neighboring state.

“One thing about him, he fights,” Trump said. “You know, he fights. But he somehow doesn't mind losing.”

Democrats described Trump’s messaging on Sanders as “desperate,” pointing to Biden’s lead in both national and battleground polls and asserting that progressives embittered about Sanders’ primary losses in 2016 and 2020 are too unified around the notion of booting Trump from the White House to take Trump’s taunts seriously.

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“If he’s trying to graft himself onto Bernie Sanders he’s going to have a hard time,” said Jeff Weaver, a longtime Sanders political aide who now runs a super PAC that supports Democrats. “There is such unity in terms of the imperative to beat Trump.”

Studies of the 2016 election show the Sanders-Trump crossover vote that the president has referenced at his rallies was a tangible issue for Democrats. About 12% of Sanders supporters wound up backing Trump, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, and another 7.7% supported a third-party candidate instead of embracing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump often stoked that resentment in 2016 by claiming that Democratic Party officials backed Clinton all along and were working to nudge voters in her direction. He has reprised that line this year, arguing that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., worked as a spoiler for Biden by staying in the primary race as long as she did.

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Bernie Sanders wearing a suit and tie: Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, greet one another by bumping elbows before they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington on March 15, 2020. © Evan Vucci, AP Former Vice President Joe Biden, left, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., right, greet one another by bumping elbows before they participate in a Democratic presidential primary debate at CNN Studios in Washington on March 15, 2020.

“No, Bernie had a little energy, small base, lots of energy, and we had a lot of his people,” Trump said during a rally in Martinsburg, Pa., on Monday. “He gets taken advantage of by Hillary and then he gets taken advantage of by the Democrats the last time.”

An ABC/Washington Post poll from March found that 15% of Sanders supporters would back Trump if Biden became the nominee. But similar polls have overstated the phenomena and progressive operatives insisted that Trump’s effort to divide the party by using Sanders as a foil with both progressive and moderates wouldn’t work.

“He’s trying to recreate some of that magic from four years ago…but I just think he’s grasping at straws,” said Ben Wessel, executive director at NextGen America, a progressive advocacy group that seeks to organize young voters. “Nobody trusts anything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth.”

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Bernie Sanders vowed to fight for “real change” in the Democratic party, saying it should open its primaries to independent voters and welcome She and Sanders also hinted at reconciliation. “I will certainly do my part, reaching out to Senator Sanders , reaching out to his I don’ t agree with that.”

Sanders : I sure do. Let me say where I see it . I see it in the platform of the Democratic party today, a platform that doesn’ t go as far as I would like to go, but it was one that Clinton and I worked on which is far and away the most progressive platform in the history of American politics.

A Sanders spokesperson didn't respond to a request for comment.

Sanders has campaigned for Biden in battleground Michigan and New Hampshire this month, but his voice was also a regular fixture at Trump campaign rallies in Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania – where the president trotted out a video of the Vermont senator peppering Biden about his past stances on cutting Medicare and Social Security.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Sanders is heard saying to Biden in one of the videos, clipped from a Democratic primary debate on March 15 and widely shared by the Sanders campaign at the time. “Everything was on the table…including, in your judgement, cuts to Social Security and veterans.”

Trump supporters break out into laughter when the clip is played as Trump, standing behind the lectern, flashes a huge grin at the display of the intra-party dispute. Biden previously expressed a willingness to consider cuts to the programs, though he did not pursue them as vice president during the Obama administration and is not running on them now.

Sanders – and now Trump – pointed to Biden's support in 1984 for a proposal to reduce budget deficits that would have frozen all spending for a year, including for social programs. They also point to Biden's support in the mid-1990s for balanced budget amendments intended to reduce all government spending.

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But even as Trump applauds Sanders’ energy and plays videos of him attacking Biden during the primary, he also has repeatedly suggested – incorrectly – that Biden and Sanders are cut from the same political cloth, that the former vice president has moved to the left to keep the Democratic base motivated.

That’s the more traditional message Trump has embraced, including during the final presidential debate in Nashville last week, when he accused Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., of being “more liberal” than Sanders.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Donald Trump walks to speak to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is traveling to North Carolina and Florida. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky) © Patrick Semansky, AP President Donald Trump walks to speak to members of the press on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 24, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md. Trump is traveling to North Carolina and Florida. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

"Any time voters are reminded that lurking just behind Joe Biden is Bernie Sanders and his supporters, Trump is saying ‘A vote for Biden is a vote for Sanders,’” noted veteran pollster Frank Luntz. “It's an effective message for independents.”

Democrats see a messaging strategy ripped from the 2016 campaign in an election that has a vastly different landscape than the one four years ago. Josh Schwerin of Priorities USA Action, a political action committee that supports Democratic candidates, said that voters are less open to third party candidates this year and that most have already made up their minds about the president.

Both of those factors, he predicted, will blunt the impact of Trump’s approach.

“One of Trump's problems has been his apparent inability to come up with an election plan that differs from what he did in 2016,” Schwerin said.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘They agree with me.’ Trump courts Sanders supporters at rallies; progressives say it won’t work

The Daily 202: If Trump wins, these are the 10 most likely explanations for how it happened .
Biden acts like the election boils down to a Pennsylvania Senate race. Joe Biden leads President Trump by 10 points among registered voters, 52 percent to 42 percent, in the final national pre-election poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal. Majorities of Americans think the country is on the wrong track and disapprove of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

usr: 3
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