big mistake?
July 17, 2019

Some Republicans are ready to look past President Trump's racist "go back" tweets, while many outright agree with them. But there's a faction of GOP strategists who are worried about them, as well, The Washington Examiner reports.

Those strategists are particularly concerned that Trump's rhetoric will prove to be a sore spot among suburban women and college-educated white voters who provided Trump with key support in 2016. Many of those constituents already voted blue in the 2018 midterms.

"Republicans want this election to be about the economy and judges," said Alex Conant, a GOP operative who has advised presidential candidates. "If it's about Trump's tweets and temperament, it's likely that Democrats will have an enthusiasm advantage."

Several Republicans spoke to the Examiner anonymously, admitting that the president had "committed an egregious, self-inflicted error that could haunt him" in the 2020 election when he attacked Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

Trump's re-election campaign team is reportedly taking a different spin on the whole thing. The New York Times reports that campaign manager Brad Parscale has reportedly been telling people that it's difficult to persuade voters in today's political landscape. So, right now, the strategy is not to bring those swing voters back into the fold, but rather increase turnout among Trump's base.

One way they're doing so is by portraying his opponents, like the four congresswomen, as anti-American rather than just anti-Trump. The president's tweets, which inaccurately insinuated that three of the four lawmakers weren't even born in the U.S., certainly falls into that category. But as The Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out, Parscale relied on an economy-based advertisement targeting suburbanites in 2018 because Trump's "hate-campaign against migrants was failing," so some skepticism is warranted. The base, after all, might not be enough. Tim O'Donnell

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