Donald Trump is confident his core coalition of die-hard supporters can propel him to a second term in the White House, asserting in a new interview that he may not even bother reaching out to swing voters in his reelection campaign.
“I think my base is so strong, I’m not sure that I have to do that,” Trump told Time magazine for a cover story published Thursday.
Brad Parscale, Trump’s campaign manager, echoed that sentiment, telling Time that the president’s 2020 bid would prioritize turning out the already converted.
“People all think you have to change people’s minds. You have to get people to show up that believe in you,” Parscale said.
Ahead of the upcoming election, pollsters and political commentators have cast doubt on whether Trump’s bloc of devoted followers will be able to secure him another four years in the Oval Office. And it remains unclear whether the president can maintain his tenuous grasp on some historically blue-leaning battleground states he captured in 2016.
The president showed little inclination to appeal to still-undecided Americans when he formally launched his reelection run with a rally Tuesday in Orlando, Fla. — where he revived red-meat attack lines against former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and his previous general election opponent, Hillary Clinton.
But Trump may have some persuading to do as he prepares to take on Joe Biden and several other Democratic 2020 hopefuls shown leading the president in a spate of recent surveys.
Trump, who lost the popular vote to Clinton by nearly 2.9 million votes, ridiculed the former vice president in an interview with Telemundo set to air Thursday evening.
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“Joe Biden, he looks like he’s just exhausted,” Trump said. “I don’t know what happened to him but he is exhausted. And he doesn’t do any work. He’s not working.”
Trump also took aim at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, another top 2020 contender who regularly ranks second to Biden in polling, telling Telemundo: “Bernie looks like he’s had it. Bernie looks crazy, but he always did. But he looks like a tired-crazy right now.”