Donald Trump is going to beat Hillary Clinton “like a baby seal,” said a Democratic strategist who worked with Clinton’s onetime rival.
Dave “Mudcat” Saunders helped lead Jim Webb’s 2006 Senate campaign and served as an adviser for Webb’s failed 2016 presidential bid, and now thinks the woman who beat Webb doesn’t stand a chance in the general election. Saunders said he believes Trump’s populist message will resonate more with working Americans, especially whites in the south.
“Working class whites in the South have already departed the Democratic Party for cultural reasons. Well the working class whites in the North are now deserting the Democrats because of economic reasons,” Mudcat told the Daily Caller. He added, “this is the new age of economic populism, man. This is about survival for a lot of people.”
Hillary Clinton has consistently lost white voters, especially white men, to Bernie Sanders during the Democratic primary. Saunders noted that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have very similar messages, just “dressed in different clothes.” He predicted that many Bernie Sanders voters would move to Trump rather than Clinton.
“I know less than half a dozen white male Democrats in my part of the world who are going to vote for Hillary,” Saunders said.
Saunders added that Bernie Sanders has been treating Hillary Clinton with kid gloves during the Democratic primary, but predicted Donald Trump would “knock her around like a baby seal” and could drive her negatives down into the 80s.
Paul Begala, a Clinton ally who advises the super PAC Priorities USA Action, saw it differently. He noted that Clinton has been under attack from Republicans for years and is still standing.
“Hillary is going to be President. I hope Mudcat picks out a nice dress to wear to the inaugural ball,” Begala added.
The harsh words from Dave Saunders may be the sign of simmering tension between Webb and Clinton. In March, after dropping out of the race, Webb said he would not vote for Clinton as her presidency would be a continuation of the Obama policies. Donald Trump could bring true change, Webb said.
For as much trouble as Hillary Clinton may have winning over white voters, Donald Trump has his own trouble demographics. His favorable numbers among both women and Latino voters are close to 20 percent, and his continued attacks on Hillary Clinton may sink them even lower.
This week Trump claimed that if Hillary Clinton were a man, she wouldn’t even get 5 percent of the vote — a remark that drew an eye roll from the wife of Chris Christie. Many saw the remark as sexist, but Trump doubled down on his statement in later interviews on Wednesday.
“She is a woman, she is playing the woman card left and right,” Trump said on CNN (via the New York Times). “Frankly, if she didn’t, she would do very poorly. If she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”
And Trump implied that he has some more harsh attacks for Clinton on the way.
“We’re going to do very well with Hillary and with women and as soon as we start our process against her,” he said.
Hillary Clinton has already started her attack against Donald Trump as well, including releasing a video with snippets of some offensive comments he has made against women.
[Picture by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]