According to a Friday report from The New York Times, President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is “paralyzed” by the commander-in-chief’s “erratic behavior” and is struggling to overcome internal rifts.
Trump’s polling numbers have been plummeting for months as the federal government grapples with the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee Joe Biden has emerged as a clear favorite to win the White House after surging in popularity in nationwide and battleground states.
Recent private Republican polls reportedly show that the commander-in-chief is “struggling” in conservative states such as Kansas, Montana and Georgia. According to the report, some aides have resorted to distorting the numbers in order to appease the president.
“One Republican official who is in frequent contact with the campaign expressed incredulity at how some aides willfully distort the electoral landscape to mollify Mr. Trump, recalling one conversation in which they assured him he was faring well in Maine, a state where private polling shows he’s losing.”
According to officials briefed on the matter, the president’s advisers are “at once paralyzed by Mr. Trump’s erratic behavior yet also dependent on him to execute his own Houdini-like political escape.”
The internal rifts apparently culminated during a meeting with Republican officials earlier this week. During the meeting, Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, reportedly told 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale to “shut up.”
Furthermore, Kushner and a number of other advisers have allegedly been urging the president to demote Parscale. The campaign manager is apparently being blamed for the “debacle” in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where the president recently held a poorly attended rally.
But, some of those close to Trump, including the president’s supporters in conservative media, believe that Kushner is “part of the problem.” Even the president himself has reportedly dismissed Kushner’s suggestions when it comes to issues such as criminal justice, choosing to follow his own instincts.
There appear to be other concerns about the 2020 election. Multiple individuals close to the president told the New York Times that he prefers advertisements about his own accomplishments over attack ads against Biden.
According to Republican strategist Mike Shields, time is running out and the Trump campaign’s attempts to portray Biden as cognitively impaired have not been effective.
Instead, the Democrat should be painted as “someone who will drown our vulnerable economy and gladly sign Nancy Pelosi’s radical left legislation into law,” Shields said.
Other Trump allies have also expressed concern over his electoral prospects.
Last week, Republican fundraiser Dan Eberhart said that Kushner is effectively running the president’s reelection campaign, while chairman of the Great America PAC Ed Rollins called on the commander-in-chief to stop “rambling” and stay on message.