“For weeks, plunging polls, desperate economic headlines, and a growing coronavirus death toll have alarmed aides who became increasingly frustrated by the president’s pursuit of petty grievances,” the report said.
This week, Trump offered a different approach. He changed his rhetoric about the coronavirus pandemic, took aim at the Chinese government and promised “law and order.”
Trump also held a series of press briefings, during which he avoided sparring with reporters. Instead, the commander-in-chief discussed the COVID-19 crisis, outlined his administration’s plan to reopen schools and announced the decision to cancel the Republican National Committee’s activities in Jacksonville, Florida.
In addition, he issued executive orders to lower drug prices, moving toward fulfilling a key 2016 promise.
“He hit the key pillars of trade, immigration, law and order, and China. All of it held together by China. Much better,” a policy adviser praised the commander-in-chief.
Republican donor Doug Deason echoed the policy adviser, welcoming the change in tone. Deason praised Trump for listening to advice from acting Director of the Domestic Policy Council Brooke Rollins, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and White House advisers Jared Kushner and Kellyanne Conway.
“He’s got a great team around with him. When he listens to his team, he does well. When he starts going off on his own, he doesn’t do so well.”
As advisory board member of Trump 2020 John Fredericks put it, “This was his best week in months.”
The change in tone came after Trump promoted longtime GOP operative Bill Stepien to campaign manager, demoting Brad Parscale.
Earlier this week, Stepien outlined Trump’s 2020 strategy. He explained that Trump’s reelection effort will focus on protecting the states he won in 2016, when he ran against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Stepien signaled confidence, brushing off polls that show Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presumptive presidential nominee, leading the race for the White House.
The campaign manager also dismissed concerns about Trump’s standing in battlegrounds and traditionally red states of Texas, Georgia and Arizona, inviting Biden and his allies to “play hard.”
Polling also suggests that Trump is struggling in Florida, where Biden seems to have increased his lead among suburbanites and seniors.
The president’s reelection team allegedly plans on spending $40 million on ads in the state, which is more than they are expected to spend in the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan.