Chuck Todd: Trump ‘Sabotaging’ Reelection, ‘Fears’ Bloomberg’s Money

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In a possible attempt to give flailing Democrats some positive spin after a couple of difficult weeks, NBC political director and Meet the Press moderator, Chuck Todd appeared on Sunday Today to insist President Trump was “sabotaging” his own reelection efforts. On top of that, Todd argued that the President was quaking in his boots by the idea he could be competing against former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Following a question from fill-in host and White House correspondent Kristen Welker regarding the President tweeting about cases the Justice Department was overseeing, Todd could barely organize his thoughts before suggesting Trump was damaging his reelection chanced. “Well, I mean, I think it is going to be – I – I— you look at this and as a – in a normal political environment you would say, ‘this seems to be, he is sabotaging himself,’” he stumbled.

“I mean, if you think about where he was, the week of the impeachment acquittal, the economy surging, you know, another big day, big week of Wall Street that week. He had the Gallup poll for the first time getting him within a point of 50 percent approval. The Democrats in this knife fight right now for the Democratic nomination, having this ideological fight,” he added.

What Todd failed to mention was that the boost in approval was aided by a five-point jump in support from independent voters. Despite that fact, Todd suggested that Trump’s behavior was turning off the “middle”:

But I think he is hurting himself. I think he has been his own worst enemy. I think this doesn't play well with the middle. The fact is most of these Trump-skeptic, potential voters of his will all tell you “like the economy, don't like his behavior.” And this last week we've seen the part of his behavior that turns the middle of the electorate off the most.

 

 

The ‘Trump is sabotaging himself’ claim has been tossed around in the media since before he was elected. Trump’s record-high approval came after he was impeached because of what Democrats claimed about his behavior. At this point, the President’s behavior was what many talking heads would describe as ‘baked in.’

Of course, that discussion was followed up with some brief comments on Trump’s recent focus on Bloomberg’s rise in the polls. And according to Todd’s many “years” of “research” into the two billionaires, Trump was shaking in fear of Bloomberg:

When you know— Look, and in my years now both researching, spending time, interviewing this President, even before he was sort of a political figure, this guy respects basically one thing: wealth. He sometimes fears it. And he obviously craves it. So, Michael Bloomberg embodies everything that I think he thinks that wealth equals power and Michael Bloomberg is someone who is extraordinarily wealthy and I think he does fear him.

He does fear that money. He does fear that bank-roll. And you know, one thing about this President is he’s never subtle. He shows you what he fears,” Todd proclaimed.

But what else do we know about Trump? We know he watches TV and the news and routinely sounds off on both. And who has been popping up on those a lot more recently? Bloomberg, whether it’s his campaign ad blitz or news stories about his controversies. A logical counter-argument to Todd was that Trump was just commenting on the media’s new flavor of the month.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
February 16, 2020
8:07:58 a.m. Eastern

KRISTEN WELKER: So, let's start with President Trump. He seems to be emboldened, Chuck, in the wake of his acquittal. We did see him weigh in this week on Justice Department cases of his friends, of his enemies as well. And then a lot of people took note of this tweet. He was quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson and said this, quote, “when you strike at the king you must kill him.” Chuck, what are the implications of all of this as the President heads into his re-election campaign?

CHUCK TODD: Well, I mean, I think it is going to be – I – I— you look at this and as a – in a normal political environment you would say, “this seems to be, he is sabotaging himself.” I mean, if you think about where he was, the week of the impeachment acquittal, the economy surging, you know, another big day, big week of Wall Street that week. He had the Gallup poll for the first time getting him within a point of 50 percent approval. The Democrats in this knife fight right now for the Democratic nomination, having this ideological fight.

And a normal president would be, “Hey, look at this” and try to start reaching out to the middle, try to be above it all. But I think he is hurting himself. I think he has been his own worst enemy. I think this doesn't play well with the middle. The fact is most of these Trump-skeptic, potential voters of his will all tell you “like the economy, don't like his behavior.” And this last week we've seen the part of his behavior that turns the middle of the electorate off the most.

WELKER: And, of course, the middle will be so critical in this next election. And let's talk about the Democratic race a little bit, because the President seems to be focused on Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A battle of the billionaires if you will, Chuck, and they’re trading what some have called these schoolyard insults, with the President even referring to him as “Mini Mike.” He already has a nickname. But does this indicate to you that Bloomberg is now who the president sees as potentially his biggest rival?

TODD: When you know— Look, and in my years now both researching, spending time, interviewing this President, even before he was sort of a political figure, this guy respects basically one thing: wealth. He sometimes fears it. And he obviously craves it.

So, Michael Bloomberg embodies everything that I think he thinks that wealth equals power and Michael Bloomberg is someone who is extraordinarily wealthy and I think he does fear him. He does fear that money. He does fear that bank-roll. And you know, one thing about this President is he’s never subtle. He shows you what he fears. Did he fear Joe Biden last year? He sure did. He was willing to put his presidency on the line to try to stop Biden. Let's see what he is willing to do to try to derail Bloomberg.

WELKER: Yeah. It will be interesting for sure.

(…)

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