CNN’s Axelrod Warns: Trump Leading in Virus Crisis Will Help in Election

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While most of the liberal media were sniping at President Trump by trying to suggest he didn’t take the coronavirus seriously or that he should face murder charges, CNN senior political commentator and former Obama adviser David Axelrod took time out of their Democratic primary night coverage to warn his colleagues not sleep on how the President was handling the situation, because he could ride it to victory in November.

Despite his big Super Tuesday wins that evening, Axelrod seemed concerned for former Vice President Joe Biden’s chances against a President constantly on TV, leading the nation through the storm.

Shifting away from discussing how Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) needed to drop out of the race so that people weren’t compelled to go to the polls and possibly contract the virus, Axelrod agreed with a previous point that the outbreak took away Trump’s ability to hold large rallies.

But he has one big platform right now. We saw it today. He's the president of the United States in the midst of a crisis,” Axelrod warned. “It took him a long time to acknowledge the depth of that crisis, but if he consistently appears to be wrestling with that crisis, this is a country that likes to rally behind the leader.”

 

 

Host Anderson Cooper took note of Axelrod’s point and recalled how Trump seemed in command at a press conference earlier in the day:

COOPER: It was also interesting to see him today sticking through the coronavirus task force comments that normally he wouldn't even be there at all, then he was, and he left the other day --

AXELROD: They obviously have had a big strategic discussion about --

COOPER: Right. This is the story of the time and he wants to get—

AXELROD: Exactly.

Chief political analyst Gloria Borger didn’t seem to buy it and argued that Trump “acts more like an MC at the events than he is as a leader who is giving you information that you need as an American citizen.” “He says, ‘let me introduce Tony Fauci,’ and ‘let me introduce the Vice President,’” she quipped.

She added: “I mean, the Vice President, actually, has been somebody who has seemed to be much more in command of this than the President himself, and he continues just to be the person who introduces people with knowledge. I don’t know if that will end up helping him.”

Axelrod urged the panel not to “underestimate the platform [Trump] has” because “Americans should be rooting for him to get command of this situation.” And he foresaw that it could spell bad news for Biden. “But, you know, if you're Joe Biden, you have to think about how do you run against a guy who’s spending hours on television every day talking to the American people about this mortal threat,” he rhetorically asked.

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

CNN’s America’s Choice 2020: Super Tuesday
March 17, 2020
9:13:41 p.m. Eastern

(…)

ANDERSON COOPER: If voting itself is a danger, then do you stay in a race where you don't have a path? There may be other reasons to stay in the race for your message, trying to convince the other candidate to come more to your side, but possibly risking exposure to people?

DAVID AXELROD: I think there will be enormous pressure for him to call the race because it's over. And the problem is, you know, because of the indefinite nature of what's going to happen next in terms of these other primaries, this thing could get prolonged for a very long time. When, you know, there are a lot of Democrats who are going to feel the urge to unify.

Let me just say one thing about moving forward, however. You were right, this will rob Trump of his ability to do these large rallies, but he has one big platform right now. We saw it today. He's the president of the United States in the midst of a crisis. It took him a long time to acknowledge the depth of that crisis, but if he consistently appears to be wrestling with that crisis, this is a country that likes to rally behind the leader.

COOPER: It was also interesting to see him today sticking through the coronavirus task force comments that normally he wouldn't even be there at all, then he was, and he left the other day --

AXELROD: They obviously have had a big strategic discussion about --

COOPER: Right. This is the story of the time and he wants to get—

AXELROD: Exactly.

GLORIA BORGER: I would argue he acts more like an MC at the events than he is as a leader who is giving you information that you need as an American citizen. He says, “let me introduce Tony Fauci,” and “let me introduce the Vice President.” I mean, the Vice President, actually, has been somebody who has seemed to be much more in command of this than the President himself, and he continues just to be the person who introduces people with knowledge. I don’t know if that will end up helping him.

AXELROD: No, no, no, but look, he was audacious today in trying to rewrite history about how this whole thing began and all of the times that he took kind of downplaying the threat. But I don't think we should underestimate the platform he has here—

BORGER: Yes, absolutely.

AXELROD: -- just as a pure political matter. And you know, Americans should be rooting for him to get command of this situation. But, you know, if you're Joe Biden, you have to think about how do you run against a guy who’s spending hours on television every day talking to the American people about this mortal threat?

(…)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Health Care Coronavirus Cable Television CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Video Anderson Cooper David Axelrod Gloria Borger Donald Trump Joe Biden

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