Republican strategist Karl Rove on Friday all but acknowledged President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign will require a significant reboot in the coming months, conceding it lacks a consistent line of messaging to deploy against former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Let’s be honest about it: The president is behind today,” Rove told Fox News, referring to a series of recent surveys showing Trump trailing the presumptive Democratic nominee nationally and in several battleground states.
Trump’s erratic handling of those twin crises and increasingly incendiary rhetoric have exacerbated anxieties about his electoral prospects among congressional Republicans and other senior party figures.
The president did nothing to reassure allies during a town hall eventThursday night, when he offered a meandering answer to Sean Hannity after the Fox News host asked him about his priorities for a potential second term.
“I didn’t know very many people in Washington” at the time of his inauguration, Trump said amid remarks that were broadly panned as incoherent. ”Now I know everybody.”
On Friday, Rove argued that putting forth a comprehensible agenda for the next four years is the “most important” step Trump should take to regain his footing over Biden in the White House race.
“What does he want to do next? No president gets reelected by simply saying, ‘I’ve done a good job’,” Rove said, warning that Trump “needs to get a better answer” to the question posed by Hannity.
“You can’t win unless you’ve got a disciplined, focused campaign strategy,” he added. “And these polls point to the president and his team needing to reexamine what they’re doing and come up with a better game plan.”
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