Initially, the campaign focused on criticizing the media for not focusing on Trump’s calls for justice. Now, it’s switched to promoting Trump’s calls for “law and order.”
Within minutes of President Donald Trump’s address to the nation Monday, his campaign aides began to mobilize.
They cut a video of his speech. They promoted a black-and-white photo of him striding out of the White House to a partially burned church. One tweeted: “Triumph. Leadership. Law and Order.”
Days after massive protests broke out over George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, the campaign had finally received its directive. Staffers are now embracing and promoting Trump’s threats to send the military into cities to help quell looting and vandalism in the hopes it will help the president win over seniors and suburban women, even if it comes at the expense of black voters.
Trump began his fourth year in office expecting to campaign on a list of his self-proclaimed accomplishments, including a booming stock market, rising wages and job growth. But then came a one-two punch: First the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 100,000 people in the United States, then a decimated economy that left the equivalent of 1 in 4 American workers unemployed.
And then came the massive protests in more than 100 cities on a scale not seen since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. more than half a century ago.
“President @realDonaldTrump delivers a powerful speech on LAW & ORDER in the United States of America!” his campaign tweeted alongside a video of the speech.
Just after midnight, the White House released a 30-second video set against dramatic music showing Trump’s walk to the boarded church, where he posed for the cameras, gripping a Bible.
Trump was criticized, even by Republicans, for clearing peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park with what appeared to be smoke bombs and flash bangs so he could walk to the church. But many conservatives praised Trump’s move.
“It was important for the president to be there and say we will not be cowed by terrorists,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told reporters Tuesday.
“Strength. Freedom. Justice. Rule of Law,” tweeted Fox News host Laura Ingraham, a Trump supporter.
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