President Trump’s surest path toward helping Republicans remain in charge of Congress is to tell people that that they’re doing great. The economy is in incredible shape – and that’s a provable fact.
A piece in Politico Thursday suggests Trump is failing to do this. While the piece does acknowledge that the White House blames media bias for not conveying the message, the guilty party is the usual suspect, Trump:
In an alternate universe, President Donald Trump would be heading into the midterms relentlessly touting his stewardship of a strong economy with results that include historically low unemployment, solid economic growth, sky-high enthusiasm among small businesses and shattered records for job openings.
Instead, the president is repeatedly muddling that message with easily debunked falsehoods or hyperbole about the state of the economy while pressing on with unpopular trade wars that frustrate establishment Republicans and business groups worried about price increases. His undisciplined approach — coupled with his obsessing about the Russia investigation, Hillary Clinton and the 2016 election — is damaging what many Republicans say should have been a political slam dunk for the GOP heading into the fall . . .
Top lawmakers have repeatedly implored Trump as recently as last week to stay focused on the economy, but haven’t found much success with a president who prefers his own method of communicating. And senior administration aides, at this point, find it futile to try to corral Trump, even just urging him to stick to an optimistic economic message that focuses on facts and avoids wild exaggerations. One aide argued they don’t think the press will cover the economy fairly anyway. “We have a ton of good facts and a good story to tell but he’s not a perfect messenger,” this person said. “And we have a media problem as well.”
Well, yes, there’s a media problem. The media are democrats. And they particularly loathe Trump. They’d rather write a story about the magnificence of Sarah Palin before they’d say anything nice about Trump.
What’s more, the media never love good stories, because they don’t sell newpapers as well as bad news and don’t excite their instinct to question and be skeptical.
But it seems to me that Trump and his aides make every effort to talk and tweet about the good economic news. This isn’t a tale about a sloppy, disorganized White House which reporters, who are all currently reading the Bob Woodward book that supposedly provides a window into the chaos, love to tell. It’s about relentlessly negative coverage of Trump, constant scandal watch, and articles about the economy that are either not highlighted on the webpage or caveated by dire warnings about trade wars or silly claims by Barack Obama that he built this.
To be sure, the White House can do more to go over the heads of the Washington press corps. Obama, who knew even a friendly MSM retained their natural cynicism and asked tougher questions, did scores of interviews with star-struck local TV stations. The White House needs innovative strategies such as that. Moaning to Politico about biased coverage gets you nowhere.