Manchester, NH - If you thought that President Trump was just going to sit idle and let Democrats soak up all the 2020 election coverage, I’d say put the crack pipe down. Trump descended into Manchester on Monday night, on the eve of the Granite State’s primary and just in time to spoil the Democrats’ media spotlight as they raced to reach as many voters as possible.
The Democratic Party is fractured. And Trump is making sure he soaks up any opportunity to show he’s in firm control with a united Republican Party, doling out his many economic successes. Trump sure did that Monday night. Racing to the event, Townhall was able to catch an interview with Mercedes Schlapp, who is part of the Trump 2020 campaign's communications team. She’s half of a conservative power couple. Her husband, Matt, is the chair of the American Conservative Union.
With the solid mix of 1980s music blasting in the background, Mercedes made her way to the media pin. Now, Trump came within less than 3,000 votes of beating Hillary Clinton. And Schlapp appeared to be confident that they could flip the state in 2020.
“You’re talking about a sophisticated and organized campaign where we have a lot more into targeted states, including New Hampshire,” she said. As for any dream match-ups concerning the Democratic field, Schlapp noted that she would be more concerned for the Democrats if she were in their shoes.
“They’re all the same and fall in line with a socialist agenda. It does not fit the American model," Schlapp said. "And I just think when you get to that day, on Election Day, people are going to ask ‘are they better off today than they were four years ago.’ The answer will be yes."
She added, “basically adopting these radical policies that would eliminate private health insurance that would basically destroy all the economic prosperity that President Trump has been able to achieve” would just be too much for voters to ignore. In swing states, like Wisconsin, another must-win for Democrats, that’s definitely the case, and they’re sour on impeachment as well.
Throughout that whole circus, swing-state voters were not supportive of the Democrats’ efforts. Schlapp has seen that as well.
“I’ve been able to travel across the country. I’ve been to North Carolina, Iowa, and now New Hampshire. I have to say there was not a lot of interest on the impeachment trial,” she said, which isn’t shocking. She noted that voters right now are focused on better economic opportunities for themselves and their families. Two other issues that are on voters’ minds are school choice and health care, especially the latter since the Democrats’ Medicare for All will gut 150+ million private health care plans.
With the economy booming, paychecks getting bigger, and unemployment rates at historic lows across the board, what do black and Hispanic voters think of the Trump economy? Trump got nine percent of the black vote in 2016. Not the best, but certainly better than Romney, and if that creeps up into the double-digit territory, which I think it will, Democrats could be in a lot of trouble.
When asked if the campaign was keeping tabs on those voters, Schlapp said, “Well, the polling is trending in our favor when it comes to black voters and even Hispanic voters and I think it’s because our economic policies just work. I think when you look at criminal justice reform, something that the president is very passionate about, you have that with the lowest unemployment numbers for African-Americans and Hispanics. It’s a positive story that we can tell, a results-oriented story that we can share with these communities."
Schlapp was also hopeful that they could build upon these successes with the coalition they’re building to win this election.
“President Trump has committed that he’s going to lift them out of poverty, give them more economic opportunity, and give them a chance to live the American Dream and build their lives,” she added, which is critical in reaching voters that haven’t been touched before.
She did have some observations about the Democratic Party after their debacle in Iowa.
“I mean, when you’ve got Tom Perez surrogates going to Iowa Democratic Party surrogate, that is very destructive for any party,” she said. And Schlapp noted that it’s made even worse with them pushing unpopular policies, like health care for illegal aliens.
These far-left agenda items are “not going to play for these voters,” she said. Adding that Trump’s agenda items of tax reform and deregulation are the alternatives that lead to a strong economy. The numbers prove it, and they’re looking to keep that train moving for the American people.
Prior to the rally, we stopped by a Breakfast with Bernie event in Manchester at the Ultimate Sports Academy, where Sen. Sanders said that he’s going to win because he has a grassroots-based coalition that spans coast-to-coast and made up of working people. Funny, that also describes the Trump coalition. If Bernie is the nominee and plays to the very voters that have flocked to Trump, what is the campaign preparing to do with these dueling, yet similar narratives? Schlapp is quite confident the president’s record will be able to proudly show that the working class and the middle class are doing just fine with Trump, noting that with Sanders, you just need to “peel the onion” to see an economic rot in the future.
“When you are talking about fundamentally moving our country away from democracy and away from being a republic to a government takeover of our health care, and I think you see the extreme position whether it be on abortion for example—abortion of demand. And then you’re talking about the massive spending plan that Bernie Sanders pushes, I just don’t think the resonates with the American people,” Schlapp said.
“And so, I think the president, because he’s been able to have so much success with the USMCA deal, the deal with China, and other nations where it really has been to the benefit the American worker,” she added.
Heck, even Sanders admitted to CNN’s Jake Tapper that the middle class would get a tax break back in 2017. So, yeah—the Great American Comeback is here. It’s a blue-collar comeback. And Trump owns it. The USMCA is a Trump initiative, don’t forget that, though Nancy Pelosi likes to take credit for it.
He has a lot of successes to work with and it doesn't bode well for the Democrats trying to boot him out of office. They are too busy trying to bury their own weaknesses. We asked Schlapp, in particular, to try and explain Biden's demise.
"His gaffes are just, you know, they’re so newsworthy," she laughed. "I think that Biden was unsuccessful in his former presidential bids. He doesn’t play well with the base and I think the Democrat base is even a lot more far left than even where Joe Biden is."
"I feel like there’s an organic feel with Bernie Sanders’ campaign, where I think that’s why he’s taken off, and then you’ve got the factor of Bloomberg," she continued. "Where’s he going to play in all of this right? He’s spending millions and millions of dollars and he’s targeted states. Is he going to end up being like a Rudy Giuliani that did that approach in the fifth state? We’ll see how he does on Super Tuesday but I think that right now obviously you’re going to start to find Biden’s campaign crumble, and I think he’s always been a weak frontrunner. He’s a weak candidate and he just says things that put him into trouble all the time."
She previewed the president's rally speech as one big ode to "the American comeback story."
"We came from a country in recession to now creating enough jobs to be a booming economy. Americans are feeling the boom and it’s the blue-collar workers who are really being able to see the benefits. It really is from bottom-up and I think that’s a very positive story to tell."
Sure, some Americans "may not like his tweets" sometimes, but Trump is "a guy who’s a results-oriented president and we’ve seen success because of it."
We had quite a few entertaining conversations with voters around the arena too who were decked out in their flashiest MAGA gear. We talked about everything from impeachment, to Trump's campaign promises, to Mitt Romney. You can check out that coverage here and here.