Beyond the Bubble

Republicans’ Way Forward: Trump gears up for a re-election fight

Fans cheer as President Donald Trump makes an appearance on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss. to campaign for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss. Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff on Tuesday, Nov. 27, to complete retired Sen. Thad Cochran’s term.
Fans cheer as President Donald Trump makes an appearance on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss. to campaign for Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss. Hyde-Smith faces Democrat Mike Espy in a runoff on Tuesday, Nov. 27, to complete retired Sen. Thad Cochran’s term. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

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President Donald Trump is about to embark on his bid for a second term in office the same way he ran the first time, complete with raucous campaign rallies and a catchy slogan.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the nation’s oldest and largest conservative grassroots organization, told Beyond the Bubble that Trump’s strategy just may work again.

“He’s been doing these rallies, he’s been out there, and he’ll know more about government than when he took office,” he said. “But the biggest thing about him, he’s the same guy. This hasn’t changed him that much. He is who he is.”

In the first episode of a special three-part ‘Beyond the Bubble’ podcast series, Schlapp, an unabashed Trump supporter and unofficial surrogate, explains why conservatives should stand behind Trump and what he tells Republicans who still don’t like Trump.

“There are conservatives. There are Republicans, and there are Trump supporters,” he said. “Conservatives make a big mistake if they assume all these Trump supporters are conservatives. And Republicans make a huge mistake if they think they have all the conservatives and Trump supporters. It is a coalitional thing.”

Schlapp, who worked for President George W. Bush, recalls that Trump had reached out to him years years before he ran for president leading to lengthy, “widely entertaining” meetings in New York.

“The unique thing about Donald Trump is that he asked a million questions and listened to the answers,” Schlapp said. “Most people running for president or even thinking about it do the exact opposite. Talk. Talk. Talk Talk. They ask very few questions. They don’t care what you think.”

Trump filed for re-election Jan. 20, 2017, the day he was sworn in as president — earlier than any incumbent president in decades — leading to questions about whether it was merely to raise money.

“They wanted to make it very clear that he’s making the eight-year commitment if the people will have him,” Schlapp said.

Listen in to hear who Schlapp thinks Democrats will run against Trump and who he thinks will be the toughest Democrat to beat.

Republicans’ Way Forward is produced by Davin Coburn. Anita Kumar, a White House correspondent for McClatchy, recorded this episode at McClatchy’s Washington Bureau.



President Donald Trump held a rally at Moon Township, Pennsylvania during a campaign event for Republican Rick Saccone ahead of next Tuesday's special election. Trump said that his campaign slogan for the 2020 presidential election would be "Keep

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