Trump Campaign's Strategy To Attack Democrat Warren: Define Her As Dishonest

President Donald Trump’s campaign team has been developing a plan to portray White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren as dishonest and untrustworthy - based in part on her past claim of Native American ancestry - in a sign of recognition that she may become the Democratic nominee to face him in 2020.

For months, Trump’s campaign had focused its fire on Joe Biden, the early front-runner in the battle for the Democratic U.S. presidential nomination.

But Warren’s surge to the top of the Democratic pack in recent opinion polls and her strong fundraising - $9 million more than Biden in the third quarter alone - has not gone unnoticed, two people inside the Republican president’s re-election team told Reuters.

They said the campaign is evaluating the vulnerabilities of all the Democratic candidates and it was still too early to single out any of them as the likely nominee. But, one of the officials said, “Her rise is undeniable.”

The nascent game plan on how Trump would attack the liberal U.S. senator from Massachusetts differs from the manner in which his team had gone after Biden, seeking to portray the former vice president as corrupt based on allegations of wrongdoing - made without substantiation - arising from his son’s past role with a Ukrainian energy company.

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, who worked on Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said he believes the Native American ancestry issue is not behind her.

“If you can undermine her credibility,” O’Connell said, “you can make the case that the policies she is promoting are not true either.”

Read more from Tim Reid at Reuters

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Analysis & Political Strategy