Democrats Can Claim Moderate Policies, But They’re Pushing Socialism

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell says there’s a civil war going on in the Democratic Party between the more traditional moderates and the progressives.

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Trump, Facing Trouble In Florida, Goes All In

President Trump is pulling out all the stops in Florida ahead of November as polls there show him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden

Trump is going all-in to repeat his 2016 success in the country's biggest swing state, but polls indicate he has an uphill climb ahead.

The president has also become more vocal about the importance of wearing face masks in public spaces, posting a picture of himself wearing one on Twitter this week and calling it “patriotic.” 

“I think where the Trump administration wants to improve their messaging is they want to make sure that Floridians, particularly seniors and those in the suburbs, [know] that the president is doing everything he can,” Florida-based GOP strategist Ford O’Connell told The Hill. 

“He wants to make sure they know, and that he’s putting the coronavirus front and center,” he said. “I think if he gets over that hurdle in Florida with how they perceive him handling the coronavirus, which he can do from the White House bully pulpit, then he will be in a lot better standing in Florida.”

Read more from Max Greenwood and Julia Manchester at The Hill

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The Risk For Trump Running As The 'Law And Order' Candidate: He Is In Charge

Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign aide Boris Epshteyn retweeted images of Portland burning with a similar message: This is Joe Biden’s America.

Then came the rejoinders: But Donald Trump is president.

Republican strategist Ford O’Connell said Trump needs to keep taking his message straight to the public, with “succinct, realistic, and informative” briefings. “Then not only will key voters come home to him because they will see him as front and center in the battle against the virus, but they and others will be far more receptive to his messages concerning Biden being a figurehead for the far-left of the Democratic Party and the need for law and order in our cities,” O’Connell said.

Read more from W. James Antle III and Rob Crilly at the Washington Examiner

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Trump Takes Back The Spotlight In Coronavirus Briefings

The White House daily coronavirus briefings are back. But this reboot of the spring's hottest television series has shed the supporting cast and thrust President Trump back into his starring role, this time as more of a solo act.

Supporters believe the administration has a compelling story to tell. "From fast-tracking a vaccine to making sure the governors have necessary supplies to delivering needed support to hot spot states around the country to even recommending masks, President Trump is leading the charge to combat the coronavirus and save American lives, but that message is not reaching many voters," O'Connell said. "The reason is simple: Many in the national media, along with the Democratic leadership, have nefariously gaslighted the general population into thinking the bubonic plague is outside their front door and that President Trump is solely to blame."

Read more from W. James Antle III at the Washington Examiner

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The Memo: Democrats Feel Rising Tide In Florida

Democratic hopes are rising for a victory in Florida in November’s presidential election — an outcome that would make President Trump’s path to reelection vanishingly narrow.

Republicans believe they still have leverage in the state, and not just because a general economic comeback is possible.

GOP strategist Ford O’Connell, a native of Naples, Fla., acknowledged that Biden was not as “toxic” as Clinton had been for some Florida voters in 2016. But, he argued, Trump still had time to “draw a contrast with Biden and really define him” — especially on the issue of immigration.

The idea that a hard line on immigration would doom Trump in Florida is not necessarily true, as the 2016 result showed. A new poll from Latino Decisions on Friday found the president’s job approval with Florida Latinos at 45 percent and his approval at 55 percent — not spectacular but not disastrous either.

Much can change in the next four months. But the stakes are in no doubt. When it comes to the election, Florida could be the whole ballgame.

“If Trump loses Florida, he’s done,” said O’Connell. “If he wins, he keeps on fighting.”

Read more from Niall Stanage at The Hill

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Biden And Trump Battle Over 'Made In America' Economic Agenda

In 2016 President Donald Trump won over a large portion of working-class voters with an "America First" economic agenda, promising to bring back jobs and manufacturing to the United States. In 2020, former Vice President Joe Biden has made a similar pitch to voters, promising to invest $700 billion in American goods and labor to spur an economic recovery.

Like many campaign promises, Biden's "Buy American" blueprint was short on details. It is primarily a "political document," argued Republican strategist Ford O'Connell.

"This is about narratives and themes," O'Connell said. "Imitation to this degree illustrates just how strong Trump's 'America First' economic message is and how fearful the Biden campaign is of it at the ballot box."

"It's clear the Biden campaign is saying we need to find a way to cut into Trump's lead on this," O'Connell continued. "The better the economy does, the better the handling of the coronavirus seems to be in October, the better for Donald Trump."

Read more from Leandra Bernstein at WJLA

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'Get Susie Wiles': Trump's Florida 'Winner' Returns To The Fold

Veteran Florida GOP strategist Susie Wiles's return to the Trump campaign shows that the president is still competing in his adopted home state, despite presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden's monthslong lead in most head-to-head public polls.

Florida officials and political consultants rallied behind Wiles in interviews with the Washington Examiner, hopeful that this was a step toward President Trump's victory in the fall.

"Susie Wiles is one of the most effective, if not the most effective, political operative in Florida on the Republican side," said Republican strategist and former Florida congressional candidate Ford O'Connell. "What this means is, it's an all-hands-on-deck moment in Florida, and the Trump campaign is betting Florida is going to be tight as a drum."

Read more from Katherine Doyle at the Washington Examiner

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Republicans Warn Of ‘Grim’ Outlook For Trump In Florida

Republicans are warning the outlook is “grim” for Donald Trump in Florida, a closely watched battleground state that is seen as pivotal for the US president’s re-election prospects in November.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist from Naples, Florida, who is close to the Trump campaign, said the state’s “trend lines” were “not currently going in [Trump’s] favour”.

“Obviously the triple whammy of the virus, the pandemic-induced weak economy and the social unrest have taken a toll on President Trump’s poll numbers,” he said.

“The reason why it is the most important swing state is because if Trump loses it, it’s over,” Mr O’Connell said. “If Trump wins it, he is fighting.”

Read more from Lauren Fedor at the Financial Times

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Republican Revolt: Anti-Trump Insurgents Choose 'Country Over Party,' Defect To Biden

The Trumpian rift in the Republican Party has deepened in recent days as allies of one of the former Republican presidents and former White House nominees have taken steps to endorse the Democrat.

The Republican anti-Trump forces willfully overlook the president’s wins on the conservative scorecard, including cutting taxes, appointing hundreds of conservative judges, confronting illegal immigration and rebuilding the military, said Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist closely allied with the White House.

“The fact that they are going to throw that all away out of spite makes you questions whether they are actually conservatives,” he said.

Mr. O’Connell said that beating Mr. Trump in November would not turn back the clock for the Republican Party.

“The party is going to carry forward a lot of the things Trump taught them. The number one thing Trump taught them was to have a backbone. For years, Republicans did not have a backbone,” he said. “They are not getting their party back.”

Mr. O’Connnell said the old school establishment that opposes the president has lost touch with the party’s base.

“Here’s what these people miss and what the Republican grassroots have figured out,” he said, “We can always get a new set of leaders. We can’t get a new set of grassroots. If you ignore your grassroots, you’re ignoring your party to its own political peril.”

Read more from S.A. Miller at The Washington Times

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Democrats Seize On Florida Pandemic Response Ahead of General Election

Democrats are seizing on the recent coronavirus spike in Florida, blaming it on the leadership of President Trump and GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis in a critical swing state that could help decide November's general election. 

“There is no question that the coronavirus has put a damper on President Trump’s reelection plans,” said Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based GOP strategist. 

“If DeSantis wasn’t in charge of the most important swing state in 2020, he wouldn’t be under such a media microscope,” O'Connell added. “The reason is simple: Trump has to win Florida.” 

“I think the reason why Trump has a good shot in Florida is because DeSantis has done a good job protecting seniors in Florida,” O’Connell said. “It’s going to be the seniors that decide whether the winner of this election in Florida, at least, is Joe Biden or Donald Trump.” 

Read more from Julia Manchester at The Hill

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