Donald Trump’s team is hunkering down to draft the c-harge sheet the presumptive GOP nominee will unveil against Hillary Clinton on Monday, intent on laying out a credible general election argument that leads voters to question her trustworthiness.
Senior campaign advisers beginning to focus on the speech cast it Wednesday as “all about pivoting to the general election.”
But many Republicans worry that the former reality TV star’s penchant for focusing on the Clintons’ personal lives and scandals of years past — he declared them “fair game” months ago as he bulldozed to the finish line of a Republican primary — could undermine the more disciplined case party leaders have been making against Clinton for a year — that the Democrat’s email controversy and actions in Benghazi show she is too irresponsible to be commander in chief.
“If you want to talk about issues of c-haracter, you can talk about infidelity and the corruption scandals, but there are more here-and-now things, more contemporary to what we’re now discussing, that are whe-re he’s going to focus,” said John Jay LaValle, a Trump surrogate and the GOP chairman of Suffolk County, New York.
“If Mr. Trump stays focused on issues like Benghazi, the email scandal and to the extent that she was so willing to compromise national security, he’ll be able to make a credible case that she’s the one who would put the country in danger as commander in chief,” LaValle continued.
Trump has had the advantage of nearly a month to pivot to Clinton. But it wasn’t until the past week of intense criticism over Trump’s racially c-harged attacks on a federal judge that party leadership and establishment Republicans pushed their presumptive nominee to focus his efforts on crafting a cohesive and compelling argument against his opponent.
Trump attempted to do just that on Tuesday night, sticking to more recent Clinton controversies, apparently heeding the advice of Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who encouraged him to adopt a more coherent message that lined up neatly with GOP messaging. Reading a scripted speech f-rom a teleprompter, the real-estate mogul, whom Clinton has cast as avaricious and ego-driven, argued that it’s the Clintons who have wrongly cashed in on their three decades in public life.
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