President Donald Trump is “pushing every button” available as he mobilizes the federal government in an effort to ensure Republican victories at the polls next week, according to The Washington Post.
Much of his strategy involves stoking immigration fears as the caravan of Central American migrants trek onward toward the U.S. border.
> Trump in recent days has made aggressive moves aimed at pushing policies that could boost Republicans next week — deploying thousands of troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in the largest such operation since the Mexican Revolution, floating the ideaending birthright citizenship and warning he intends to halt the caravan of Central American migrants.
> The president has also moved to lower Medicare drug prices and suggested the idea of a 10 percent tax cut for the middle class, sending administration and congressional officials scrambling to assemble a new tax policy.
Such moves are intended to maximize voter turnout for those who supported Trump in 2016, in hopes of retaining control of both the House and Senate after next week’s elections.
> “This is the most focused and concerted effort to use all of the powers of the presidency to shape a midterm election that I have ever seen,” said William A. Galston, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program and a former domestic policy adviser in the Clinton White House.
> “President Trump is pushing every button on the console and he is mobilizing all of the power, including the communications power, of the federal government on behalf of his party’s campaign in this midterm,” Galston added.
The Post said White House advisers are sensitive to the insinuation that Trump is taking advantage of the federal government’s vast resources for political gain, insisting it is purely coincidental that his current policy aims also benefit Republicans politically ahead of elections.
> “This is not a case where Trump is just politically calculating policies to fit what he wants done politically,” said one former White House official, who like some others interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “It’s a case where what helps him politically also matches up perfectly with where he is policy-wise.”
Former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg said the moves showcase the president’s political savvy:
> “The optics of the president sending troops to the border along with having Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen announce that none of the illegal immigrants are getting through once again makes this a top issue which will increase base turnout this last crucial week,” Nunberg said.
> By [focusing on immigration], [Trump] is effectively putting his name and agenda on the ballot, in spirit if not in letter. As a second former White House official put it, “immigration gives some of that 2016 flair” to the midterms.