On CNN, former Obama adviser David Axelrod warned his colleagues that the president’s handling of the coronavirus response could give him momentum heading into November.
“But he has one big platform right now. We saw it today,” Axelrod said.
“He’s the president of the United States in the midst of a crisis,” Axelrod warned.
“It took him a long time to acknowledge the depth of that crisis, but if he consistently appears to be wrestling with that crisis, this is a country that likes to rally behind the leader.”
Anderson Cooper said, “It was also interesting to see him today sticking through the coronavirus task force comments that normally he wouldn’t even be there at all, then he was, and he left the other day.”
“They obviously have had a big strategic discussion about,” Axelrod said.
Cooper responded, “Right. This is the story of the time and he wants to get.”
“Exactly,” Axelrod concluded.
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Axelrod urged the panel not to “underestimate the platform [Trump] has” because “Americans should be rooting for him to get command of this situation.” And he foresaw that it could spell bad news for Biden. “But, you know, if you’re Joe Biden, you have to think about how do you run against a guy who’s spending hours on television every day talking to the American people about this mortal threat,” he rhetorically asked.
Earlier in the day, CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash also praised the president for his press conference on Tuesday.
“He is being the kind of leader that people need, at least in tone, today, and yesterday, in a tone that people need and want and yearn for in times of crisis and uncertainty,” Bash said of Trump.
As I said in the clip you posted below, this is a moment to be non-partisan, American and human – & the TONE the president set at today & yesterday's PRESSERS were remarkably different and welcomed. That's a fact. Let's all take a breath and remember we are all in this together. https://t.co/bx9uLuvkOI
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) March 17, 2020
“But if you look at the big picture, this was remarkable from the president of the United States. This is a non-partisan — this is an important thing to note, and to applaud from an American standpoint — from a human standpoint. He is being the kind of leader that people need, at least in tone, today, and yesterday, in a tone that people need and want and yearn for in times of crisis and uncertainty,” she added.
She continued: “But big picture, the fact that the president has been, you know, convinced to be different — whether it was Chris Christie’s op-ed asking him to do it, whether it was Newt Gingrich sitting in Italy watching firsthand what’s happening, or his friends at Fox News who have changed their tone. You know, probably all the above is what happened. But it is so important to hear him strike that tone of calm, and of understanding of how incredibly dire this is.”