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"Tired of winning yet?", critics mock Trump using his "winning" phrase.
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Did you mean whining???
June 18, 2017 - 06:14 PM EDT
THE MEMO: For Trump, danger signs in the polls
President Trump’s willingness to flout convention and stoke controversy may be starting to hurt him, even among previously strong supporters.
Trump has defied political norms ever since the start of his campaign two years ago. He brushed aside calls to become a more conventional candidate, and it paid off, making him the nation’s 45th president.
But Trump’s approval rating, consistently low by historical standards, has been sliding since he took office in January. Crucially, many recent surveys detected an erosion of his support among Republicans and independents.
Trump’s job performance wins approval from only 35 percent of the public, while 64 percent disapprove, according to a new poll released late last week from The Associated Press and the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That is one of the worst findings yet for Trump in any major survey.
The same poll found that 65 percent of Americans think their president has little or no respect for the nation’s democratic institutions and traditions.
The second finding does not necessarily spell doom for Trump, given that a large segment of his support comes from people who like him because of his willingness to rebel against “business as usual” in Washington. But it is a warning sign for the president, at the very least.
Republican strategist Dan Judy argued that voters who had backed Trump with some ambivalence over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton last November were among those most likely to be put off by the various controversies to afflict the White House and by the president’s incendiary style.
“A lot of people — the ‘Not Hillary’ Trump voters — knew who Donald Trump was, they knew what kind of person he was,” said Judy, who worked on Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential campaign (R-Fla.) last year. “They were willing to tolerate some of the theatrics and some of the disruption it led to, as long as it led to a policy agenda they supported.
“The longer he goes without real policy victories, the less patience they are going to have.”
Those voters appear to be becoming jaded with the apparently endless storms that have afflicted the Trump presidency. But, as usual, there is no sign of the president backing down or tempering his public pronouncements.
Over the past week, amid reports that Trump is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller for possible obstruction of justice, the president unleashed Twitter barbs at Clinton, the “fake news media” and fired FBI Director James Comey.
On Friday morning, Trump appeared to take aim at his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller after Comey’s firing.
“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” Trump wrote.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was among those firing back at Trump. In a statement released a few hours later, she asserted, “The message the president is sending through his tweets is that he believes the rule of law doesn’t apply to him.”
Though Trump’s defenders have long argued that pollsters underestimate his support and that his base is resilient, there is some data to back up the skeptics.
In the RealClearPolitics average of polls as of Friday afternoon, Trump’s job performance was registering 39.9 percent approval and 53.6 percent disapproval.
Polling and data expert Nate Silver wrote on Twitter earlier this month, “Good reporting needs to be able to distinguish between Trump's Bannonist base (20-25% of the country) and all Trump voters (46%).”
Silver also highlighted, as other pollsters have done, that the number of Trump supporters who say they back him “strongly” has dropped in many polls.
In the new Associated Press poll, fully one-quarter of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents disapproved of Trump’s job performance, while nearly a third said he has little or no respect for America’s democratic institutions.
Those figures should be troubling to the White House, given that sitting presidents often enjoy approval ratings of around 90 percent among supporters of their own party.
Judy, the GOP strategist, said the change showing up in the polls is often a precursor to a broader loss of support.
“Even among those who approve, you’re seeing a decrease in the intensity of that approval,” he said. “That’s the first step in the decline. The next step is people moving from ‘somewhat approve’ to ‘somewhat disapprove’ — and that’s when Trump is in real trouble.”
Still, Judy acknowledged that such a switch might be a long time coming. And even some Republican strategists who have been critical of Trump cautioned against overstating his problems.
Pundits and pollsters have written him off repeatedly, only to find him survive problems that would sink other politicians.
Rick Tyler, who worked for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) during the 2016 GOP presidential primary, said Trump might have lost some “moderate Republicans” who had always been lukewarm in their support.
But, he added, “I think his base is holding together pretty well, because they don’t blame him.
They think he is a victim — that there is grand conspiracy against him.”
President Trump says he created the term ‘fake,’ defends Puerto Rico paper towel tosses in Mike Huckabee interview
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Sunday, October 8, 2017, 10:33 AM
White House criticizes San Juan mayor for Trump protest
“I think one of the greatest of all terms I’ve come up with is ‘fake,’” he told Huckabee.
“I guess other people have used it, perhaps, over the years, but I’ve never noticed it.”
Trump was likely referring to his favored term “fake news,” which he throws at nearly any news organization that reports unflattering stories on his administration.
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This isn’t the first time the master of branding has claimed he came up with a common phrase.
Trump calls San Juan mayor a 'nasty' woman on SNL premiere
Donald Trump with Mike Huckabee in January 2016.
(CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/GETTY IMAGES)
In a May interview with The Economist, Trump said he invented the term “priming the pump,” claiming he “came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good.”
“Priming the pump” has been used since at least the 1930s, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, and even Trump himself had used it prior to that interview.
In his Huckabee interview, Trump once again reignitedhis feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruzwhile talking up his much-mocked appearance in Puerto Rico last week.
While saying Cruz did “a very poor job” responding to Hurricane Maria, he spoke lovingly of thepaper towel rolls he tossed to a crowdin a San Juan church in one of the most notorious moments from his day trip.
Puerto Rico mayor dons ‘NASTY’ T-shirt to take on Trump
“They had these beautiful, soft towels. Very good towels,” Trump said.
“I came in and there was a crowd of a lot of people. And they were screaming and they were loving everything. I was having fun, they were having fun. They said, ‘Throw ‘em to me! Throw ‘em to me, Mr. President!’"
He said the “cheering was incredible” during his visit to the decimated U.S. territory.
President Trump said he threw "soft, beautiful" towels to Puerto Ricans during his visit.
Trump also called Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people at a country music concert, “a sick person — but probably smart.” And he waved off any accountability for health care after the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare failed.
President Trump slams San Juan mayor, other Puerto Rico leaders
"I want to focus on North Korea. I want to focus on Iran. I want to focus on other things. I don’t want to focus on fixing somebody’s back or their knee or something,” Trump said.
“Let the states do that.”
Trump wasn’t the only one looking for an ego boost in the interview.
Huckabee started the conversation by asking Trump’s view on White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders — who is Huckabee’s daughter.
NYC protesters outraged with Trump's paper towel antics in P.R.
“Mr. President, let me get to the most important question I will ask you today: Tell me, how good is your press secretary?” Huckabee asked.
Trump called Huckabee Sanders a “great person” who has handled the “haters” in the White House press corp “with brilliance.”
“You did a good job,” Trump told Huckabee, immediately adding, “Your wife did a better job.” Huckabee agreed.
Trump is already preparing to blame
Democrats for his souring economy
Sean Rayford/Getty Images
Publicly, President Trump is predicting that Republicans will maintain unified control of the federal government after next week's congressional elections, but — he also tweeted Tuesday that the stock markets, now back to where they started 2018, are "taking a little pause" because "people want to see what happens with the midterms."
This is part of Trump's new "simple strategy if markets and the economy cool over the next two years: Blame Democrats and the Fed," Politico reports. "In recent days, Trump and his senior advisers have repeatedly argued that recent turbulence in the stock market reflects investor fear that Democrats will retake the House in the midterm elections next week."
According to economist and market analysts, "these arguments bear little connection to reality," Politico says, explaining:
Instead, they note that the economy is following a pattern many predicted when Trump and Congress slashed corporate tax rates last year:
A period of faster growth;
followed by a return to the pace of around 2 to 3 percent that has persisted for nearly a decade with annual deficits rising.
Market analysts and traders also attribute much of the recent volatility in stock prices to fear over Trump's bitter trade war with China and concern that corporate profits have hit their high point for the current economic expansion, which is now in its 10th year and approaching the longest expansion on record. Panic over Democratic gains in Congress does not rank high on the list of worries. [Politico]
Stocks dropped sharply on Monday, for example, directly after a report that Trump could slap tariffs on just about all imports from China as soon as December. And underscoring the rising deficit, the Treasury Department said Tuesday that federal borrowing will rise to $1.34 trillion this year, more than double 2017's borrowing and the highest level since post-recession 2010.
You can read more about what's really moving the markets at Politico. Peter Weber