It’s Trade War Sunday on the chat shows, with two of Trump’s top advisors set to try to calm investors’ nerves about a looming economic downturn. Free marketeer (is he still a free marketeer?) Larry Kudlow will sit down with “Meet the Press” and “Fox News Sunday” while China-hawk protectionist Peter Navarro joins “This Week” and “State of the Union.” Top question: If trade wars are good and easy to win, as their boss once famously claimed, why haven’t we won yet? Did they underestimate China’s willingness and ability to sustain economic pain in order to show Trump that they can’t be intimidated? And is it really true that they convinced Trump to hold off on the next round of tariffs until December 15th for fear that imposing them sooner would “ruin Christmas”?
How did Trump process that argument, anyway? Since day one he’s operated under the mistaken assumption that China, not American consumers, pays the tariffs he imposes on Chinese goods. Is he worried about ruining Christmas for the Chinese government?
If you’re not up for trade blather, this morning also brings a cornucopia of no-shot 2020 Democratic candidates who’ll attempt to convince viewers that they really do still have a chance, really. Take your pick: Beto O’Rourke will appear on “Meet the Press,” Steve Bullock is set for “Fox News Sunday,” Andrew Yang will chat with “Face the Nation,” and the biggest no-shot of them all, Kirsten Gillibrand, will drop by “This Week.” Pete Buttigieg is scheduled too but I don’t know that the guy who led the field in fundraising last quarter can be described as a no-shot. “Extreme longshot,” let’s say. He’ll be on “State of the Union” to answer uncomfortable questions about why black Democratic voters don’t like him.
If all else fails, there’s always gun control to chat about. Joe Manchin will talk with “Face the Nation” about the prospects of reviving his bill to require background checks for all gun purchases and whether he thinks Trump might support it. The full line-up is at the AP.