“I haven’t seen one potential candidate who is willing to punch him square in the face,” one top Democratic strategist said. “And that’s what we need to do. You can’t win a race against this guy by being graceful or by waiting to be attacked.”

Philippe Reines, the longtime adviser to Hillary Clinton who played Trump in mock debates in 2016 and is known for his pugnacity, said former first lady Michelle Obama’s famous “when they go low, we go high” line no longer applies.

“This notion that you go high or go low is a false choice, it’s become a misnomer,” Reines said. “Democrats are going to want to see someone with the moxie, they’re going to want to see absolute contempt for Trump.”