Donald Trump is officially going hard after Bernie Sanders voters. AP has already looked at Sanders’ decision to endorse Hillary Clinton (which, honestly, no one should be surprised happened), but Trump is trying to lure in disaffected #FeelTheBerners by telling them they were betrayed by the candidate they latched on to. From Trump’s Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller:
“Today, Bernie Sanders will be endorsing one of the most pro-war, pro-wall street, and pro-off shoring candidates in the history of the Democratic Party. The candidate who ran against special interests is endorsing the candidate who embodies special interests. The candidate who ran against TPP is endorsing the candidate who helped draft the TPP. The candidate who ran in opposition to globalization is running against the candidate who has led the push for globalization. The candidate who warned that open borders destroy the working class is endorsing the candidate with the most open borders policy in our history. The candidate who wants to reform H1-B visas is endorsing the candidate who supported lifting the caps on H1-B visas. The candidate who wants less war is endorsing the candidate who launched wars in Iraq and Libya and would lead us to a new war in Syria. The candidate who wants to get money out of politics is voting for the candidate who has made a career out of making money from politics.
Bernie’s endorsement becomes Exhibit A in our rigged system – the Democrat Party is disenfranchising its voters to benefit the select and privileged few.”
There’s a certain bit of truth to this because both parties (especially the Democrats) have a history of going for “the elites,” versus what the party’s rank-and-file want. But Clinton did win a majority of the pledged delegates, already secured superdelegates notwithstanding, so she probably would have gotten the nomination anyway. Trump is obviously trying to tap into the anger Sanders’ fans feel about the Clinton endorsement, especially after Andrew Rosenthal in The New York Times called it “uninspiring.”
The question for Clinton is how many of the 13 million people who voted for Sanders will vote for her — indeed how many of them will vote at all. Motivating that crowd is going to be the big challenge for Sanders if he was sincere on Tuesday when he promised to help Clinton get elected…
If his primary aim is to keep alive his cult of personality, perhaps all Sanders can do is accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. I’m not sure that will get his supporters to vote in November.
That last line is what Trump is counting on, which is why his campaign is now releasing a stream of “Bernie Betrayal” emails. The problem with is Trump is appearing to show even more how anti-free markets he actually is. By having Moore point out Sanders’ apparent hypocrisy for endorsing “the candidate who has made a career out of making money from politics,” Trump is trying to appear as “the guy” who will get money out of politics. It’s possible he’ll try to get Citizens United overturned under the guise of removing money from politics (something the Left has praised him on). Trump’s strategy of trying to get unions on his side is actually pretty smart (because Clinton is a cronytastic candidate), but this should raise concerns in the supposedly free market GOP. If Trump is actually going to start pushing even more pro-state policies, we may run into another election where the candidates are trying to show their differences by going even further towards the left.
There are going to be people who sit here and point out Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is also doing outreach to Sanders supporters. This may be the case, but the way Johnson has done it is different than Trump. Johnson is trying to woo Sanders supporters, not by talking economic policy but foreign policy and civil liberties. That’s much different than calling Sanders a hypocrite for endorsing a candidate who has “the most open border policy in our history,” and “the candidate who helped draft the TPP.” The way Trump is going after Sanders voters, you’d think he might actually hold some of their economic positions.