Impeachment Fever Fuels Donald Trump Campaign Thunder

US President Donald Trump looks on during the 2019 Young Black Leadership Summit in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on October 4, 2019. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty

As impeachment fever swept over D.C. last week, President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign shifted into battle mode, showing the president and his supporters what they could accomplish in the runup to the 2020 election.

Congressional Republicans in Washington found themselves calculating or critical of the president’s comments about China and Ukraine investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Critics of the president expressed surprise the White House did not employ a top-level messaging “war room” to fight back against the charges against the president and failed to deploy a round of surrogates to defend the president on cable news and on the Sunday shows.

But by the end of the week, it was clear the team leading the fight to defend the president was his re-election campaign, taking cues from Trump’s own combative messaging on Twitter and in person.

“The campaign gets bigger and stronger, and so does the President,” a campaign spokesperson told Breitbart News. “Every time Democrats and the media go into a feeding frenzy, the President’s re-election machine kicks into high gear.”

For years, the campaign invested heavily in campaign infrastructure, building up a team housed in an office building in Rosslyn, Virginia, but last week, they were able to surprise the establishment with a fundraising surge to demonstrate support for Trump.

Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee raised $15 million dollars in the 72 hours since Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry — the same amount that former Vice President Joe Biden raised in the entire third quarter.

“Keep it up, Nancy. You’re helping us #KeepAmericaGreat,” Deputy Communications Director Erin Perrine wrote on Twitter.

The campaign immediately invested the money to defend the president, launching an $8.5 million ad campaign with multiple new ads targeting former Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and their allies in the establishment media in the early campaign states.

By the following Monday, the campaign trumpeted that their supporters were energized like never before as a result of Pelosi’s impeachment inquiry.

“This has the president’s supporters and also independents engaged and in the campaign and supporting President Trump in ways that they were not doing before to this level of intensity, and we have Nancy Pelosi and the impeachment inquiry to thank for that,” Trump’s campaign communications director, Tim Murtaugh, said during a call with reporters on Monday afternoon.

The contrast between Trump’s reelection campaign and former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign was stark.

Team Biden responded to the news with carefully constructed tweets, sent their candidate out with prepared remarks (leaked to the press early) and submitted a Washington Post op-ed to combat Trump’s accusation that Biden and his son Hunter Biden were corrupt. Biden and his campaign also inexplicably kept repeating they planned to “beat Trump like a drum.”

Trump’s campaign messaging imitated the president — nimble, red hot, and fighting mad.

The Trump social media war room spent the week engaging supporters on Twitter and Facebook, with a steady stream of content for Trump supporters to share, including a video of a “BullSchiff-o-meter” mocking “pencil neck” Adam Schiff, and targeted Pelosi, and Biden.

“Democrats know impeachment hurts the country…” the campaign wrote. “They just don’t care.”

“Since the day Donald Trump was elected, Democrats wanted to impeach him,” another video read. “President Trump’s only crime was beating Hillary Clinton in 2016!”

Another video mocked Pelosi stumbling over her words during a press conference where it was obvious that she was not pleased with how the impeachment inquiry was dominating the headlines.

The campaign also ramped up spending on digital ads — $2.1 million on Facebook and $500,000 on Google and YouTube last week, according to ACRONYM, a leftist nonprofit.

The campaign finished the week with positive messaging, touting the record low unemployment numbers released on Friday, pointing to the president’s success despite unprecedented opposition from Democrats.

Veterans of the 2016 campaign marveled at the well-funded, nimble operation that had been created for the president’s defense.

A former 2016 campaign aid told Breitbart News that the unique blend of the president’s messaging, Democrat attacks, and media criticism sparked moments where the campaign lit up on social media and fundraising. The impeachment efforts by Democrats, he said, was like rocket fuel for the president’s re-election campaign.

“I don’t think anything that the left did in 2016 has infuriated his supporters as much as this impeachment process has infuriated them,” he said.

Past moments energizing Trump supporters included the president’s campaign speech on immigration in Arizona and when he was criticized for saying that Obama had created ISIS, the former campaign staffer recalled.

Back then, Trump went to war on the campaign trail and on Twitter and the campaign did their best to amplify his message.

“People forget we were underfunded and understaffed in 2016,” he said. “Now they have a record amount of funding.”

 

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