The battle for the Rust Belt is on and President Trump has it in the bag, former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer predicted Wednesday.
The day before, at a rally in Monaca, Pa., the president touted the economy and support for American manufacturing and energy production. The small town is deep in the heart of the Rust Belt. Trump won the Democrat-heavy region decisively in 2016, but voters turned to Dems in the 2018 midterms.
On “America’s Newsroom” Spicer told co-hosts Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith that there were a few facets to the “ground game” and the “date game” — what he coined “the best in the history of politics” — that the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign are “playing this cycle.”
Spicer said political logistics was a key piece of the campaign: “They know who they need to go to, what message they need to get to them at, and when you’re playing with a game of inches — as we are in a state like Pennsylvania — that’s the difference.”
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He added: “In a presidential year, you’re going to have a greater turnout than you are in a midterm. That’s good for the president.”
Spicer said manufacturing would be “key” for the campaign because the president had created 5,000 more manufacturing jobs — a sign the “stagnant growth that occurred in the previous two years” was reversing.
According to “Current Employment Statistics Highlights” released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in July, manufacturing has added an average of 8,000 jobs per month so far in 2019, after adding 22,000 jobs per month in 2018.
Spicer conceded that voters do rely on their gut in a lot of their decisions. But, that he believes, “on both scores the president has a record where people know that he’s going to stand up for them, he’s going to fight for them, and he’s going to deliver for them.”
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On the flipside, Spicer said, Democratic presidential campaign frontrunner Joe Biden is “mostly a media creation.”
“The guy doesn’t know how to run a good campaign,” he said of the former vice president. Spicer said that what Biden primarily had — instead of fresh faces or forward-thinking platforms — was money.
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“And, we’ve seen what money and politics does before, and it doesn’t really guarantee a success,” he said.