How Clinton Would Try to Defeat Trump

Aggressively portray him as 'dangerous and bigoted,' and start early
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 1, 2016 12:00 PM CST
How Clinton Would Try to Defeat Trump
Nebraska fans try to distract Delaware State players with signs of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

The line used to be that Donald Trump can't possibly win the GOP nomination. And now it's, OK, he can win the GOP nomination, but he can't possibly win the general election. But as the New York Times reports, two people not buying into that thinking are Bill and Hillary Clinton. Both think that a Clinton-Trump race would be close and that "only a concerted campaign portraying him as dangerous and bigoted" would allow Clinton to win, write Amy Chozick and Patrick Healy. The story takes a look at how the strategy already is taking shape—pro-Clinton groups have begun testing ads and scripts—even as Clinton continues to fend off Bernie Sanders in the primaries.

One key part involves aggressively employing Bill Clinton and President Obama on the campaign trail, with Obama making clear that he'd be happy to portray Trump as unfit for the office. Other facets include showing Trump to be a "heartless businessman," highlighting his "derogatory" comments about women, and showcasing his "explosive temper." One thing that's clear: The race would be ugly. "Hillary has built a large tanker ship, and she’s about to confront Somali pirates," says former Bush strategist Matthew Dowd, now an independent. CNN, meanwhile, has news that might cheer the Clinton camp: Its new poll finds that Clinton would beat Trump 52% 44% in a head-to-head match-up. For that matter, Sanders would beat him 55% to 43%, according to the poll. (More Hillary Clinton 2016 stories.)

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