Trump has been described as a protectionist because he criticized NAFTA, cancelled negotiations towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, and proposed to significantly raise tariffs on Chinese and Mexican exports to the United States. He has also been critical of the World Trade Organization, threatening to leave unless his proposed tariffs are accepted.
I asked Stepien what the White House learned from the special elections in 2017, in which Democrats won decisively in Virginia, Alabama, and Pennsylvania. “The special elections were elections in a vacuum,” he said. He contended that the candidates in those races ran as centrists, while the party’s midterm candidates, and likely 2020 candidates, will be far to the left of the mainstream. “[Bernie] Sanders, [Kamala] Harris, [Elizabeth] Warren. They’re all going to out-left each other,” Stepien said. “That is a very good thing for this Republican president.”
"As with so many manufacturers in America, Cali-Fame is enjoying the benefits of the Trump economy while also playing a unique and important role in the production of MAGA hats, the iconic symbol of President Trump's historic campaign and pledge to Make America Great Again. The facility employs dozens of American citizens from diverse backgrounds, all dedicated and committed to their specialty craft producing a growing count of MAGA hats, totaling hundreds of thousands produced to date."
On 27 July, Vermont senator and 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was more direct and explicit in accusing both the president himself and his campaign of having ordered the Chinese-made banners and flags. In a Facebook post, Sanders described the items as “flags for President Trump’s campaign” and accused the president of ‘opting for’ cheap foreign labor:
The volume of the orders (90,000 banners between March and July, at just one factory) is not inconsistent with the activities of a major U.S. presidential election campaign, and it is therefore reasonable to question the identity of the customer(s) behind such orders. However, we’ve so far found no concrete evidence documenting who is responsible for these orders: merchandisers, the Trump campaign itself, Republican partisans, foreign entities, or some combination thereof.
But some say the name-calling could turn into a plus for Democrats trying to break out in a crowded field. Jesse Ferguson, a Democratic consultant not working for any of the would-be candidates, referred to it as Trump’s “Darth Vader problem,” which leaves some he tries to strike down, including former White House aide and “Apprentice” star Omarosa Manigault Newman, “more powerful than they can imagine.”
The disproportionately large amounts of time that presidents have spent visiting key electoral states (and comparatively small amount of they have spent visiting states that pose little electoral importance to them) has been pointed to as evidence of ulterior electoral motives influencing presidential governance, emblematic of the blurred lines between campaigning and governance in the White House. For instance, George W. Bush embarked on 416 domestic trips during his first three years in office. This was 114 more than his predecessor Bill Clinton made in his first three years. In his first year, 36% of Bush's domestic trips were to the 16 states that were considered swing states after having been decided the closest margins during the 2000 election. In his second year, 45% of his domestic travel was to these states, and his third year 39% of his domestic travel was to these states.