Michael Avenatti steps in the ring to share his opinions on the candidates most likely to go head-to-head with President Donald Trump here at TVT.
Brian Shapiro wastes no time and dives right into the latest with Donald Trump. “Let’s start with some of the craziest statements that Donald Trump has made over the course of the last week,” says Shapiro. “He said if there’s a hurricane coming, he would recommend possibly nuking hurricanes. What do you make of that?”
“Well, I mean, I think what we’ve seen over the last, let’s call it three to four weeks, is that this guy is becoming completely unhinged,” says Avenatti. “Forget about what you see in press reports relating to ‘sources tell’ whether it be the Huffington Post or the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal, forget about that. Let’s just take his statements on Twitter at face value. This guy is literally becoming unhinged before our very eyes and he is spiraling downward, in my view, at a rapid pace.”
“So we had Joe Walsh on the show yesterday who announced a few days ago that he’s going to be running for President as a Republican,” says Shapiro. “In the past he’s called Trump unqualified, unfit, a child, reckless, he’s called him erratic, a narcissist. I would imagine you probably agree with that analysis?”
“Yeah, I do, and I’ve publicly stated my support for Walsh’s candidacy in the primary,” answered Avenatti. “He and I disagree on a lot of issues, a lot of topics, fundamental issues, but one thing that we don’t disagree on is the fact that Donald Trump has got to go. He’s a threat to the Republic, he’s a significant threat, and if something is not done, I don’t think this country will ever be the same.”
Sharp jumps in, “So do you think there are any other Republican candidates out there that could run against Donald Trump and possibly knock him off?”
“Oh, I think there is a number of Republican candidates that if they got in the race, they could beat him,” says Avenatti. “But the question is whether they will get in the race.”
Avenatti continued to explain that it is unlikely that any Republican candidates will enter into the race because the Republican party took steps to close off the process to any other candidates in order to protect Donald Trump.
“So the Trump administration is diverting at least $155 million dollars from the FEMA disaster relief to ICE,” says Shapiro. “Now a lot of Democrats are going after the Trump administration for that. What are your thoughts?”
“Well I agree with the Democrats attacking Trump over it,” says Avenatti. “I don’t think that’s a proper allocation of those dollars and those resources to ICE. I believe that those monies were properly designated to FEMA and they ought to remain there. If Trump wants additional funding for ICE then he ought to seek an appropriate appropriation bill from congress, and if he’s not able to get it, then obviously he can’t spend the money.”
“You’ve been pretty open and honest about Joe Biden, you believe he gives the Democrats the best chance to knock Donald Trump out of office,” says Shapiro. “If you look at the latest polls, are you a little surprised, I’m not surprised that Joe Biden is still leading, but are you surprised that Elizabeth Warren, she is rising in the polls, along with Bernie Sanders and that Kamala Harris has kind of dropped off the earth, so to speak?”
“I’m not surprised,” says Avenatti. “She has great energy, she is a fighter, I think she’s a hell of a campaigner, she is very well versed in policies, she has put forward a number of policy positions, so she’s appealing to the wonkish types within the Democratic party. I’m not surprised that she has risen in the polls. Look, I’m an Elizabeth Warren fan but she can’t beat Donald Trump. She has no shot at Donald Trump if the economy stays strong. Now if the economy softens, and I’ve said this before, anyone currently in the race could beat Donald Trump because I think his approval rating will go into the low 20s if not high teens.”
Back in 1991, George Bush was at 81% approval rating, but when Bill Clinton decided to run against him, Bush’s approval rating dropped to 37% over the course of a year. The reason for such a drastic change in rating is because the economy had softened. Clinton had a fairly easy primary because the democrats sat out. They were intimidated by Bush’s original approval rating of 81%. A lot can change in a year.
Avenatti continues to support Joe Biden saying that Biden is the Democrats best chance at beating Donald Trump. The people don’t want to make a big change, they want an incremental change. Joe Biden is the incremental change that the people of the United States are craving.
“If you want to successfully run against Donald Trump and beat him, you’re going to have to do two things,” says Avenatti. “Number one, you’re going to have to engage in smash mouth politics with him and get down in the gutter and really trade some shots with him at a very ugly campaign. You’re going to have to dish out a lot of punishment, go toe to toe with the guy, and also be prepared to really put it out on the line and take a tremendous amount of punishment, so that’s the number one thing you’re going to have to do. You’re going to have to be a fighter.”
“The second thing is it’s not going to be enough for you to say ‘I’m not Donald Trump,’ you’re going to have to provide a vision for what you believe America should look like and where America should go over the next four, eight, twelve, twenty years,” continued Avenatti. “You’re going to have to excite people relating to that. You’re also going to have to convince people that you can be a unifier as opposed to a divider.”
Avenatti explains that the Democrats need to nominate a candidate who is left of center, a candidate who is considered a moderate. The debates are going to be “dirtier than we’ve ever seen in the history of politics.”