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Inside the Beltway: Hostile media, partisan battle only ‘invigorates’ Trump

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Fans of President Trump often marvel at his steadfast presence in the White House briefing room as the coronavirus crisis rages on. Those same fans also marvel at the president’s unflinching stamina after years of attacks by the news media and partisan pushback from Democratic foes. One close observer suggests Mr. Trump thrives in the face of such unprecedented hostility.

“The people who criticize him, they’re going to criticize him no matter what he does. So he kind of puts that aside. You know, I always find it kind of funny. They criticize him no matter what he does. They don’t realize that it kind of invigorates him. If they really wanted him to go away, they’d stop criticizing. But they’re never going to do that. So it works out just fine,” Housing and Urban Development secretary Ben Carson told Fox News Channel.

Mr. Trump has underscored this idea in such books as “The Art of the Deal,” which he wrote in 1987 and has been reprinted several times. On its initial publication the author drew a positive review from, yes, The New York Times.

“Trump makes one believe for a moment in the American dream again,” the news organization noted at the time.

The president has reaffirmed his straightforward beliefs in more recent times as well.



“We’re all fighting battles. But I love fighting these battles,” he told the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in 2018.

Mr. Carson, meanwhile, has a promising message about the pandemic.

“This is going to pass, and it looks like it’s moving much faster than anybody thought. And that means kudos to the American people. They have grasped the significance of this. They are self-isolating the way that they’re supposed to be doing. I find it very refreshing. It’s just like the spirit that we saw back in World War II, where people are bonding together and recognizing that this is not a time for a lot of political arguments,” Mr. Carson observed.

WHY TRUMP REMAINS AT THE PODIUM

President Trump has a clear purpose behind those daily press briefings. The American public is very much on his mind.

“Everybody’s amazed at the job we’re doing, and the public is starting to find that out. One of the reasons I do these news conferences is — because if I didn’t, the public would believe fake news. And we can’t let them believe fake news,” the president noted in Monday’s installment of the briefing.

HANNITY’S VICTORY OVER MADDOW

A simple statement from Fox News Channel tells all about the network’s stalwart host Sean Hannity: “Primetime offering ‘Hannity’ continued to top MSNBC’s ‘The Rachel Maddow Show,’” the network said, noting that Mr. Hannity draws 4.6 million viewers compared to Ms. Maddow’s 3.2 million, and has bested her for 56 consecutive weeks, according to Nielsen Media Ratings.

As it has for 18 consecutive years, Fox News Channel remains No. 1 in the cable news realm, drawing 4 million primetime viewers per night, compared to 2.2 million viewers for CNN and 2 million for MSNBC. Fox News, incidentally, remains the most watched cable network of all, besting non-news rivals such as HGTV, Food Network and TLC for 13 consecutive weeks.

BERNIE: STAY OR GO?

Well, it’s one way to determine the answer. A grassroots organization supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ campaign for president has launched an opinion poll to determine whether the Vermont socialist should continue to vie for the White House.

“Should Bernie stay in the race through the primaries so voters have a real alternative, and we can elect as many Bernie delegates as possible in each of the more than 20 remaining states? Or do you believe support for Joe Biden at this time is more important, and Bernie should suspend his campaign?” asks the new survey,

“Do you think that Bernie Sanders should remain in the Democratic presidential primary race to fight for progressive reform, or do you believe that it is time to unite behind Joe Biden?” asked Larry Cohen, chairman of Our Revolution, a nonprofit group founded in 2016 to back the Sanders campaign.

“In a real democracy, political parties are a place for real debates on the issues to hold candidates and elected officials accountable to the needs of the people. This is why our moment must continue to move forward with reforming the Democratic Party from the bottom up. Bernie is being pressured from all directions to drop out — we need to let him know that we have his back if he decides to keep fighting in this race,” Mr. Cohen advised in his public outreach.

THE CONSERVATIVES STEP UP

The Heritage Foundation has launched the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission made up of conservative heavyweights on a dedicated mission to move “prudently toward recovery” and to save both “lives and livelihoods.”

The 17-member team includes former Virginia Gov. and U.S. Sen. George Allen; former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a physician; former Rep. J.C. Watts of Oklahoma; the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James.

“Good public health policy is good economic policy. Saving lives and saving livelihoods are part of the same road to recovery that we need to pursue today. A physically healthy America is an economically strong America, so we need to think of them in concert rather than as competing priorities,” Ms. James said.

The commission seeks a return to “normalcy” and also hopes for common sense input from the public. Find it all at Heritage.org.

POLL DU JOUR

48% of U.S. adults say their lives have been disrupted a “fair amount” by the coronavirus pandemic.

45% of those ages 18-44, 50% of those 45-64 and 49% of those 65 and over agree.

33% overall say their lives have been disrupted “a great deal.”

41% of those ages 18-44, 30% of those 45-64 and 24% of those 65 and over agree.

1% overall say their lives have not been disrupted.

Source: A Gallup poll of 4,473 U.S. adults conducted March 30-April 2.

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