Dec 18, 2019

The Trump campaign's plan to counterprogram impeachment

Trump and Pence at a rally in Hershey, Pa., earlier this month. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

To counterprogram impeachment coverage in prime time, President Trump and Vice President Pence will appear together this evening at a "Merry Christmas Rally" thrown by Trump's re-election campaign in Battle Creek, Mich.

Why it matters: Trump's re-election campaign and the RNC have been working together for months to strike back against impeachment and use it to augment fundraising.

The campaign will also run heavy online fundraising based on impeachment — a tactic that has already yielded millions of dollars — and will bolster it with online videos, a senior campaign official told Axios.

  • In a joint effort with the RNC, Trump campaign spokespeople and surrogates "will be fanning out on cable TV, radio and local TV," the official added.

The Trump campaign will push two themes in online videos to counter impeachment, the official said:

  1. That House Democrats have been talking about impeaching Trump since the earliest days of his presidency.
  2. Clips of the same House Democrats talking about the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998. The purpose is to brand the Democrats as hypocrites.

Go deeper: Capitol Hill digs in as Trump's impeachment looms

Go deeper

GOP monetizes impeachment as Dems try to change the subject

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Republicans have embraced impeachment as a boost for fundraising and messaging more easily than Democrats, who are playing up a few impeachment "villains" to swing voters — but are also making it clear they’d rather talk about health care.

Why it matters: Assuming Trump gets impeached by the House this week and acquitted next month by the Senate, Republicans and Democrats are already looking beyond the legislative exercise to shape next November's elections.

Go deeperArrowDec 17, 2019

99% of the Trump campaign's TV ads this year discussed impeachment

President Trump speaking on Dec. 21. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

More than 99% of the Trump campaign's TV ads this year discussed impeachment, as tallied by the nonpartisan Wesleyan Media Project. Over the past three months, the Trump campaign talked impeachment in 4,594 television ads, costing $4.4 million.

Why it matters: This is a vivid new illustration of the alacrity with which the Trump campaign is embracing the stain of impeachment to raise money, rev up the base and try to build a head of steam against whoever emerges as the Democratic nominee.

Go deeperArrowDec 22, 2019

Trump impeached for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump is now the third president in U.S. history to be impeached.

The big picture: The legislative ending seems clear — he's headed for acquittal in the Senate as early as next month and won't be removed from office. But this seals his place in history.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 19, 2019