Zuckerman Poised to Attack Trump

The Obama White House gave Donald Trump a big leg up with Tea Party adherents when Obama 2012 Campaign Manager David Plouffe tried to dismiss Trump’s candidacy and merely confirmed that a free-spending Trump is the one candidate they fear in a November match-up. Obama’s sultans want Mitt Romney, knowing he is neutered by the Health Care issue. Plouffe calling Trump a “clown” betrays an elitist attitude of arrogance.

It also appears that Manhattan Real Estate Magnate Mort Zuckerman is preparing to give his fellow Manhattan real estate mogul Donald J. Trump the “Carl Paladino” treatment. Last year, Zuckerman’s New York Daily News eviscerated the upstate Buffalo billionaire for participating in state real estate programs that allowed Paladino to secure leases and develop properties–programs Zuckerman himself participated in–implying falsely that Paladino had used “political connections” to gain public contracts and easements. In fact, Paladino participated in transparent bid processes and took advantage of public programs open to all.

The New York Daily News cover of Monday, April 11th, depicting Trump as “a clown,” is far different approach than the Daily News coverage of 2000, which gently promoted Trump as a Reformed Party candidate to oppose Bush and Gore. The New York tabloids have been the province of Trump, who has skillfully negotiated with gossip and news columnists alike to reap enormous publicity–most of it positive–for his various enterprises.

The truth is, Trump terrifies the political establishment. They whisper about the real value of his portfolio. They misunderstand his appeal to middle class Americans. Wealthy voters are particularly contemptuous, most of which is rooted in jealousy. Trump has traditionally had strong appeal to African Americans, Hispanics and lower-to-middle class Whites. This is why Trump is potentially a strong general election candidate. Although Obama will certainly hold his strength among African-Americans, Obama’s disapproval rate among Hispanics is a hefty 45%, and a sour economy will drive White blue collar, middle-class Democrats to Trump based on his record of creating jobs and his economic success.

Washed-up comedian Bill Cosby even took time off from sexually assaulting women to attack Trump and his legitimate questions about why the President has sealed all of her personal records and why Obama is spending millions on legal fees keeping those records sealed. This old gas bag wasn’t ever funny to begin with and certainly isn’t funny today. Whoopie Golderg jumped in calling Trump a racist for wanting to know if Obama was constitutionally eligible to be President. Does Whoopie actually know anyone outside of Manhattan, Hollywood and Malibu?

Public Policy Polling, a respected survey research firm did a national poll asking about Trump just two months ago in mid-February and found that only 31% of Republicans had a favorable opinion of him to 53% had a negative one. Fast forward seven weeks, and their latest national poll for the left-wing Daily Kos, certainly no Trump promoters, found Trump’s favorability with GOP voters is now a positive 40/33 spread. That represents a 29 point increase in his net favorability over a very short period of time.

The strength Trump is showing in horse race polls is less a function of Republicans admiring him due to him being a prominent successful businessman and job creator – qualifications Trump has not yet exploited – and much more a positive reaction to all his conservative rhetoric in just the last few months.

UPDATE — a stunning new CNN Poll has Donald Trump now tied with Mike Huckabee for first place when Republicans are asked who they support for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012. The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that the real estate mogul and reality TV star has nearly doubled his support, leaving Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney in the dust.

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