Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee appeared on MNSBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday to explain why Donald Trump was “manic” about reopening the U.S. economy as soon as possible, even with the risk of making the coronavirus pandemic worse.
Speaking to host Joe Scarborough, Steele said that the coronavirus pandemic’s destruction of the economy mattered far more to voters than the brewing corruption scandal involving Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“I think that voters are processing what’s happening to their pocketbooks, businesses and families, relative to a scandal that may or may not be a scandal — we don’t know what we don’t know. It’s still a little murky,” Steele said before adding: “The [inspector general] stuff, that’s not their pay grade, they trust the president to do that. That’s an executive branch decision. If he doesn’t think the guy is doing a good job, that’s fine.”
Scarborough had pointed out that this “whiff of corruption” could endanger the Republican Senate majority, but Steele said that would likely be drowned out by more urgent matters.
“In any other environment, that may get the kind of attention and focus that it would deserve, and then push and move voters to look at corruption and other issues inside the administration,’ Steele said. “But you’ve got a vast majority of voters, especially independent voters, center-right or center-left voters who will be in play in November, that are looking at 401(k)s, who lost 40 percent, 50 percent, looking at businesses that are shut down.”
“That’s what’s scaring Donald Trump,” he added. “That’s why Donald Trump is manic about opening the economy. He’s not manic about opening the economy because some IG report, using that as a distraction. He’s manic about opening the economy and pushing because that narrative is gone — it’s toast. It is going to be hard to get back.”