WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has been ramping up his assaults on Bernie Sanders because the Vermont senator has constantly stayed close to the highest of the Democratic pack.Trump lobbed a contemporary jab at Sanders on Sunday on Twitter, noting his rise within the polls, and introduced him up all through his rally on Thursday in Toledo. Trump’s marketing campaign despatched out back-to-back emails blasting Sanders final week.The strikes are a part of a deliberate shift in focus in the direction of Sanders, a marketing campaign official stated. As Trump’s assaults are more likely to do extra to assist Sanders than harm him with Democratic voters, it is a sign the marketing campaign is attempting to place its finger on the size within the weeks earlier than voters start weighing in.“Wow! Loopy Bernie Sanders is surging within the polls, trying superb towards his opponents within the Do Nothing Celebration,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “So what does this all imply? Keep tuned!”Let our information meet your inbox. The information and tales that issues, delivered weekday mornings.Sanders shot again moments later, replying on Twitter, “It means you’re going to lose.”Sanders took a slim lead in the latest ballot of Iowa voters, however the race there stays primarily a four-way lifeless warmth lower than a month earlier than the crucial first-in-the-nation caucuses. The Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa ballot, launched Friday, exhibits Sanders with 20 % assist amongst possible Democratic caucus-goers.Whereas Trump’s marketing campaign advisers imagine the president has a very good shot at defeating any of the Democratic contenders, they’ve stated Sanders could be a simple mark as a result of they imagine his progressive insurance policies would alienate average and impartial voters.However the marketing campaign has additionally sought just lately to go after Sanders’ character, not simply his insurance policies. In a marketing campaign electronic mail despatched Thursday, Sanders was described as a “rich, fossil-fuel guzzling millionaire” — a considerably paradoxical assault from a billionaire who used to fly round in a non-public jet. In one other on Wednesday, the marketing campaign stated Sanders “cannot be trusted to defend American lives.”“He’s simply one other Hollywood-style hypocrite who calls for working class Individuals make sacrifices whereas he performs by his personal guidelines and enjoys a lavish life-style,” the marketing campaign electronic mail on Thursday stated.Though Trump typically refers to Sanders as “loopy Bernie,” he has beforehand reserved his most stinging assaults for Democrats like Biden and Warren.However at a marketing campaign rally in Toledo Thursday, Trump went after Sanders a number of occasions, attacking the senator’s well being care plan and his criticism of the administration’s determination to kill prime Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, whereas in search of to color Sanders as a pacesetter of the Democratic Celebration.“Democrats are taking their cues from socialist Bernie Sanders,” together with the group of freshman ladies within the Home often called “The Squad,” Trump stated. “They’re the leaders of the get together.”Trump’s assaults have not gone unnoticed by Sanders.”A few of you’ll have observed that just lately our marketing campaign and me personally have been the goal of assaults from Trump and the Republican get together as a result of they’re catching on that our marketing campaign is the marketing campaign that may and win defeat them,” Sanders stated at a city corridor occasion in Newton, Iowa, on Saturday. “We’re going to expose the truth that when Trump talks about being a pal of working individuals, he’s a liar and a fraud.”Shannon PettypieceShannon Pettypiece is the senior White Home reporter for NBCNews.com.Gary Grumbach contributed.
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