CNN contributor, Democratic operative, and former Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod called President Trump a "self-hating America hater" in reaction to his treatment of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and the three other progressive freshmen in the House. Axelrod said Wednesday night on CNN that Trump thinks he can sway suburban voters in his efforts to conflate socialism and the Democratic party.
"He thinks that he is going to influence these suburban voters by persuading them that the Democratic party is too far left. But in going as far as he's gone and he will go he may persuade them that we can't take four more years of this," Axelrod said.
"The thing is, he is repeating the pattern of his political, brief political career which is he throws these incendiary things out to divide in a way that he thinks will be useful to him politically," he said.
"He wants to elevate these four young members of Congress to make them the emblem of the Democratic party and he wants to be so outrageous about it that he forces all Democrats to embrace them, to support the argument that they are the iconic figures in the party and in the bargain, he riles up his base with nativist language," Axelrod said to host Anderson Cooper. "The irony, Peter Baker wrote a great piece in the 'Times' today about how ironic it is that the president who was deeply critical of the country even in his inaugural address and who said we're not any different than Russia in the way we approach human rights."
"Apparently, he's like a self-hating America hater," Axelrod quipped. "Now he's attacking people for saying there are things wrong in our country that need to be addressed. But I just have to take a step back as a strategist and say I recognize what he's doing and a lot of what he does is intuitive, it's not mapped out. But it's worked for him and he thinks this will work for him."
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