How the Democrats plan to counter Trump’s reelection launch

President Trump is kicking off his reelection campaign next week with a rally in Orlando, but Democrats are looking to steal his spotlight with their own event, which is just a part of a broader Democratic messaging strategy to counter-program Mr. Trump’s reelection launch. 

Mr. Trump filed for reelection the day he was sworn into office, but is ceremonially launching his reelection campaign Tuesday night with a campaign rally at the Amway Center, the home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic. 

The Democratic National Committee says it’s joining the Florida Democratic Party, which is spearheading a rally outside the Amway Center ahead of Mr. Trump’s 8 p.m. kick-off. The “#DefeatTrumpFL” rally, the DNC says, will feature speakers from Florida sharing their personal stories about how Mr. Trump’s policies have hurt them and their families. Democrats say the speakers will touch on topics like the administration’s track record on health care coverage for preexisting conditions, an issue that helped derail the GOP’s attempt to repeal Obamacare in 2017. Florida Democrats have about 90 organizers on the ground, and will use the rally to sign up more volunteers. During Mr. Trump’s rally, the DNC will be offering their own fact check of Mr. Trump’s claims. 

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The Democrats’ counter-rally could pose a logistical challenge, as Mr. Trump’s rally — according to the president — already has far more requests for tickets than the 20,000-seat venue can accommodate. And the Trump campaign announced Friday it will hold an all-day tailgate party starting at 10 a.m. to celebrate the reelection launch. Attendees typically line up outside Mr. Trump’s rallies for hours ahead of time in an attempt to grab a good seat. 

But the Democratic rally is part of a broader messaging campaign the DNC is launching between now and Tuesday to draw attention from Mr. Trump’s reelection launch. Using digital ads, the DNC intends to persuade voters that the president has not helped them while attacking his record on health care, education, jobs and the environment. The DNC also plans to put its representatives on TV to push that message. 

The DNC War Room plans to make the case the Mr. Trump’s reelection launch represents a new campaign with more broken promises. The DNC shop intends to argue that the president has sold Americans short. They will particularly focus on his tax cut plan, arguing it’s given cuts to the wealthy but not to average Americans, and that he’s flooded the “swamp” he promised to drain with special interest lobbyists. They also plan to attack Mr. Trump’s promise that he’d make health care cost less, save manufacturing jobs, and stand up to drug companies, arguing that he hasn’t done any of those things. 

“New campaign, same broken promises,” said Daniel Wessel, deputy director of the DNC War Room. “Trump will say anything to win an election, and then he never follows through. Look where we are today – health care costs more, prescription drugs cost more, and all Trump’s done is help the rich and big corporations. The question voters need to ask is: what’s he done for me? For working people, the answer is nothing.”

The first Democratic primary debates take place June 26 and June 27. They will also take place in Florida, a pivotal swing state that Mr. Trump won in 2016. 

Internal Trump campaign polling shows the president is struggling in key states and is lagging behind former Vice President Joe Biden, the early Democratic front runner. Mr. Trump has insisted that polls showing that he is vulnerable are fake, fabricated by the media or some other entity, or simply don’t exist. 

“They were fake polls that were either put out by the corrupt media, much of the media in this country is corrupt…Those are fake numbers. You know when you will see that? On Election Day. On Election Day, you will see,” the president told ABC News in an interview earlier this week.

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