In early December, as President Donald Trump’s approval rating reached a new low of 32 percent, the commander-in-chief was rating the 2020 Democratic field from behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — who had recently bested Trump in a poll that tested the two septuagenarians in a head-to-head match-up — wasn’t a serious threat and would be easy to beat, Trump told a Republican with close ties to the White House who was in the room.
It wasn’t the lefty politics of the self-described socialist that Trump thought were a losing proposition. Instead, according to the person in the room, Trump was hung up on Sanders’ age, arguing that Sanders, now 76, wouldn’t have the energy to run another national campaign.
Sanders wasn’t the only potential presidential candidate that Trump, 71, brushed off as a non-threat. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the woman he has nicknamed “Pocahontas,” would be “easy to beat,” he said. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker probably wouldn’t end up running, Trump mused. When someone in the room brought up California Sen. Kamala Harris, the president seemed not to have her on his radar yet.