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President Trump’s re-election campaign is deeming Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders the indisputable frontrunner in the Democratic primary, as polling shows the Democratic socialist rising in Iowa just weeks before the caucuses kick off the nominating season.

“There is no mistaking that Bernie Sanders has to be considered the frontrunner now,” a senior Trump campaign official told Fox News on Monday.

The Des Moines Register over the weekend published the results of its latest poll showing Sanders leading in the state. That poll has Sanders with 20 percent, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 17 percent, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 16 percent and former Vice President Joe Biden at 15 percent.

The official indicated the Des Moines Register poll, combined with Sanders’ response to the situation in Iran, is why there has been an uptick in attacks on Sanders from the president and his campaign.

“We try to engage with the Democratic candidates as they present themselves as opportunities,” the aide said. “It just so happened that for a long time Joe Biden was a gaffe a minute and we focused a lot on him. But this whole episode with Iran revealed just how dangerous [Sanders] would be if he were somehow to become president.”

Elaborating on Sanders, the official said: “He has shown himself to be an apologist for the Iranian regime and someone who’s first instinct is to appease states that support terrorism. It’s dangerous. Highlighting that was necessary.”

The campaign’s elevation of Sanders could be strategic and a reflection of who the campaign would prefer to compete with in a general election. Jim Messina, former President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, recently told Politico: “If I were a campaign manager for Donald Trump and I look at the field, I would very much want to run against Bernie Sanders.”

But the Trump campaign insists that it has “no preference” who the Democratic nominee will be.

“It doesn’t matter who it is,” the senior Trump official said. “The proposals the eventual nominee will have will be so liberal and so extreme as to be outside the mainstream. It truly does not matter to us which one is carrying the banner.”

On Twitter on Monday, Trump appeared to be fanning the flames of the rivalry between Sanders and Warren, referencing a report that Sanders’ campaign has volunteers pushing anti-Warren talking points in Iowa.

Trump tweeted that Sanders’ “volunteers are trashing” Warren.

“Elizabeth is very angry at Bernie. Do I see a feud brewing?” Trump tweeted.

Sanders, meanwhile, took a swipe at Trump as he responded Monday to the news that Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., was bowing out of the race.

“Thank you @CoryBooker for running an inspiring campaign to make this the country based on love and justice we know we can become. I look forward to working together to defeat Trump, end his hatred, and lift up working people everywhere,” he tweeted.

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8 Comments
  • Dean Perry says:

    Trump is wrong again… as usual. America is not replacing an angry old white man with another angry old white man…

    • Mickey says:

      Mr. Perry, do some homework and look into Bernie’s past. Do that and then get back to us about him being right for America. Please don’t reply by downing Trump any further, due to the fact, we already know your opinion about him.

    • Michael says:

      Wrong again as usual? Tell us, dip-shit, what has Trump been wrong about up until now. You have Trump confused with yourself, the Democrats, and the mainstream media. All you ass-clowns combined haven’t gotten a single thing right since Trump announced he was running for office. Do we need to run down the list of your history of moronic posts, which prove my point beyond a shadow of any doubt. Shut your fucking lying mouth and get lost, ass-wipe!

  • Ann says:

    Dean, I have noticed you’re ALWAYS WRONG, no matter what the topic.

  • fred says:

    I CAN SEE IT NOW… THE DEMOCRAT TICKET OF BERNIE AND AOC,,, FREEBIES FOR ALL. TAXES QUADRUPLED FOR THOSE WHO PAY TAXES TO PAY FOR THE FREEBIES

  • DJ says:

    Squash Sanders like a bug!

  • Jay says:

    President Trump would have a field day with poor old Sanders. Sanders would get so upset he would probably have another heart attack.

  • Sunflower says:

    Sanders is the perfect candidate for the Dems! Rich, old, white, Communist. Are all of the boxes checked?

  • CF
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