Live from Virginia Tuesday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed Strategic Communications Advisor to the Trump-Pence 2020 team, Marc Lotter to the show.
During the show, Lotter explained the grassroots movement for Trump and how volunteers were motivated by a calling to help the president they refer to as carrying them for three years. He added that the ground game superseded the Biden campaign and was unlike anything he’d ever seen before in his career.
Fredericks: Joining us now, Strategic Communications Advisor for Trump-Pence 2020 campaign Marc Lotter. Hey Marc, great to have you with us.
Lotter: It’s great to be back John.
Fredericks: Hey look Marc, I got to start with this. I love “Operation MAGA” let’s get everybody involved. I’m involved and I got a bunch of speaking engagements that the campaign has given me in the next week or so. Tell us about why you guys came up with it.
Lotter: It was really nothing different than what we had been doing, just nobody was actually paying attention to it. You know we’ve got two bus tours that are traveling around the country. I was on it over the weekend in Iowa. I’ve been in Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, and we’ve got the women’s bus tour going. And yet you know people rightfully so are mostly focused on the president’s rallies or the vice president’s rallies.
And his is just basically us reminding folks this campaign’s not going anywhere. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago it was announced that we have the largest grassroots campaign in the history of presidential politics. About two and a half million trained volunteers. That’s even more than Barack Obama in 2012. And they’re out there. They’re going door-to-door. They’re making phone calls. They’re doing the work that actually winning elections are built around.
Fredericks: I was talking to somebody the other day that we had on that said we’ve knocked on over 2.2 million doors in the country. Biden has knocked on zero. What does that mean? How does that translate into votes?
Lotter: Well it means it means we’re gonna get our voters to the polls. They were already energized to begin with. And you actually see it’s ironic that you see Joe Biden now after mocking the door-knocking effort and knocking our get out the vote efforts he’s actually had to start doing it himself uh despite what he previously said. And that’s because he’s losing. They’re looking at the same numbers that we are. They know this grassroots army is out there.
When I woke up Friday morning and I was on that tour with everybody, the people were coming up to me after the diagnosis saying we’re praying for the president and the first lady but we want to do more. If this president can’t be on the campaign trail for 10 days or so then we’re going to be out there doing even more for him. Because they know he’s been carrying us for three and a half years doing all that hard work. Now it’s their chance to reward that and carry him while he’s recovering.
Fredericks: Hey Marc let me ask you this. I mean you’re a veteran of politics. You’ve been around a long time a lot of campaigns. And so having covered not part of the campaigns but covering it in the media, I’ve never seen the level of enthusiasm I have seen for this president in the past three months in any capacity in any campaign I’ve ever done. And I’m 62 years old. Have you ever seen anything like the enthusiasm that he has?
Lotter: No. Never. And not even close. And we see it everywhere we go. I mean my goodness, when you have hundreds of people coming out you know in the middle of the afternoon to see someone like me, you know in Iowa (Fredericks laughs) it’s like come on now. You know that that’s enthusiasm. They are so excited let alone the thousands that come out obviously for the president and the vice president. I mean it’s really remarkable. And they’re going out there and doing the work. That’s the key. And the president always tells me this it’s not a campaign, it’s a movement. And it’s absolutely right. It is a movement.
Fredericks: Hey, you know we have a shot in Virginia right?
Lotter: Absolutely. I mean yeah we got it.
Fredericks: We got a hell of a shot. We got a hell of a shot. And in fact, I’ve been very assertive and telling everybody that and on Monday the president specifically Tweeted out that Virginia was the only state he mentioned that it was in play. And I tell you the army of volunteers that we’ve got in Virginia is mind-boggling.
We’ve knocked on over 325,000 doors with a 38 percent home rate. I mean this is these numbers are unheard of. I mean normally you know you knock on doors and you’re at home rate is 15 to 20 percent. We’ve averaged 38 percent because of the pandemic Marc, people are home. When do you see the president getting back on the trail? And is that going to be with a debate on the 15th?
Lotter: Yeah, I mean I really don’t want to get ahead of his doctors, and obviously you know that’s first and foremost but it sounds like obviously, he’s going to need to quarantine you know for at least the rest of this week. And then he’s got the debate next week. But you know assuming he his health is fine assuming he gets those negative tests then I have a feeling he’ll be right back out there on the campaign trail more fired up than ever before next week. And in the meantime, you’ll have the vice president out.
You’ll have the family out. Our bus tours are out. I’m heading to Florida and Minnesota this week. You know we’re out there in force. And the key is here in Virginia where I live as well. You got to run up the score. You’ve got to overcome the swamp of the D.C. suburbs and run up the score. Every vote matters. And we can do it at the congressional level. We will do it at the statewide level. But all the folks who are out there they got to know that this is your time to run up the score.
Fredericks: Have you been shocked by the vitriol in the media over the president’s recovery? Like the number of people melting down and upset that he was better and came out and I guess hoping that his condition would worsen? And the names that he was called by you know people in main street media were you were all shocked by that?
Lotter: I was honestly. You know but then again nothing shocks me. I mean literally every day the Democrats wake up and go, what can we get our you know our outrage machine turned on today. And because they they’re just basically fueled around this outrage over everything. And if you’re outraged that the president is recovering the president’s been released from the hospital. Then you really need to check yourself. Because that’s just not the way America is. And so we’ll get out there and we’re gonna continue to do it.
Fredericks: Marc, we have heard in the media that they have been saying that we’re going to get outspent by Biden at the end. That he’s raised a lot more
money and we have a cash shortage. Are we going to have enough money to be competitive here in the final weeks?
Lotter: Oh absolutely. There’s no question about it. And the key is you have to remember you know Biden had all this money here towards the very end. He’s got no choice but to put it you know just to flood the airwaves. But that’s not how campaigns are won. We have been spending the money in the last two years building that grassroots army. We have people in battleground states for over 18 months where Joe Biden is just putting people in the last few weeks. And that’s where you really build the army. so it’s not about air war anymore you know on radio and television. It’s social media. It’s the volunteer effort which they just don’t have.
Fredericks: Well I think that’s going to be the difference. I mean that’s where a lot of that money was spent or a good portion of it was building the grassroots army. Obviously, if all your money comes in at the end you have no army you’re going to spend it on tv because well there’s not anything else to spend it on and you don’t really have the time to build the interest infrastructure that we have. I mean we have hundreds and hundreds of paid people in every single major battleground state, and they’ve trained as you said how many volunteers?
Lotter: Nearly two-and-a-half million.
Listen to the full show here:
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