Trump’s push to reopen schools part of bid to boost suburban standing – By James Oliphant, Jarrett Renshaw (Reuters) / July 12 2020
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump’s demand for U.S. schools to fully reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic is central to an emerging re-election strategy that seeks to resuscitate his flagging support in the nation’s critical suburbs.
FILE PHOTO: The entrance to Public School 159 is seen in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Trump in recent weeks has taken stances on hot-button issues his campaign hopes will appeal to suburban voters, particularly women, who have soured on the Republican president since his 2016 election and continue to move away as the virus rages across the country and the economy sputters.
Along with aggressively pushing for students to return to classrooms – “Schools must be open in the Fall,” he tweeted on Friday – Trump has warned of rising urban crime rates and threats to civil order in the wake of protests over racial injustice while pointing to the vibrant stock market as a marker of economic health.
The messaging amounts to a fresh effort to position Trump as the candidate of public safety and social and economic stability, several people close to the campaign said.