If there is one thing everyone agrees is a strong talent for President Donald Trump, it is propaganda. The President understands branding, rebranding and the power of repetition to change the narrative.
Someone else who understands rebranding is MSNBC host Donny Deutsch of Saturday Night Politics. Deutsch—a former advertising executive—stated on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that rebranding impeachment is the key for Democrats.
The MSNBC correspondent suggested Democrats stop talking about impeachment and instead focus on criminal activity.
“We know Trump broke the law. Here’s the answer, you take it from a binary choice of two lanes, you create a third lane. You take the word impeachment, and you change it to criminal activity.”
“We are going to initiate and continue the ongoing Trump criminal investigations—Trump criminal, Trump criminal investigations. Take the word impeachment away—it’s a losing word, it’s a 30-year-old word that does not help us. Change the discussion. Even Trump says it’s a disgusting word. It’s a disgusting word for Democrats.”
Watch his remarks here.
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) May 31, 2019
His suggestion drew mixed reactions from the other members of the Morning Joe panel. Republican strategist Susan Del Percio responded:
“Here is the problem, though, where are they going to go with it, Donny? At the end of the day, it’s either impeachment or not. You can brand it the way you want, but there is a constitutional responsibility at stake, and a lot of Americans are okay with seeing them step up and fight for what’s right.”
As with President Trump’s own efforts to alter the narrative through repetition—like “no collusion” or “fake news”—the issue is some people will always see through rebranding efforts. And sometimes people outright reject the rhetoric creating pushback against both the original idea and the new alternative.
Online however immediate reactions embraced Deutsch’s approach.
Don the Con. Yes, blast out everyday about investigations based on Trump’s criminal activity. Smart, Donny Deutsch, this is taking a page out of Trump’s playbook and turning the table on him.
— Mary Spano (@MarySpano) May 31, 2019
It also hammers two words into the public mind: “Trump Criminal”. Remember, “Crooked Hillary”? It is a nice stroke of marketing. Democrats take note.
— Ooooohhh, Rob… (@RobinKLowe) May 31, 2019
Nicely done Donny. Add “Criminal” to Trump’s name too. Every. Single.Time.
— Tom Joseph (@TomJChicago) May 31, 2019
I’ll raise you “Lifetime Criminal”!
— Sarah Pegg (@sarahpegg9) May 31, 2019
I’ll raise you Trump Crime Syndicate. 💥RICO💥
— medit8now (@medit8now) May 31, 2019
Donnie Deutsch is right “Criminal Investigation” Brand it, call it was it is. It’s about clarity…which trumps process.
— eMarketing Learning (@cathyemlc) May 31, 2019
Agree. “Investigation of criminal activity.” The word “impeachment’ is unnecessary until the House decides to draw up articles.
— Fran Adkins (@fran_adkins) May 31, 2019
#YESobstruction Despite Trump refusing to be interviewed, #Mueller found so much other evidence to support a finding of obstruction that he concluded he had enough evidence to make the case anyway. Voters need to understand the #MuellerReport. Appendix C-2 https://t.co/hNuCgeZWDz pic.twitter.com/zwtLqaqsys
— Reader Adrift (@ReaderAdrift) May 31, 2019
This will go down in history as the worse mistake in choosing a Pres. EVER!He can have Pres. in front of his name.He can go through all the motions allotted to a Pres.But he will NEVER be worthy of the job. He is,&forever will be a failed,mediocre business man,elected by a FLUKE! pic.twitter.com/6jzrEet0xu
— GINA🌊 (@Gina660) May 31, 2019
— Tee. (@Tee01643246) May 31, 2019
Deutsch specifically said he hoped Democratic leaders Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer were listening. Neither has yet indicated if they were.