The United States' former White House communications director says there are plenty of people who voted for Donald Trump in 2016 who've now had a change of heart - ready to vote for Joe Biden as president, even if they aren't letting pollsters in on the secret.
Speaking to TVNZ1’s Breakfast this morning, days out from the US election, Anthony Scaramucci said Trump’s poor handling of the Covid-19 pandemic meant those voters may be thinking, “I won’t want to admit to people I made a mistake." Scaramucci said they may also be thinking of their elderly relatives amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Joe Biden, frankly, represents a return to normalcy.”
Scaramucci, who was famously fired by Trump after 11 days, himself has switched his support from Trump to Biden.
“I tried to stay loyal to him [after being fired], but he kept making a series of mistakes from a policy perspective that became impossible to support.”
He had initially decided to work with Trump, he said, because he was “making a bet” that Trump would help struggling blue-collar workers.
“He hasn’t delivered … There’s been no policies of deliverance there.”
Despite the lack of delivery, apart from a “modest improvement” in automobile wages under Trump, Scaramucci estimated about 35 to 40 per cent of Trump’s supporters were sticking with him.
“He represents an avatar of their anger. This is a rise of populism in our country,” he said.
“You've got a large group of predominantly white, blue-collar workers. They feel left out of the system, and Mr Trump is expressing their anger.”
Scaramucci added “right-wing media” in the US has made the country believe they were in a middle of a “culture war”.
“[It] has set the country up, believing that it’s one side against the other and that we need to fight it out, and if you don’t fight it out white America is going to lose to something else of America.
“And that’s clearly not the case.”
He said he hoped the country would “dial down” its polarity after the election.
If Biden became president, Scaramucci said the new leader's first job will be to unify the country and work with Congress to give cities hard-hit by the pandemic some stimulus.
“He [Biden] just needs to calm down the nation.”
He said Trump’s rise, and the loss of support among blue-collar workers for Democrats, is a sign of a “system-wide failure” and an “indictment on both sides”.
But a plan to fix America and its education and infrastructure would take at least a decade, and would need co-operation from the left and right, he said.
“You need a transformative leader. Maybe we can rent out your Prime Minister for a four-year term.”