There’s a court case lingering over the presidential election that could explode in the next few months, and it’s probably not the one you’re thinking of.
This spring, just as the GOP nomination battle enters its final phase, frontrunner Donald Trump could be forced to take time out for some unwanted personal business: He’s due to take the witness stand in a federal courtroom in San Diego, where he is being accused of running a financial fraud.
From 2005 to 2010, Trump sold about 10,000 students on the promise that Trump University could teach them better than the best business schools — even better than Wharton, the Ivy Trump brags about attending whenever he feels his intelligence is being questioned, which is all the time.
In 2013, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman charged the billion-dollar baby with running a “classic bait-and-switch scheme.” Trump was deposed in a case related to the University last year and faces civil cases from his former “students,” one of whom accused Trump of threatening to financially ruin her for pursuing a lawsuit.
It’s a bit odd that none of Trump’s Republican opponents have mentioned this scandal, which according to Isikoff could lead to a civil trial at the exact worst time for Trump’s campaign:
If it takes place in May, that would put it in the middle of the final phase of the GOP primary schedule: Nebraska and West Virginia vote on May 10, Oregon on May 17, and Washington state on May 24. Then on June 7, the biggest prize of all: the California primary (with 172 delegates at stake). New Jersey, Montana, New Mexico and South Dakota vote the same day.
You may remember than in early summer of 2012, Democrats began their attack on Mitt Romney’s key asset as a candidate — his business record.
This ad, which was created with industrial states like Ohio in mind, was a classic of the genre:
Remember how I told you yesterday that the AFL-CIO and others are ringing an alarm that Trump will likely be very successful in winning over working-class white men who want to build walls and make their neighbors pay for them?
After his monster victory in the Nevada caucus, Donald Trump scored his first endorsements from members of Congress. Both Rep. Chris Collins and Duncan Hunter are from upstate New York, which is part of the “Rust Belt,” which fits right into that narrative.
Will Trump University be the basis of a “Bain” like campaign against Trump?
Below is a hint of how this might look:
Now imagine this material in the hands of the experts who created “Stage.” Does it have the same bite of forcing workers to build the stage from which you laid them off? No, sir.
But it’s the beginning of the narrative: When given the chance to make Americans lives better, he just took Americans.
And you’d definitely want to spice it up with a splash of this:
We don’t win anymore. All we do is lose to Mexico and China. pic.twitter.com/6qzhfUo4Ut
— Patrick Ruffini (@PatrickRuffini) February 13, 2016
Is it fool-proof? Nope.
Maybe Republicans have stayed away from it because there’s no there there. Or maybe Trump University is just too similar to the scammy for-profit universities they love.
There’s no doubt that Trump’s persona is already much more defined than Romney’s ever was. But there’s definitely a story to be told to working-class voters who are justifiably angry but may hate the idea of a rich fortunate son toying with their emotions.