Anthony Scaramucci, President Donald Trump’s former communications advisor, made a case that there’s now an “even money” chance his former boss could win re-election in November — even as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the global economy.
As early as January’s World Economic Forum, Scaramucci told Yahoo Finance that he had “great confidence” that Trump is “not going to be re-elected.”
Yet on Monday, Scaramucci said: “I’m an objective guy. You guys asked me… if he was going to win the election. I said, ‘He would not.’ There was over-consensus of people saying he’s going to win. I am now at even money.”
Before the outbreak, the economic expansion and booming jobs market put the political winds at Trump’s back. Now, Wall Street believes a COVID-19-inspired recession has already arrived.
Still, the fund manager made a case that if the government can “deploy the right stimulus” and can resuscitate the economy from its “cardiac arrest,” Trump will be viewed as “a wartime president.”
He referenced Trump’s rising approval ratings around the handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which underscored how the president rebounded from a poorly-received address to the nation on March 11 that sent markets into a tailspin the very next day.
“His approval ratings, you know, they could head scratch people that don’t like him, but his approval ratings on the handling of the crisis right now are in the mid-50s,” Scaramucci said. And that would make sense if you look at prior wartime precedents in terms of people rallying around the flag and trying to help the president.”
Earlier this month, Scaramucci sharply criticized Trump’s early handling and downplaying at the time of COVID-19, saying that it could be a “Hurricane Katrina” moment. However, he said Trump did a “180-degree turn” about a week ago from the “denial mode” that characterized his behavior early in the crisis.
“[What] I don’t want to do is be a critic right now,” the investor said, saying that despite some stumbles, Trump is “going in the right direction now. And, I want to continue to encourage that.”
He added that this is a “very different type of crisis” and one that Trump is “not used to.”
Scaramucci added: “The tactics of diversion. and all those things that he’s deployed in the past, wouldn’t work in this situation.”
Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.