President Trump's second son isn't worried about the government shutdown or what it could do to his father's presidency or the Republican Party — when speaking on Fox News on Saturday night, Eric Trump called the government shutdown a "good thing" for the Republicans and said Democrats are "absolutely terrified" thanks to the situation.
He argued that Democrats will bear the brunt of the blame, a view opposite that of almost all political commentators and polls to date. Polls — some with a 20-point margin — show that Republicans and Trump will get the majority of the blame. Yet Eric seems convinced that is not the case, as he told Jeanine Pirro on Justice with Judge Jeanine:
Honestly, I think it's a good thing for us, because people see through it. I mean, people have seen a year that's incredible. It's been filled with nothing but the best for our country, "America First" policies, and they're happy with where we are as a nation ... It has the Democrats worried.
Eric mentioned a lot of good economic news, like the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaching a new high or Apple announcing it would invest in jobs, as a reason for why the country was so pleased with his father — and thus could never blame him for the shutdown. He mentioned several times that the nation is thriving again, all thanks to his dad.
"The only reason [Democrats] want to shut down government is to distract and to stop his momentum," Eric told Pirro. "My father has had incredible momentum. He's gotten more done in one year than arguably any president in history. And so how do they divert from that message? ... They obstruct, they distract, they try to place blame."
Pirro noted that the only reason that Democrats don't want to pass a budget is because a vote on a replacement for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has not taken place yet. Many Democrats have indeed said that a vote on the Dream Act is a prerequisite to support any budget bill.
Eric responded to that by talking about how important "America First" policies are to the Trump administration, then he went into his own explanation for why he's blaming Democrats.
If you looked at the vote, you had 269 Republicans who voted to keep the government open. And you had 230 Democrats who voted to close government, and they'll say Trump wanted to close the government. ... It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. And I'm pretty good at math.
For him it's numbers — although his are not quite right.
Those are supposed to be the number of the House members voting for and against a spending bill, combined with the number of senators who voted for or against advancing a budget measure. There were a total of 275 Republicans and 241 Democrats. Eric also posted the same argument to Twitter (with the incorrect numbers).
Reports on Saturday night pointed to compromise being the solution — if not in the short term. Congressional leaders continued to negotiate to get past the impasse, but were stuck on terms of a short-term bill that would continue funding through February. This short-term proposal was set to include a reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, and an agreement to vote on an immigration bill in the next month.
It is likely that those watching Fox News could be convinced that the Democrats are to blame; with 28 to 35 percent of voters surveyed already assigning blame to the Dems, it seems that many have been. But whether Trump and Republicans can truly convince majority of voters that it's a "Schumer Shutdown" — an attempt at rebranding the issue — remains to be seen.