Trump campaign's next moves after historic Democratic ticket announcement

The president wasted no time to fire back at Sen. Kamala Harris, calling her “nasty,” and resorted to a sexist jeer for his new competitor as Republicans struggle to land consistent attacks.
5:32 | 08/13/20

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Transcript for Trump campaign's next moves after historic Democratic ticket announcement
President trump, of course, wasting no time firing back at senator Harris again calling her nasty and saying he was surprised that Joe Biden ultimately picked her, but so far the trump campaign has struggled to figure out what line of attack might stick. Terry Moran is in Washington with more on the white house Terry, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, whit. We all know president trump's political style is not so much to debate opponents as it is to troll them deploying plagueground insults and chietdish nicknames to paint a vivid picture in the public mind but in kamala Harris he's got a complex and accomplished opponent that he can't really seem to pin down yet but he's trying. In a scattershot approach to tearing down kamala Harris, president trump unleashed an array of insults highlighting her failed run for the top spot on the democratic ticket. I watched her poll numbers go boom, boom, boom, down to almost nothing and she left angry, she left mad. Reporter: He also went back to his old playbook resorting to a familiar sexist jeer for his new competitor calling the senator nasty, trying to portray her as too far left for the country. She is as a disaster. She is super liberal. I heard she is the most liberal person in all of congress. Reporter: But so far Republicans have struggled to land a punch firing off an inconsistent barrage of attacks branding Harris as too soft on crime one moment. I don't want someone who says that they are not going to be tough on hardened criminals. Reporter: And overzealous next. She fought to keep inmates locked up in overcrowded prison. Reporter: The kind of opponent everyone dreams of and eagerly awaiting the vice presidential debate. I think he'll do even better against her than he did against senator Cain which was a total wipeout. How do you rate kamala Harris as a vp? I think she would be a fine choice. Reporter: Trump struggled to come up with a vision for his second term, instead he's continued attempts to play up racist fears that a Biden presidency would sink the suburbs by expanding low income They're going to be opening up areas of your neighborhood. They're going to in my opinion destroy suburbia. Reporter: President trump won the suburbs in 2016. He beat Hillary Clinton there by four points. This time around he's in trouble. A recent ABC news/"washington post" poll shows him down by nine points there, which helps explain these over the top attacks about suburbia. Whit. Terry Moran for us in Washington, thanks so much. For more let's bring in ABC news political contributor, Yvette Simpson, and ABC news political analyst Matthew dowd. Good morning to you both. Senator Harris is breaking barriers making history as a vice presidential running mate but in her own race for president, her campaign struggled to gain momentum and connect and she ultimately drooped out of the race before Iowa. How much does that worry you for the Democrats and do you believe that she's the right complement to Joe Biden who can unite the party? Good morning, whit. You know, she has some big moments, you remember that moment when they talked about she was saying, you know, America doesn't want a food they want food on their tables but she also struggled with her criminal justice history and really not, I think, you know, rocked when Tulsi gabbard mentioned that in the middle of a debate. I think one of the positive things she'll bring, she had this real great legion of diverse group of folks called the K hive and fired up social media and part of the reason they had a big fund-raising day yesterday after the announcement. One of the things I love is that she brought warmth to the ticket. She was both warm and strong yesterday. So I actually think it's a net positive for Joe Biden who really still struggles with energy, I think she is way more clear about the vision for the future. So I think it's a really good balance and I don't noepts that her performance in a very crowded field as youemember was very crowded is going to reflect negatively in this new role as vice presidential Some of her strongest moments were actually taking on Joe Biden but, Matt, I want to go to you and the Republican response because president trump called senator Harris nasty as we heard before, his campaign launched a flurry of attacks labeling her radical. Other surrogates kind of all over the map. We heard some describe her as both too tough and too weak on crime. As they're trying to see what sticks here, is that an effective strategy? Will it work? Well, whit, it is a strategy, but I don't think it's effective in this moment. I think -- I'm actually surprised. They knew, the Republicans knew that kamala Harris was likely to be the vice presidential nominee and they seemed unprepared to have a singular attack on her which in every other past campaign people are ready for that but I think the bigger mistake they're making is I think they should have actually done something different and been polite and respectful on the first 24 hours and welcome this pick, say welcome to the race. This is an historic pick but then concentrate their fire on Joe Biden. This race is fundamentally between Joe Biden and Donald Trump and that's where they should be concentrating their fire. The top of the ticket is ultimately what matters most. Matt, Yvette, thank you so much. Coming up here in our next half hour the second woman to be

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