NBC on Trump’s Backhanded Bill Strategy

NBC’s Benjy Sarlin and Alex Seitz-Wald look at the Trump campaign’s backhanded strategy of tying Hillary Clinton to her husband’s escapades.

His inner circle notably includes several veterans of the 1990s fights with Clinton: Bossie served as a high-profile investigator for House Republicans. Roger Stone, an outside confidant of Trump, has spent years trumpeting obscure conspiracy theories about the Clintons and last year wrote a book called, “The Clintons’ War on Women.” Newt Gingrich, a leading Trump ally, was Speaker of the House during Clinton’s impeachment.

“It’s sort of Ahab and the white whale,” Liam Donovan, a GOP strategist, said. “There are people fighting the old battles like it’s still 1996 when this stuff doesn’t matter to anyone.”

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BV: Cruz Invests in Trump’s Bankruptcy

Over at Bloomberg View, Frank Wilkinson looks at Ted Cruz’s decision to cover his convention short, buy high, and double down on $MAGA after the first debate. My take:

Neither Trump nor Cruz has changed. Only the political calculation has.

“Cruz wants be able to say he did all he could, if only to avoid the inevitable recriminations that he undermined the nominee at a key time,” said GOP strategist Liam Donovan, via e-mail. “And even if the Trump primary base isn’t made up of the ideological fellow travelers he thought they were, Cruz world probably still views them as rightfully his in a post-Trump environment.”

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