President Trump’s 2016 slogan “Make America Great Again” will be back for his 2020 re-election effort, according to campaign officials, ending speculation that Trump might opt for something else.
The officials, who spoke with the Washington Examiner Thursday, say it remains one of his most effective pieces of branding.
Sales of his instantly recognizable hats, with the slogan emblazoned on them, are closing in on the 1 million mark, and #MAGA has a viral life of its own.
Although Trump has been testing other slogans with crowds at his rallies, campaign staff say the decision has been made it would be a mistake to leave behind such a powerful tool.
“It’s a cultural icon,” said Erin Perrine, deputy communications director for Trump 2020. “The red hat is a cultural icon. People might not like the cultural icon all the time — because there are plenty of videos of people being physically assaulted for wearing the hat, but it’s a cultural icon.”
“It will always be the bread and butter of a public slogan,” she said.
The slogan has its roots in Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, which used, “Let’s make America great again.”
By his own telling, Trump came up with his own version after Mitt Romney’s 2012 election defeat. He first rejected “We Will Make America Great” — it did not have the right ring, he later told the Washington Post — and then “Make America Great,” which seemed too much of a slight to the country, before settling on the wording that helped propel him to the White House.
It was an instant hit, encapsulating Trump’s straightforward emotional appeal with a promise to voters whose belief in American exceptionalism had survived the buffeting of globalization.
Trump has publicly flirted with switching to “Keep America Great!” for his re-election campaign, trialing it in front of rally audiences.
He also holds the trademark to use the phrase on hats, bumper stickers, and campaign pamphlets — a process he launched even before being sworn in as president.
Some staff members have the phrase printed on their business cards.
Sticking with the 2016 slogan may remind voters of the insurgent energy unleashed last time as officials grapple with the best way to present an incumbent president as an agent of change.
At the same time, they don’t rule out a last-minute change in direction.
Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s director of communications, said: “If there are any new slogans being introduced, I suspect it will be Donald J. Trump who does it.”
Author: Rob Crilly
Source: Washington Examiner: Trump campaign will stick with ‘Make America Great Again’ for 2020