Dems say they're prepping for 2020 candidates other than Trump

Dems say they're prepping for 2020 candidates other than Trump
© Greg Nash

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is conducting presidential campaign-level opposition research against several top Republicans in case they challenge President Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020, according to a new report.

Politico reported on Tuesday that the DNC is anticipating runs from Republicans such as U.N. Ambassador Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyUK: Ex-spy’s poisoning ‘leads inexorably to the Kremlin’ Russia is already warmed up for a massive attack on US energy grid The Memo: Trump takes on critics with Russia moves MORE, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ben SasseBenjamin (Ben) Eric SasseThe Hill's 12:30 Report Overnight Defense: Trump unveils new sanctions against Russia | Key Republicans back VA chief amid controversy | Trump gives boost to military 'space force' McCain, Sasse call for coordinated NATO response to poisoning of ex-Russian spy MORE (Neb.) and Vice President Pence.

According to the report, a team of two dozen researchers is tasked with filing Freedom of Information Act requests in multiple states around the country in an effort to build background opposition research against the Republicans, none of whom have declared their intent to run.

Among other things, the team is searching for possible conflicts of interest, financial issues and video clips that portray chummy relationships with Trump.

In a statement to Politico, the DNC confirmed the report, stating it was ready for "all scenarios."

The New York Times reported in July that Kasich is planning on returning to New Hampshire, where he came in second place in the GOP primary there last year. The same report raised speculation that Pence, who has kept an active schedule since becoming vice president, could run for president.


Pence, however, has called such suggestions "absurd" and blasted the news media for suggesting he wasn't working to advance the president's agenda.

“Whatever fake news may come our way, my entire team will continue to focus all our efforts to advance the president’s agenda and see him re-elected in 2020. Any suggestion otherwise is both laughable and absurd," Pence said in a statement.

Other representatives for Republicans named by the report responded with similar dismissals.

“I think the Democrats would be better served coming up with a better economic policy rather than planning to rely on Trump's unpopularity,” a spokesman for Kasich told Politico.

"How Democrats waste their money is up to them, but this is pretty funny," added a spokesman for Sasse.