It’s tunnel-vision time for Hillary Clinton as she battles Bernie Sanders here — but she’s casting some serious side-eye in Donald Trump’s direction.
After months of laughing off Trump — and assuming his ascent would propel the Republican Party to a 1964-style wipeout — her campaign and its allies have begun to steer time and resources into framing lines of attack against the blustery billionaire, even if there’s still considerable confusion over how to attack 2016’s top-of-the-food-chain predator.
“There’s plenty of material out there,” said longtime Clinton confidant James Carville. “We just have to figure it all out.”
With her campaign intensely focused on fending off an unexpectedly strong challenge from Sanders, the man tasked with leading off an eventual anti-Trump offensive is David Brock, the former Clinton foe turned ally who spearheaded the first sharp attacks against the Vermont socialist.
In November, a subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee paid the Brock-run American Bridge $144,000 for “research services,” according to elections filings. That research was devoted almost entirely to building a “Trump Book,” a compendium of clips and other records that could be used for future attacks, a campaign official familiar with the situation told POLITICO. In early December, the Clinton campaign paid the group a further $22,000 for similar work, the official added, and another David Brock-affiliated group, Correct the Record, began a cursory vetting of Trump over the summer.