As the mainstream media all but ignores Bernie Sanders' overwhelming lead over Donald Trump in head-to-head poll matches, which is almost double the lead Hillary Clinton enjoys over Trump, a long-time Republican operative hinted in a recent interview at how the Trump campaign would erase Clinton's lead in the general election were Clinton to be the nominee.
Sanders has surged recently as the contest goes to West Virginia and Kentucky.
Roger Stone, who was recently a paid Trump advisor and describes himself as a "confidante," worked with Lee Atwater in George HW Bush's presidential campaigns. Atwater and Stone are credited with the Willie Horton attack on Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis in 1984. Horton, a convicted killer, was on a prison furlough program which was approved of by Dukakis when he attacked a couple in Maryland, raping a woman. The ads hung the "soft on crime" label on Dukakis with devastating effect. Atwater famously said of the strategy "By the time we're finished, they're going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis' running mate."
Stone says the first order of business would be to dredge up Bill Clinton's past sexual escapades, which he says are relevant because Hillary acted as an "enabler" and took charge of persecuting and beating down women who claimed they had been sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton. Stone noted how quickly Hillary dropped her "Trump is a sexist" attack in a debate, after Trump shot back that she had "abused" Clinton's alleged victims, including Paula Jones and Kathleen Wiley. Trump, says Stone, would run a barrage of 30 second ads giving prime-time to Bill Clinton's accusers, and likened Clinton to Bill Cosby. The veracity of the accusers, says Stone, would be up to the voters to decide.
Going on to "EmailGate," Stone says the reason Hillary Clinton illegally deleted over 30,000 official US State Department emails held on her private server, also illegally, was that the US Secretary of State during Clinton's tenure was "for sale," and the conduit for funds was the Clinton Foundation.
The Clinton Foundation has been in the news as the recipient of donations from controversial figures such as Denise Rich, ex-wife of the late billionaire and commodities trader Marc Rich, who fled to Switzerland in 1983 after being indicted by US authorities for tax evasion, fraud and racketeering. Rich was granted a pardon by Bill Clinton before the former president left office in 2001.
And in 2015, the lenient treatment of another Clinton Foundation donor, billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, provoked an outcry from within the law enforcement community. Epstein was let off with a wrist-slap for multiple child sex assault charges, after painstaking surveillance by local law enforcement authorities built a strong case that might have put him away for life. The charges against Epstein involved girls as young as 14. Epstein was 55 at the time he was convicted.
In a civil suit against Epstein, the allegations included the sex assault of girls as young as 12.
Stone said Trump will highlight the Clinton Foundation as a conduit for bribes in return for favors from the Clintons and their far-flung networks, including gun-running to forces hostile to the United States in Syria and throughout the Middle East.
With the thousands of illegal deletions of Clinton's emails, a felony charge, it is difficult to prove or disprove the charges. Emails sent by Clinton in her official capacity as US Secretary of State are property of the US government.
Stone took pains to remind listeners that, although in the Democratic primaries, mutual attacks were somewhat limited by unspoken conventions within the party, the general election would be limited by no such niceties. Stone said the power couple's record over the decades provides a rich source of fair game for attack ads. Clinton in a wide array of polls comes out with the highest "negative" ratings of almost any candidate in recent history. Sanders, on the other hand, is shown in many polls to be the candidate "most trustworthy" to voters of different political persuasions, including Republicans.