Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez would neither confirm nor deny that party leaders are quietly courting a shark to run against President Donald Trump in 2020 should he run for reelection, as he’s expected to do.
“All I can say is, we have many potential candidates who are the right person to lead our country at an important time in our history and who are well positioned to defeat our historically unpopular President,” Perez said when asked today about whether his organization is in talks with a shark to run against the President.
Rumors that the DNC is courting a shark surfaced this week when Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), an up and coming lawmaker who is said to be contemplating a run for president in 2020, accused the DNC of treating him and other potential candidates like “plankton and krill” who are “nothing more than calories to be filtered through the open mouths of a basking shark.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). who is also said to be interested in challenging President Trump, added to the speculation by saying a day later that she knows what it feels like to be an otter when it’s lunch time for a great white shark. “One minute you’re lying in the sun on a rock and the next minute you’re causing indigestion in the digestive tract of a pup who eats too fast,” she told a group of trial lawyers at their national conference in Washington.
Perez, in an appearance on The Lead with Jake Tapper this morning, acknowledged that having a shark as its standard bearer against Donald Trump is an attractive prospect given the president’s well-known fear and dislike of sharks. “I don’t deny that a shark would start out with several advantages against Donald Trump,” Perez said. “Paralyzing him with fear is a great way to diminish his ability to connect with his base. He already speaks at only a fourth grade level; should he have to face a great white shark, or even a basking shark, which is much smaller, I suspect his speaking ability would decline to a first-grade level if not all the way down to a kindergarten level.”
One shark that appears to be making waves in Democratic circles is Gus Chiseltooth, a 600-pound whale shark whose district is three miles off the Outer Banks in North Carolina and has appeared at several fairs and expos in Iowa since last year. The shark made a splash when he said any president who doesn’t make unifying the country a top priority should be eaten. “We need a unifier, not a divider,” Chiseltooth said. “If you’re not willing to unify the country, what can you expect? You can expect to be lunch.”
Chiseltooth said he has nothing but respect for other Democrats who are thinking of running, including Warren and Moulton, but the country probably isn’t ready for another liberal from Massachusetts. On the other hand, the time appears to be right for a moderate from just off the coast of North Carolina. “I can shut down Donald Trump with just a smile,” Chiseltooth said. “Have you ever seen a shark smile? It’s scary.”
Early polls put the shark at a 10 percentage point edge over his closets challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “Bernie’s a hero but I’m a shark and he can’t eat people the way I can,” Chiseltooth said. “I think that’s an important distinction that the voters get.”
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