Unless Democrats toughen up and fight Donald Trump on his own terms, the Republican president could be on track to be reelected, civil rights leader and MSNBC host Al Sharpton said Wednesday.
Sharpton was in London to speak to black parliamentarians and an advisor to Prime Minister Teresa May, when he took questions from a group of Guardian U.K. reporters about his thoughts on the upcoming presidential election.
The Guardian reported the MSNBC host told them "Donald Trump is on course to be re-elected in 2020" because all the rumored Democratic candidates are "too tame to deal with an untamed opponent."
"They’ve lost the ability to dramatize," Sharpton said. "He [Trump] understands spectacle and drama and they don’t."
Sharpton called on Democratic candidates to get arrested protesting U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers where they were housing migrant children. "What was the civil rights movement if not drama? Martin Luther King was the master of street theatre. No one would have listened if he just gave speeches," he said.
The only candidate Sharpton thought could take on Trump at the moment was a woman who claims she has no interest in running for president: Oprah Winfrey. "She’s been broke longer than she’s been rich," he said, adding she "could beat Trump in a heartbeat."
Like other Democratic commentators, Sharpton warned the party needed to run on more than just special prosecutor Robert Mueller's Russia investigation if it wants to beat Trump. He argued Democrats should instead focus on concrete issues like "rights, jobs and healthcare. You got to get the message right; then you’ll get the messenger."