On Thursday he announced that he has a new 2020-themed website called TheFight2020.com. The site is currently empty but has the headline “All the President’s Con Men.” It also shows a black-and-white photo of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani wiping his face with a cloth.
Avenatti came to national prominence by representing the former adult-film actress in her lawsuit against President Trump, and developed a wide following because of his frequent, combative appearances on television. He has done battle with former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and has said that he has seen evidence about Trump’s and Cohen’s misdeeds. He has said that the information he has, that could come out in eventual trials, would bring down Trump’s presidency.
Recently Avenatti has been making public statements, saying that he is exploring a bid for the presidency. Last week he was in Iowa meeting with party leaders, giving high profile speeches to Democratic Party meetings, and touring the Iowa State Fair, all of which are traditional activities for prospective presidential candidates.
The attorney on Tuesday posted his policy positions to Twitter.
“Many have asked me my position on various issues. Below is a summary of where I stand. This is not an exhaustive list and more positions & details will follow. Most importantly, I didn’t have to hire a pollster or political consultant to tell me what to say or what to believe.
Many have asked me my position on various issues. Below is a summary of where I stand. This is not an exhaustive list and more positions & details will follow. Most importantly, I didn't have to hire a pollster or political consultant to tell me what to say or what to believe. pic.twitter.com/hbXj1Vv3O9
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) August 14, 2018
Avenatti holds traditional Democratic positions on health care, trade, gun control and immigration. He criticized, however, the calls for abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Instead he said he believes that the U.S. should change the way the agency “carries out enforcement.”
He also said he supports single-payer healthcare, and he said that money is “the root of all evil in politics.” He promised to take no corporate money in his run for the presidency.
Avenatti, like Donald Trump, has never held a political office, but is adept at appearing on television and making headlines with bold statements. He often has lambasted Trump in public, and has slammed him as a “Manchurian candidate” and referred to his erratic behavior as “constant baffoonery.”
“I think that if the Democratic Party focuses on nominating who will make the best president, that’s going to be a critical mistake,” Avenatti told NBC News on his recent trip Iowa. “There’s only one question at the end of the day, and that question is: Can the potential nominee beat Donald Trump?”
He has already created a video to promote his presidency. It starts out by saying “We are fighting for is nothing short of the survival of our republic.” In the video he maintains he is the right person to take on the Trump and win.
not gonna lie, this video is pretty epic.
— David Yankovich (@DavidYankovich) August 17, 2018
Avenatti has been a strong advocate for the children taken from their parents at the U.S.-Mexican border and has even helped reunite some families, donating his time and legal services.
His most recent tweet attacks Congress for going on vacation when there are still over 500 separated children in government custody.
“I know Congress is “on vacation” but there is no “vacation” for the over 500 children separated from their families & still in custody. Why aren’t many of our elected officials not doing more to reunite these kids? Being a leader means actually doing something – NOW! #WhereAreYou”
I know Congress is "on vacation" but there is no "vacation" for the over 500 children separated from their families & still in custody. Why aren't many of our elected officials not doing more to reunite these kids? Being a leader means actually doing something – NOW! #WhereAreYou
— Michael Avenatti (@MichaelAvenatti) August 16, 2018
Many current Democrats do not want an outsider like Avenatti to be the party’s standard bearer in 2020, so he has already been criticized by some politicians and their followers. Avenatti has proven himself to be a fighter, since he is one of the top trial lawyers in the country and he has won massive settlements from large corporations on behalf of poor people who would otherwise be powerless.
Michael Avenatti sees himself as the champion of the underdog, but as the 2020 race begins he is the underdog himself. It should be interesting to watch him fight this battle, even though it is unlikely that ultimately he will prevail and win the Democratic Party’s nomination.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.