Day 6

'Shifty Schiff' and 'Sleepy Joe': The strategy behind Trump's political nickname game

From "SleepyCreepy Joe Biden" to "Nervous Nancy Pelosi," U.S. President Donald Trump has doled out plenty of nicknames to his political foes. Political reporters Eliza Relman and John Bennett tell us why they work to his advantage.

Trump's nicknames for his opponents are deliberate and effective, say political reporters

U.S. President Donald Trump has nicknames for many of his political opponents, including Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. (Yuri Gripas, Mike Blake, Erin Scott, Joshua Roberts, Sam Wolfe, Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

"Crazy Bernie Sanders," "Nervous Nancy Pelosi," "Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren," "Shifty Adam Schiff," and on it goes. U.S. President Donald Trump has a long list of nicknames — typically deployed against his political opponents.

"What they all have in common is this negative connotation and this implication of nefarious intent," John Bennett, senior White House correspondent for Roll Call, told Day 6.

Take "Crooked Hillary Clinton" or "Lyin' Ted Cruz."

"He's really trying to tell his supporters, and any voters who might be on the fence, that you can't trust these people," Bennett said.

The nicknames can be quite effective, especially among his voter base, according to Business Insider political reporter Eliza Relman.

"It boils down his opponents' weaknesses — or at least what Trump believes their weaknesses are — to a really simple idea, and then he brands them," said Relman.

To hear more from Eliza Relman and John Bennett, download our podcast or click Listen above.