Published 9:34 PM EDT Oct 5, 2018
EVENDALE, Ohio – Attorney Michael Avenatti wanted to clear the air when he took the stage Friday night before 300 Democrats in a union hall just north of Cincinnati.
"Some of you may be asking, what is some porn lawyer doing here in Cincinnati talking to us about our republic?" said Avenatti. "Well, in normal times, I'd be at home in L.A. enjoying my life. But these are not normal times."
It's times like these that has Avenatti, who's the lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels, considering a presidential run in 2020. Avenatti, amid a tour of the country, spoke at the Hamilton County Democratic Party's fall fundraiser. He brought in one of the largest crowds many Democrats in attendance said they can ever remember for the fall fundraiser.
Avenatti said he hasn't decided whether he'd run for president against President Trump, but he predicted the outcome if he did.
"There's no question I can beat him in a general election," Avenatti said. "A lot of people say that's arrogant. I say it. I believe it. I believe Donald Trump wants to run against other nominees. I don't think he wants to run against me."
Avenatti further laid the foundation for a presidential run with a fiery speech that slammed Republicans and called for Democrats to "fight fire with fire."
He warned Democrats "too often we bring nail clippers to a gunfight."
Trump was the target of most of Avenatti's fury. He called him the worst president in history, a "conman" and a "Dumpster fire."
He also targeted Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. Collins long floor speech today explained why she was voting yes to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. When he mentioned her name, the union hall erupted in boos.
"She deserves all the heckles and boos," Avenatti said. "This woman should be thrown out of office. She's a disgrace. She had the audacity to attack my client, who risked her life to allege what she alleged."
Avenatti is representing Julie Swetnick who has alleged in a sworn statement that Kavanaugh and his friend, Mark Judge, tried to get teenage girls drunk so they could be "gang-raped" by multiple boys.
Avenatti has criticized the FBI investigation into Kavanaugh for not contacting his client.
As the vote to approve Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court has moved forward, Avenatti has taken an increasing defiant tone. In a tweet, he invited Kavanaugh to sue his accusers. "I hope he does so we can prove the truth!" Avenatti tweeted.
At the end of his 20-minute speech, Avenatti received a standing ovation. Many in attendance said they were undecided on whether they'd support Avenatti if he runs for president. But many wouldn't rule it out.
"I agree with him that whoever it is shouldn't be a nice guy," said Shawntee Brown of College Hill. "It is going to take someone really tough."
Lori Krafte, of Anderson Township, wants whoever the Democrats nominate in 2020 to have more experience in government. Krafte said she does admire Avenatti's courage in standing up to the president.
"We've had enough with Trump and people who don't have the required experience," Krafte said.
Avenatti joins two other possible 2020 Democratic presidential candidates who have or will visit Cincinnati this year.
Former Vice President Joe Biden visited Cincinnati in June.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti came here in early September.
Sen. Kamala Harris, seen by some as the frontrunner, was scheduled to speak Saturday to the NAACP in Cincinnati but had to cancel so she could vote on the Kavanaugh confirmation.
Greater Cincinnati Republicans could not immediately be reached for comment.