Michael Avenatti says there’s a “small subset” of Democrats with the skills to defeat Donald Trump in 2020—and he’s one of them.

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting a different result,” Avenatti told NHJournal in an exclusive interview. “If the Democratic Party thinks that they’re going to nominate someone like the other 16 or 17, highly qualified, experienced politicians that Donald Trump beat in 2016, and expect a different outcome–they’re kidding themselves.”

Michael Avenatti is a plaintiff’s lawyer who says he’s won more than $1 billion in settlements, he’s a former professional race car driver, and he had a brief partnership in the coffee business with Patrick Dempsey (they ended up in a lawsuit). He also worked for years with former Barack Obama political insider and Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel doing campaign work and opposition research. But Avenatti is best known for representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against her one-time hook-up, President Donald Trump.

Avenatti, speaking to NHJournal a day after his first exploratory visit to New Hampshire, said Democrats need a completely different approach to beat a candidate like Trump.

Running against President Trump “is going to be a cage match,” Avenatti said. “You can say what you want about Donald Trump–and there’s a lot to say, and I have said a lot and I’m going to say a lot more—but if there’s one thing he is, it’s a fighter.  The guy knows how to mix it up. I think he’s very strong on delivering his message.”

“A Democratic Party official who’s been around a long time made this point: ‘The Democratic Party has a lot of talent, but it doesn’t have a lot of fighters.’ And I think that’s been true for a long time,” Avenatti said.

Is Avenatti the Democrats’ solution to this problem?

“One of the brands that I will own if I decide to run is that I’m the fighter,” he said. “I do think the party is going to need a fighter to go up against this guy. I think it’s a very unique situation. I think Trump’s a very unique candidate that should not be underestimated.”

            Michael Avenatti works the crowd at a NH Democratic fundraiser.

And, according to Avenatti, Trump has to be stopped.

“I think that we are sitting on a powder keg right now with this president. If Donald Trump remains president, I think it is only a matter of time before we have a significant international incident.  And that concerns me greatly because the consequences could be insurmountable,” Avenatti said.

“Secondly, I’m a student of the law. I understand the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court on everyday life in America. If Donald Trump is re-elected in 2020, there’s no question the court is going to 7-2.  And I can envision Clarence Thomas deciding to retire, and conservatives will pick up another 25 or 30 years on that particular seat. And that’s not something that can just be undone or unwound by electing or throwing out a Congress,” Avenatti said.

But what about the argument that if the Democrats send in an over-the-top “cage match” fighter like Avenatti to take out Trump that leaves you with a WWE presidency either way? How is Avenatti, who brags “when they go low, we hit harder” and openly complains about his party’s “gentleness” an improvement?

“I think anybody that witnesses me and spends any time communicating with me knows that I would restore order to the executive branch,” Avenatti says. “I would not be an extension of what we’ve seen. There’s no question that I would be a far more respectable president than Donald Trump. You won’t get any all caps tweets or any of the other nonsense that this buffoon of a president engages in every day.”

At the party fundraiser in New Hampshire, several Democrats in the crowd expressed reservations about backing an abrasive, untested candidate like Avenatti. “I think I’d like to have him as my lawyer, but maybe not my president,” one local Democrat said.  Michael Avenatti has a message for Democrats thinking this way:

“The people that want to go back to the way things were from a media perspective, you know, eight or 12 or 16 years ago–that’s never going to happen. This is a new age. Democrats need to realize this. When you’re going up against a big personality like Donald Trump, you better have somebody that has a big personality, too. Someone who knows how to operate in this new media environment,” Avenatti said.

And the right man with all the right skills is Michael Avenatti. Don’t believe it? Just ask him.