Like certain other politicians this election season, Ann Coulter appears to have come down with an acute bout of sudden-onset populism. The conservative commentator and author, never one to miss an opportunity to perform her brand of punditry, showed up Saturday to once again rally for Donald Trump at the Politicon 2016 conference in Pasadena, Calif.

From the way Coulter was talking, American voters can count on Trump’s camp taking more than one page from Bernie Sanders’ campaign playbook as the presumptive GOP nominee attempts to lure the undecided and the disillusioned to his side by Election Day.

“I think income inequality is a real problem — it’s gotten insane,” Coulter said at the pro-Trump Politicon panel, which included Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, GOP strategist Rick Tyler; actor John Ratzenberger of “Cheers” fame; actor, recording artist and Breitbart contributor Robert Davi and moderator and CNN commentator Sally Kohn. “You’ve got billionaires living with just degenerate amounts of money in a way we haven’t seen since the czars,” she added, apparently exempting billionaire Trump from that lineup. Arguing that “these wages haven’t budged” for “working-class America and middle-class America,” Coulter finished with an egalitarian flourish: “We’ve just hollowed out the center of America.”

WATCH: VIDEO: Politicon 2015: Ann Coulter Claims She Fed Donald Trump ‘That Spicy Stuff on Mexican Rapists’

If that line of argument sounds familiar to Bernie Sanders backers, that would be a deliberate move — and one that Coulter made transparent as she made a play for their favor. “I do think Trump is going to get a fair number of — at least of the working class — of the Bernie Sanders supporters, not the social justice warriors,” she said, “but this is what the public has been demanding, and both parties have been betraying them. Both parties!” Coulter also invoked Wall Street and “the plutocrats” more than once in her comments on the panel.

Coulter has made no secret of her support for Trump, and Saturday’s Politicon performance marked another occasion at which she unabashedly touted his campaign’s most popular, not to mention notorious, party lines. In fact, at last October’s first Politicon, which organizers have billed as an “unconventional convention” blending entertainment and politics, she took credit for feeding Trump “that spicy stuff on Mexican rapists.” Given her propensity to shape and carry Trump’s messages, these Sanders-style themes are sure to become refrains repeated by Trump himself as he heads into the final months of the election season.

For their part, Ratzenberger and Davi joined Coulter in boosting for Trump. Tyler represented the establishment GOP presence on the panel and fittingly broke from the pro-Trump pack, stating, “I don’t trust Trump—I don’t believe he’ll do what he says he’ll do.”

Robinson recalled his prior Washington Post column in which he compared Trump with Godzilla, a monster who only becomes stronger when attacked, and predicted that the 2016 presidential stakes will get much more difficult for the Democratic presidential nominee if Trump starts playing up his “builder” persona and promises to apply it to America’s infrastructure issues. Robinson also gave the real estate magnate credit for bringing immigration and free trade to the fore. “Those are substantive issues that I think the Democratic Party ignores at its peril, and I think the Republican establishment ignored them to its peril—because it’s gone now,” he said.

Despite Trump’s recent troubles in the polls, Coulter remained sanguine on her candidate’s ability to take over the White House—which will owe in part, she said, to winning an improbable “30 percent of the Latino vote”—not to mention the GOP itself. “It’s the Trump party now,” she said.

Politicion 2016 videos (via YouTube):

Coulter plays a populist tune:

Eugene Robinson points to potential strengths of the Trump campaign:

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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