I don’t feel Trump’s tax returns are his weak point. Sure, he probably broke some laws. But we’ve seen that most of Trump’s supporters don’t care if he breaks laws. And cheating on his taxes is probably the most socially acceptable way for somebody to break the law. This is the equivalent of accusing Trump of driving over the speed limit.
Biden should go after Trump for his failed leadership during the Covid19 crisis. If Trump keeps trying to make race riots an issue, Biden should point out that Trump fed these problems by dividing the country and he’ll work on healing America by uniting Americans rather than pitting us against each other. Then maybe Biden can throw out a line about how he would never betray American troops. All of these are much more powerful issues than tax evasion.
Also, even if the returns get released, any wrongdoings on it won’t be obvious to the average person. It’s not like there’s going to be a line item marked “Illegal payments from Russia.” I guarantee that 30 seconds after they’re released the talking heads on Fox will immediately saying “See! There’s nothing wrong here! (because we haven’t actually looked at them yet)”
It ought to give you some pause to realize that nobody but Lincoln Group seems to have cracked the code of raising money from Democrats to run attack ads on a very unpopular Republican. I expect them to use 100% of those funds against Democrats in the next election cycle.
How about for debates we have a moderator who would make Trump explain his BS real time. In the Clinton debates, I was screaming at TV for someone to say something when Trump was hovering/wandering behind her like a psychopath.
“Excuse me, Mr. Trump. But WTF are you doing? Are you ok?”
“And also, BTW, what the fu(k is ‘big, beautiful, healthcare’ anyway?”
If there is one thing we have learned from all these debates it’s that the moderators will NEVER hold anyone’s feet to the fire. They will NEVER push the candidates to explain nonsensical answers or call them out when they go off topic or otherwise do what we want them to do. Biden is going to have to be the one to do it.
I was waiting for Hillary to say that, might have turned the election in her favor to have done just that at that time IMHO. But no, she just let it pass and it didn’t look good. She still out debated him, but she should have crushed him then and there.
I agree. Some of us could see how bizarre and douchey it was, but I wish she said something too. Of course, some of our other Americans thought it was almost as cool as chanting “lock her up!” 50 times in a row…
Speaking of debates, I remember in one debate with Hillary Clinton, she called him out for being the sort of snakish millionaire who made his money off tax loopholes. And he said basically “So what. I didn’t break any laws. And you helped write the laws.”
Pretty much the only coherent thing I remember that guy saying. He’s right. There are tax loopholes, and it’s no secret that rich people take advantage of them. I’m sure almost ALL of us take advantage of them in some form or another. For every loophole some expert will point to on Trump’s return, some other expert will point out all of the same loopholes taken advantage of by all of the rich people we actually like and who do good in the world.
I don’t feel like anyone’s tax returns is going to give us any realistic picture of anyone’s wealth. The better lawyers and accountants you have, the better the smoke and mirrors in your business dealings are. I mean, dude has his name in 20’ gold letters on buildings he doesn’t own and didn’t build. It’s all meaningless.
I dunno if Biden needs to attack Trump at all. Let that fucker talk himself out of the presidency. Just the fact that Biden is putting out his clean energy plan is exciting to me. Him actually doing stuff, and doing it by committee, puts him miles above Trump and hopefully there’s more to come.
Taxes would be an easy tap in for Biden to get Trump on the backfoot since Biden was mandated for his eight years as vice president to release his taxes and there was nothing noteworty. For all his years in the senate Biden was frequently ranked among the least wealthiest senators even as he became one of the more powerful ones. That would be worth bringing up.
That said I like to think even with time running out we may still see Trump’s taxes before November. The SCOTUS decision made him meltdown.
Again, it’s not about what’s in the returns. It’s about the lying (there is a very long record of him saying he would release them), the lack of transparency, and the fact that bring it up seems to make him melt down.
I do like the idea of just a quick “… and he lied about releasing his tax returns, even asking the Supreme Court to tell him he didn’t have to - he must be really scared of you voters seeing them”. If Trump pushes back with his usual “I’m not scared” bluster, then you just ask why he never released them and leave it at that.
The point is not to move the voters but to make him lose his cool in public. You got to get the moderators to agree to keep Trump’s mike off till after Biden finishes. Then Biden starts in: Why are you concealing your tax returns so much. They must show something very incriminating. Are you heavily in debt to Russia? Are you nearly bankrupt? Have you cheated so badly? Are you laundering money? … What is hidden in your tax returns that you don’t the American people to know about?
Somewhere the words weak and cowardly should appear. Anything to get him so riled up that he has a visible melt-down on national TV.
The biggest reason to skip the taxes angle, in addition to the 37 reasons smarter folks upthread have already provided, is that it’s 4 year old news. It was Candidate Trump, not President Trump who initially refused; the rest is just instant replays. A common refrain of the RW media is that the Ds ignore current events and just keep on the same old stale hobby horses. Don’t hand them that gimme again.
Agree completely that getting Trump to throw a full-up child tantrum would be ideal. The risk is that instead of goading Trump to the tantrum Biden instead comes across as an ineffective amatuer heckler while Trump excels at delivering his ignorant but catchy one-liners.
That will not work because Trump DOES NOT THINK THAT WAY, i.e. viewing his concealment of his finances as being something weak or cowardly. He views it as a testament to his skill that he has been able to keep them concealed, and that volunteering to disclose them would be “showing his cards”. There is nothing, nothing, NOTHING regarding his taxes that anyone can say that’s going to throw off Trump’s game on the debate stage.
I already provided examples of things that WILL throw him off his game. He has a number of insecurities. His taxes aren’t one of them.
I suspect you are wrong.
It doesn’t matter that Trump thinks that concealing his taxes is smart. The point is to tell him that the entire American populace thinks he is afraid to release them. Once you do that, he will melt down. Just look at what is happening with his polling numbers - he keeps saying everything is great, things are looking up, but meanwhile he is re-organizing his campaign staff because his polling sucks.
And, for people talking about “trying to convince his base…” That is not the point. Nobody gives a damn about his base, they are a lost cause. But, there are enough people on the fringes who might be swayed if they saw him go berserk on TV.
I don’t think his tax returns are going to move the needle all that much with voters. Sure, they are is still an unanswered question from 4 years ago, but he’s just going to say what he said last time and not have to do anything. If Biden tosses out some speculation as to what may be in them, he’ll just deny it and call Biden a poo-poo head. At most it should be mentioned in passing without giving Trump a chance to say anything “…[Biden looking at the audience] and we never DID see those tax returns, did we? [Biden shaking his head]…”
Sure, Biden should hammer on Trump’s failures on the pandemic, the resulting economic meltdown, and continuing social unrest - those things resonate with and strengthen support on the left and in the center.
But he should then pivot right, and talk to conservatives. He should explain how Trump is not even a conservative, and list accomplishments made between himself and conservatives, thru hard work and compromise. Blame Trump for exploding the deficit, ignoring real threats (like the pandemic) in favor of fake threats (like DACA) and cozying-up to Putin and Kim while alienating long-time allies. I think Biden should take care to blame Trump and Trump alone for the state of affairs and stay clear of alienating conservative voters and congress-critters who enabled Trump. He will need some of them to get the ball over the goal-line.
I would tend to agree that the taxes should be a lesser issue. Trump not releasing them is not really something that you can sell to most Americans as something that directly affects their life.
Biden would do well to hammer Trump on the same issues that the Democrats hammered at the midterms. Chief among these would be healthcare. The fact that Trump and his minions have been actively still attempting to dismantle Obamacare even in the midst of this pandemic is something that should be stressed over and over again.
Biden may also be able to win over a fair amount of leaning Republican voters to vote for him, at least, by stressing the Russian bounty scandal. The fact that Trump was so willfully ignorant of the situation is absolutely disgusting; many of those lean Republican voters may have family members in the military, making that another issue that they can personally identify with.
Above all, the important thing for Biden to do is STAY ON MESSAGE. Don’t get distracted by the bull over statues; if Trump brings that up in a debate, just say “It’s high time these symbols of divisiveness and hatred be taken down. Now, getting back to healthcare…”
Oddly enough, Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992 may very well be a good template for Biden to use the rest of the way. Many pundits and historians that I have read have noted that Clinton’s sticking to his platform was one of the best moves he made during that race. He generally resisted attempts by Bush-Quayle to turn that race into a family values forum or to talk about Clinton’s personal failings (and with Clinton, there was at least some there there with regards to his extramarital philandering. The stuff Trump is accusing Biden of is absolutely ludicrous on its face).
All this stuff is what people who already hate Trump want to hear. If Biden’s going to attack Trump, he has to attack himn on all the crap Trump promised and didn’t deliver. Where’s that big, beautiful wall? Where’s that deal with North Korea? Where are all those jobs you promised to bring back? How come all those “best people” you appointed kept getting fired or quitting?
Really, all the Democrats have to do is turn off a few thousand voters that voted for Trump in 2016.