Hillary’s post-debate gains in some of the most recent polls show Trump missed opportunities and fell into traps she laid. In preparing for Sunday’s debate Trump would do well to practice a little debate-judo. (Full disclosure: I fully support Trump’s candidacy and in the past have served as his lawyer.)
Having vanquished a large field of Republican rivals, Trump was handed a YUGE gift – the most deeply flawed Democratic candidate in modern history – maybe ever.
For openers, she’s a criminal: a bribe-taker of unprecedented proportions.
Hillary and Bill Clinton have been running a racketeering operation – the Clinton Foundation – for 15 years. They monetized the Office of the Secretary of State, and now they’re looking to do the same for the Oval Office. Neither has a law license any longer, yet the couple earned not less than $8 million and as much as $28 million, every year since they left the White House, when they earned $359,000. That’s not counting millions in private jet travel and entertainment perks provided by the Foundation, and a $900,000 salary to Chelsea.
Donald, if you are reading this, please listen – you did a great job winning the nomination. Winning the debates is not about being tougher; it’s about being smarter.
From the $145 million taken to approve the sale of U.S. uranium interests to Russia, to tens of millions in speaking fees from repressive regimes and Wall Street -- and we've seen from the recent WikiLeaks release just how far Hillary went in cozying up to Wall Street -- every nickel was taken in exchange for influence peddling.
Everyone knows Hillary set up her unsecure homebrew server and “Bleach-Bitted” 30,000 emails into shredded-oblivion to cover-up her crimes and stay out of jail; no one uses Bleach Bit to conceal yoga and wedding emails.
This alone should make Hillary unelectable. Yet, at the debate, Trump never pressed these points. On any question, he could’ve said:
“Hillary, what’s the difference what policies you espouse? -- Once in office your policies will be dictated by the highest bidder: the regime that donates the most money to your Foundation or pays Bill the largest speaking fee, exactly as happened when you were Secretary of State. Everyone knows you’re only out of jail because you destroyed all the evidence – your emails, using Bleach Bit – and the fix was in with the FBI and DOJ. You made the FBI an accomplice to the destruction of evidence. Your cover-up as Secretary compromised US security; as we now know, thanks to the most recent WikiLeaks release, you maintain separate "public and private" policy positions -- as President, your policies will be owned lock, stock and barrel by your foreign-regime and Wall-Street masters.”
Besides having institutionalized influence peddling, Hillary’s a congenital liar. On the next false claim she makes, Trump should say:
"Hillary you’ve been lying through your teeth for 40 years. You lied about Whitewater; you lied about landing in Bosnia under sniper fire; you lied about the Benghazi attack having been spawned by a YouTube video; you lied about not having sent or received classified information on your unprotected unencrypted homebrew basement server; and you lied about having turned over all work-related emails. You lie about everything, Hillary. Why should the voters elect you President? What possible credibility could you have with foreign leaders? And why should the voters trust you on your health claims? You have nearly blacked out, had seizures and collapsed – all on tape. You didn’t tell the public or even your own daughter or VP when you got pneumonia. Everyone on the planet knows you are compulsive liar so nothing you say should be taken as true."
When (not if) Hillary attacks Trump for the recently released 2005 audio-tape, Trump should say...
"I sincerely regret what I said to Billy Bush 11 years ago, which I realize is deeply offensive. And I've apologized. Still, actions speak louder than words. Hillary, your husband is a legendary philanderer; and you've relentlessly attacked, lied about and threatened his victims; from the woman he raped -- Juanita Broadrick -- to the 20 year-old intern Monica Lewsinsky, whom you called a 'narcissistic looney toon.'
It wasn't Juanita's or the 20 year-old Monica's fault. While Bill's unrelenting sexual predation wasn't your fault Hillary, the subsequent denials and vicious attacks on his victims were. Actions speak louder than words, and you have a 40-year record of unforgivable actions against women."
When Hillary feigns compassion for women, gays, blacks or any other minority or supposedly oppressed group, and accuses Trump of not supporting them, Trump should say:
“Really Hillary… black lives don’t matter to you, at least not when their Haitians or Congolese; gays surely don’t matter to you, you’re happy taking money from Sharia-regimes that kill gays, let alone don’t let them marry; and one of your Foundation’s largest donors, Saudi Arabia, doesn’t let women drive, let alone have the “right to choose.” Hillary you’re biggest hypocrite I’ve ever seen.”
If Hillary touts her experience and Trump’s lack thereof, instead of touting his business acumen, Trump should say:
“Really Hillary, name one success, one outstanding achievement you’ve had as Secretary of State, other than the millions in bribes you took. Benghazi, Libya, the Iran Deal? Everything you touched was a complete disaster. And President Obama did no better. Smart voters don’t want four more years of tragic failures.”
When Hillary claimed Trump rooted for the housing collapse, instead of saying that’s business, he should’ve said:
“Your husband caused it: In hair-brained effort to ‘democratize mortgage credit,’ Bill Clinton’s ‘Interagency Task Force on Fair Lending’ used a 1970 law, the Community Reinvestment Act, to force banks to lend to unqualified minority borrowers who couldn’t make a down payment. He branded resistant lenders “redliners” and his AG, Janet Reno, brought more than a dozen major fair-lending suits. He set quotas for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to buy the resulting subprime loans. This all forced lenders to make subprime loans, led to housing bubble, the subprime crisis, and ensuing housing crash.”
If Hillary claims Trump's in bed with Putin, Trump should say:
"Hillary you're the one who took $145 million in bribes to sell our uranium to Russia. Not me. Plus, Putin undoubtedly has your emails and will blackmail you so you're the Manchurian candidate, not me. Putin can't blackmail me."
And it’s not just what Trump didn’t say; it’s what he did say, when baited by Hillary. Trump needs to lay off the sideshow issues. No one cares about a former Miss America or Rosie O’Donnell. Those issues will escape voter’s minds faster than Hillary can delete 30,000 emails. Move on Donald. Stop swallowing the bait.
Donald, if you are reading this, please listen – you did a great job winning the nomination. Winning the debates is not about being tougher; it’s about being smarter. My advice? Go for the jugular (Hillary’s got a big exposed one) civilly but accurately and not some minor capillary.
Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt and flawed presidential candidate in U.S. history.
Donald, I am confident you can win this debate, win the White House, and get America winning again!
Stephen B. Meister is a founding partner of Meister, Seelig & Fein, LLP, a law firm headquartered in NYC, published author and opinion writer; opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Twitter @StephenMeister.