U.S. ELECTION WRAP: Trump Talks Taxes as Fresh Challenges Emerge

Donald Trump seeks to steer the conversation back to the economy, but the political hits just keep coming.

Donald Trump’s Economic Policy Speech in 3 Minutes

Donald Trump sought to focus the day on his economic proposals in a broad policy address, yet he faces new political challenges—including a poll showing him losing to Hillary Clinton by double digits and the unexpected entry of another candidate into the race for the White House.

  • As Trump outlined his economic vision in Detroit, a new Monmouth University poll showed his Democratic rival backed by 46% of registered voters vs 34% for him, 7% for Libertarian Gary Johnson and 2% for Green Party’s Jill Stein; Clinton had a narrower 43% to 40% lead over Trump in same survey taken last month, before the conventions
  • Evan McMullin, a former top aide at the House Republican Conference and one-time CIA counterterrorism officer, will run for president as a third-party conservative alternative to Donald Trump, the independent candidate told ABC News
  • Trump, following a week of tension with Republican leaders and prominent defections to Clinton’s side, today stressed willingness to work with the GOP on his tax plan and praised his party for making “new history by selecting a nominee from outside the rigged and corrupt system”
    • “I think he’s trying to signal to Republicans that he’s with them on financial reform,” Mark Calabria, head of financial regulation studies at Cato Institute, said. “To some degree, it is also an attempt to force Clinton to further defend the status quo”
  • The New York real estate developer’s updated economic plan borrows liberally from the traditional Republican playbook, Bloomberg’s Andrew Mayeda and Christopher Condon reported; see story here
  • Trump announced changes to his plan to slash individual income-tax rates, taking the top rate down to 33% from a current 39.6%, higher than the 25% top rate he initially proposed
    • Trump’s new proposed rates of 12%, 25% and 33% mirror those proposed by House Republicans under Speaker Paul Ryan in June, Bloomberg’s Kevin Cirilli and Jennifer Jacobs reported
  • Trump went after Clinton for supporting “high taxes and radical regulation,” her “bad judgment” and prior support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, alleging that his Democratic rival would betray voters by backing the agreement if elected
    • “Her donors will make sure of it,” he said. “A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for TPP—and it’s also a vote for NAFTA”
  • Clinton, in a Tweet prior to Trump’s speech, contended that the GOP nominee’s plan amounts to lower wages, fewer jobs, more debt and “tax breaks for the 0.1%”

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ON THE TRAIL

  • At a rally in St. Petersburg, Fla., Clinton reminded the crowd that Election Day is exactly three months away—November 8—and that there’s “work to do”
    • “Don’t be fooled. There is no other Donald Trump. What you see is what you get,” she said
    • “He’s the same person who can be provoked over a Tweet” and enjoys “tormenting” protesters, journalists and “even a crying baby and a Gold Star family”
    • “Just imagine Donald Trump in the Oval Office facing a real crisis,” she said. “What happens when someone gets under his skin?”
  • Clinton plans an economic speech on Thursday to counter Trump’s plan, Bloomberg’s Jennifer Epstein reported; see story here

 

DODD-FRANK

  • Trump today proposed a temporary moratorium on new financial regulations, underscoring Dodd-Frank’s role as a hot topic in this year’s elections
    • Bloomberg’s Laurence Arnold and Jesse Westbrook look at the banking law and the 2016 ballot in a “QuickTake Q&A” 
  • In Pennsylvania today, Democrat Katie McGinty—who served as an environmental adviser in the Clinton administration and is now trying to unseat Republican Senator Pat Toomey—vowed to protect the banking law while also pursuing “common-sense changes” to help small lenders
    • McGinty attacked GOP incumbent Toomey for wanting to repeal Dodd-Frank and “undermine” reforms to “prevent another financial crisis”
    • Toomey allies have attacked McGinty as a liberal who wants to raise taxes, especially on energy sources
    • Toomey and McGinty are tied, according to a poll average by Real Clear Politics; in the presidential race, Pennsylvania is in the “lean Democrat” column, according to Cook Political Report
  • Trump told Reuters in May he would dismantle Dodd-Frank, which Congress passed six years ago in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis
    • House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas, has sought to abolish Dodd-Frank’s Volcker Rule, which restricts banks with taxpayer-backed deposits from making “proprietary” trades, revamp the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and let banks effectively escape Dodd-Frank if they raise several hundred billions of dollars in extra capital as a cushion for bad times
    • While Dodd-Frank isn’t bulletproof, Arnold and Westbrook note that the law already survived the GOP election onslaught of 2010 and that the longer it remains on the books, the more it becomes the norm
    • As far as Democratic calls to toughen Dodd-Frank, such proposals aren’t feasible if Republicans maintain control of Congress, Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Nathan Dean and Ben Elliott wrote in a July 26 note
  • Clinton has pledged to veto any legislation that would relax financial reform and to “fight for tough new rules, stronger enforcement and more accountability that go well beyond Dodd-Frank,” according to her December 7 New York Times op-ed

 

POLLS/PREDICTIONS

  • With three months to go in the 2016 race, there is a presumption among most Democrats and more than a few Republicans that Clinton is headed to a decisive victory, Bloomberg View’s Albert R. Hunt wrote
    • Democrats are talking about a possible wave, while Republicans see a “no-coattails” election, particularly since Clinton herself remains unpopular, according to Hunt; see his column here
  • Clinton has a 55.3% chance of winning Georgia, a state that may now be in play, according to FiveThirtyEight’s constantly adjusting prediction model based on polls only; the site projects Trump has a 44.7% chance of winning the state that hasn’t backed a Democratic presidential candidate since 1992
  • If the election were held today, Clinton’s chances shoot up to a 73.8% likelihood vs Trump’s 26.2%; but if the economy and historical data are taken into account, Trump leads with a 67.1% chance of winning Georgia vs 32.9% for Clinton
    • The projection follows a survey from JMC Analytics and Polling in which Clinton leads Trump 44% to 37% in Georgia, suggesting a wider lead than an Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll last week that put Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points

 

FUNDRAISING

  • Clinton’s campaign is stepping up fundraising efforts after the $80 million raised by Trump in July set off alarm bells, Politico reported, citing an internal memo

 

ENDORSEMENTS/RENUNCIATIONS

  • Fifty of the U.S.’s most senior GOP national security officials, many from former President George W. Bush’s administration, have signed a letter declaring Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being,” the New York Times reported
  • Chief spokesman for the Florida Republican Party, Wadi Gaitan, is leaving his job over differences with Trump, the Washington Post reported
    • Gaitan, who is Hispanic, will be joining the Libre Initiative, a grassroots group backed by the Koch brothers
  • Meanwhile, George P. Bush, Texas land commissioner and son of former GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush, is asking Republicans in his state to back Trump, according to the Texas Tribune
    • “From Team Bush, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton,” Bush told GOP activists on Saturday, the Tribune reported, citing video of the remarks provided by an audience member
  • Former Michigan Governor William Milliken, a moderate Republican, is endorsing Clinton for the presidency, Detroit Free Press reported
    • “This nation has long prided itself on its abiding commitments to tolerance, civility and equality,” Milliken said in a statement. “I am saddened and dismayed that the Republican Party this year has nominated a candidate who has repeatedly demonstrated that he does not embrace those ideals”

 

ETC

  • New U.S. citizens could help swing voters against Trump, Bloomberg’s Nacha Cattan and Eric Martin report; see story here
  • Democratic lawyer Marc E. Elias is pushing cases across the country to make it easier for constituents to vote, the Washington Post reported
  • Trump is on track to become the nation’s “fast food president,” the New York Times reported
    • Eating junk food can help Trump with blue-collar voters, story says
  • If elected, Clinton probably wouldn’t keep John Kerry as secretary of state, Politico reported
    • Potential picks include William Burns and Wendy Sherman, both of whom served with Clinton while she was secretary of state under President Obama

 

CONGRESSIONAL RACES

  • FL-SEN: Republican Sen. Marco Rubio opposes abortion for pregnant women infected with the Zika virus, Politico reported
    • “I understand a lot of people disagree with my view—but I believe that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws,” Rubio said
    • Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which supports Rep. Patrick Murphy over Rep. Alan Grayson in Aug. 30 primary, said in statement that Rubio has “extreme anti-choice stance”
  • IN-SEN: National Republican Senatorial Committee in TV ad accused Democrat Evan Bayh of having “toed the Obama party line” when he was in the Senate, including votes for the Obama administration’s economic stimulus and health-care plans
    • TV ad also attacks Bayh for backing the “Wall Street bailout,” a $700 billion plan to stabilize the financial markets that was signed into law by President George W. Bush and supported by Obama
    • Bayh campaign released statement saying in part that Bayh is a “moderate ’fiscal hawk’ who opposed wasteful spending and fought to cut taxes” and that the Affordable Care Act “is working for Hoosiers”
  • NV-SEN: Republican Rep. Joe Heck released TV ad highlighting his service in the military, including “three tours of active duty” and how he “saved America’s bravest heroes” as an osteopathic doctor
    • Ad refers to the three-term congressman and former state senator as “Dr. Joe Heck"; Democratic nominee is ex-state Atty. Gen. Catherine Cortez Masto
  • ME-02: Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin released 60-second TV ad that highlights his upbringing and his support in Congress for balanced-budget amendment and opposition to Iran nuclear deal and ‘‘bad trade deals threatening Maine jobs’’
    • Poliquin voted against trade promotion authority in 2015, breaking with most Republicans
    • Democratic state Sen. Emily Cain will be aided by TV ads by End Citizens United, according to statement today from group that supports overturning 2010 Supreme Court decision that loosened restrictions on independent political spending
    • District includes Lewiston and Bangor and voted for Obama 53%-44% in 2012 election; Poliquin beat Cain 47%-42% in 2014
  • MN-02: Democrat Angie Craig in TV ad said she promoted programs to hire more military veterans and advance women in leadership positions when she was an executive at St. Jude Medical
    • Craig will face winner of four-candidate Republican primary tomorrow
    • Republican Rep. John Kline is retiring from district that includes some southern suburbs of St. Paul and Minneapolis; Obama carried the district by less than 1/10 of one percentage point in the 2012 election
  • WA-07: State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw will face state Sen. Pramila Jayapal in all-Democratic general election, Seattle Times reported
    • Jayapal led all-candidate Aug. 2 primary with 42 percent; Walkinshaw has 21 percent, compared with 19 percent for King County Councilman Joe McDermott, who conceded Aug. 5 as vote count continues
    • Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott retiring from Seattle-based district that is overwhelmingly Democratic
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