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Trump team can’t stop talking about what he won’t talk about

Hillary Clinton is on the stump with Bernie

Hillary Clinton is on the stump with Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, as the Democratic candidate's campaign works to appeal to the millennials who supported the Vermont senator during the primaries. Credit: AP / Matt Rourke

Bill cheated? You don’t say!

Donald Trump was quick to congratulate himself after his first debate with Hillary Clinton for not bringing up “the many affairs that Bill Clinton had.” His surrogates too are praising him for not discussing the affairs. What were the names again?

“Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky — my goodness,” said Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on MSNBC.

“Clearly Mr. Trump held his tongue,” deputy campaign manager David Bossie said. He also told “Fox and Friends” that Hillary Clinton was “an enabler” of her husband’s infidelities.

“That took a lot of courage” to not mention the affairs, son Eric Trump told an Iowa radio station. “I’m proud of him.”

Trump said he held back because Chelsea Clinton was in the audience — and hinted that the next time, he might not.

Chelsea told Cosmopolitan Magazine she’s unmoved by the prospect. “Candidly, I don’t remember a time in my life when my parents and my family weren’t being attacked,” she said.

The take-away: Seeing stars

Was it the Trans-Pacific Partnership that everyone was talking about after the Hofstra debate? Well, not as much as Rosie O’Donnell or a former Miss Universe or what Donald Trump did or didn't say on Howard Stern’s show.

Celebrities are more than fundraising draws in an election featuring a candidate who built on his fame through the gossip pages and a reality show. As Newsday’s Dan Janison writes, they have become more central to the political discussion.

Back to debate school

Trump advisers were discouraged and frustrated by his Hofstra debate performance, The New York Times reported. Early on, he stopped attacking Clinton on trade and character issues, and instead grew erratic, impatient and subdued.

They are still developing plans to prepare him for the second debate, which has a town hall format and will be held Oct 9. In prep sessions for the first one, Trump received conflicting advice from an oversized team and found it hard to focus, the report said.

Meanwhile, Trump offered this from the 'Just Say Anything' department: Google is somehow suppressing negative headlines on Clinton.

Reversal of fortune

Forbes magazine estimates Trump’s fortune at $3.7 billion, down $800 million from a year ago.

It attributed the drop to a softening of New York City’s real estate market, particularly in retail and office space, and new information it reviewed. Trump’s campaign responded: “Forbes knows nothing about Mr. Trump, his company or his assets, which are among the best in the world.”

Bringing in Bernie

Clinton looked to shore up support among young voters Wednesday by appearing alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire to tout her plans to make public colleges and universities free for middle- and low-income families. See the story by Newsday’s Laura Figueroa.

Winning over millennials who backed Sanders and are unenthusiastic about Clinton may prove critical in northern swing states where he ran strong, Bloomberg News says. There are modest indications of progress for her.

She's also struggling to retrieve potential third-party voters. 

Enduring themes

In a Midwest swing through Iowa and Wisconsin, Trump promised to unravel current trade agreements and return jobs that were lost overseas, reports Newsday’s Michael Gormley. “The large corporations who support terrible trade deals … they contribute big, big money” to Clinton, Trump said.

Trump also went back at the “stamina” issue he has tried to promote against Clinton, telling a crowd: “All those day offs, and she can’t even make it to her car.”

It was a reference to her pneumonia-induced stumble in Manhattan on Sept. 11.

What else is happening

  • A Reuters-Ipsos poll found a 56% majority of Americans believed Clinton won the first debate, while Trump was seen as the winner by 26%. An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll came up with similar results.
  • When Trump rolled into Iowa, where early voting is set to begin, he issued an appeal to Christian conservatives.
  • U.S. officials are "increasingly confident" that Russia keeps hacker Guccifer 2.0 at "arm's length" to mask its own involvement in cyberthefts, including from the Democrats, the WSJ reports.
  • Gary Johnson did it again -- couldn't seem to name a foreign leader in a televised forum -- and quipped: "I guess I'm having an Aleppo moment."
  • Michelle Obama, campaigning for Clinton in Virginia, said Trump can’t get off the hook for his role promoting the “hurtful, deceitful” birther theory with “an insincere sentence uttered at a press conference.”
  • Clinton is talking more about how she and Bill Clinton come from humbler origins than Trump. The story has been refined since her much-mocked 2014 comment that the Clintons were “dead broke” when they left the White House.
  • Former GOP Sen. John Warner of Virginia endorsed Clinton, saying Trump lacks the skills to lead. “You do not pull up a quick text like ‘National Security for Dummies,’ ” he said. “You have to build on a foundation of experience.”
  • The creator of Pepe the Frog — a cartoon character adopted by pro-Trump alt-right meme creators — told Esquire magazine he is voting for Clinton.
  • An ABC News/Washington Post poll found majorities of Clinton supporters believe minorities and women have too little influence in American society. Trump supporters were likelier to endorse the status quo.
  • The latest historically Republican-leaning newspaper to endorse Clinton is The Arizona Republic. It had never supported a Democrat for president since its founding in 1890.
  • Trump's own excess pounds don't prevent him from obsessing over the overweight of others, as the WaPo spells out.
  • Employees at Trump's California golf course swore he wanted to fire restaurant hosteeses who were "not pretty enough."
  • Trump had secret business involving Cuba despite the embargo in the 1990's, Newsweek says.


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