The latest bombshell from the Trump campaign was the publication, by the New York Times, of portions of Donald Trump’s 1995 tax returns.
As almost everyone now knows, the “very successful businessman” declared a $916-million loss that year. This led to rampant and most likely accurate speculation that since that date he has paid no federal taxes. Not one cent!
Now seeming prescient on this issue, Hillary Clinton asked at the first debate: Why has Trump refused to release his returns?
Trump’s campaign objected to the “legality” of the disclosure but did not question the veracity of the filing. Two of Trump’s most ardent surrogates sought to put the ultimate spin on the story.
Rudy Giuliani exclaimed: “He’s a genius, absolute genius. This was a perfectly legal application of the tax code, and he would’ve been a fool not to take advantage of it.” Giuliani is week after week destroying his image. All the good things said about his role as mayor of New York after 9/11 are being washed away by his slavish allegiance to Trump and his support of everything he says and does.
You might recall that Giuliani ran for president and that his campaign ended shortly after it began. He obviously has nothing better to do or to occupy his time. He will go down in history as Trump’s number-one flack. What a legacy!
The other chief surrogate is Chris Christie. The massively unpopular governor of New Jersey reacted to the story with this quote: “This is actually a very good story for Donald Trump. What it shows is what an absolute mess the federal tax code is, and that’s why Donald Trump is the person best positioned to fix it.” He, too, called Trump a “genius.”
Christie, by the way, chairs Trump’s presidential transition committee. You might remember that he too ran for president. After attacking Trump and ridiculing him in New Hampshire, he promptly dropped out after the primary, made an instant conversion and became Trump’s cheerleader in chief. He was not charged or indicted for his role in Bridgegate — the political scandal in which lane closures, ordered by New Jersey state officials, at the western entrance of the George Washington Bridge created traffic jams, supposedly to punish the mayor of Fort Lee for not endorsing Christie for governor in September 2013. The prosecutor at the beginning of the trial now taking place stated clearly that Christie knew about it and approved of the criminal activities that followed. More to come on this, trust me.
Giuliani and Christie, quite a duo. In their search for collateral fame, prominence and relevance, they have totally ruined their credibility and reputation.
To sum it all up, I believe Bernie Sanders said it best: “Trump goes around and says: ‘Hey, I’m worth billions. I’m a successful businessman! And I don’t pay any taxes. But you — you make 15 bucks an hour; you pay the taxes, not me.’ ”
Here’s the last word on this whole revolting situation. I read somewhere that Trump is of the Leona Helmsley school. Her husband was a Manhattan real estate mogul bigger than Trump at the time. You remember her line: “Only the little people pay taxes.”
**The New York Times, Rounding Up Latino Votes**
Did you see the lead editorial in Sunday’s New York Times? Entirely in Spanish. I believe that is a first. The Hispanic vote is key for Clinton. Hispanic voter turnout was 20 points lower than that of African American and white voters in 2012. (About 48 percent turned out.)
A certain constituency can overwhelmingly be for you. But if they don’t come out and vote for you, it doesn’t mean anything.