Donald Trump reminded voters at least seven different times during Monday night’s presidential debate that he’s the outsider candidate and Hillary Clinton is a politician and part of the Washington, D.C. establishment.
Trump repeatedly used phrases including, “Politicians like Secretary Clinton…” and “Secretary Clinton and others politicians…” describing them as “Typical politicians,” that are “All talk, no action,” during the debate.
Republican campaign officials tell Breitbart News this is the right approach for the Republican nominee.
“It is a good strategy for Trump to remind voters that Clinton is a politician and a member of what has become modern day political dynasty,” Deana Bass of Bass Public Affairs, who served as press secretary for Dr. Ben Carson during the 2016 GOP primary, explained to Breitbart News.
“One thing this campaign cycle has taught us is that Americans are not pleased with the status quo and politics and politicians as usual. It is in Trump’s best interest to point out that he is not a politician and he will shake up things in Washington,” she added.
Matt Beynon, who served as Sen. Rick Santorum’s spokesperson during the GOP primary, agreed with Bass that it was smart for Trump to remind voters that Clinton is an establishment politician and has been “part of the problem for the past 25 years.”
Beynon pointed to one particular exchange between Trump and Clinton on trade — specifically the North American Free Trade Agreement.
“She’s been doing this for 30 years. And why hasn’t she made the agreements better? The NAFTA agreement is defective,” Trump charged about his rival.
“I think my husband did a pretty good job in the 1990s,” Clinton later added.
“Well, he approved NAFTA,” Trump interrupted. “He approved NAFTA, which is the single worst trade deal ever approved in this country.”
“Incomes went up for everybody. Manufacturing jobs went up also in the 1990s, if we’re actually going to look at the facts,” Clinton responded.
According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), manufacturing employment in the 1990s didn’t necessarily increase as Clinton stated, but remained steady, declining 0.3 percent each year.
“Between 1989 and 2000, manufacturing output and productivity growth averaged, respectively, 3.7 percent and 4.1 percent per year. As a result, the two largely offset one another and manufacturing employment was relatively stable, declining 0.3 percent per year,” analyzed Robert E. Scott, EPI’s director of trade and manufacturing policy research.
“The part that went very underreported by the DC and New York media was how hard Trump hammered Clinton on NAFTA,” Beynon recalled of the debate.
“Tying Clinton to NAFTA is a homerun in places like Scranton and Youngstown,” he explained. “Communities like that have been hit hard by NAFTA care a whole lot more about trade deals that help American workers than whether Donald Trump was sued 40 years ago. Those voters tuned out the petty parts of the debate but Trump hit a homerun with his trade talk.”
Like Beynon and Bass, Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2016 campaign spokesman Hogan Gidley praised Trump’s strategy to remind voters that Clinton is part of the establishment.
“It’s a good strategy because it’s true and it undergirds what most Americans believe – that Hillary Clinton is a lifelong politician that embodies the establishment and establishment politicians are to blame for many of their problems,” Gidley explained to Breitbart News. “Simply put, Americans who have seen their jobs shipped overseas, their wages plummet, their taxes rise and their safety threatened by terrorist attacks blame politicians. Hillary is at the epicenter of their anger.”