The Rushmore Report: Trump’s Closing Argument


Election Day is just five days away. The unlikely candidacy of Donald Trump, having received a recent bump from the FBI’s renewed investigation into Clinton’s emails, is off life support. While barnstorming the swing states of Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, and Nevada, Trump is going all out to persuade the few remaining undecided voters to come over to his side. This is his closing argument.

1. Draining the Swamp

Trump has ridden a wave of anti-Washington sentiment all year, and in the final week of his campaign he’s trying to crystallize that message. Trump recently rolled out a reform package he’s referring to as “draining the swamp.” He wants to pass a constitutional amendment setting term limits for lawmakers. He’s also calling for a hiring freeze on non-military federal employees, lobbying restrictions, and a sharp reduction in federal regulations.

2. A Rigged System

Trump recently spent most of his message at a St. Augustine, Florida rally, railing against the media. “They’re almost as crooked as Hillary,” he said. “They may be even more crooked than Hillary, because without them, she’d be nothing.” Trump calls polls that have him trailing Clinton “phony.” Trump is the ultimate outsider. At a time when 75 percent of the nation think we are on the wrong track, expect him to hit this theme at every stop.

3. A History of Accomplishment

Last week, Trump was on hand for the opening of another huge hotel he had built. “It opened ahead of time and below budget,” he said. “What I have done in business, I will do for America.” Expect Trump to emphasize his record of job creation and real estate success.

4. FBI Investigation

First, there was “Low-energy Jeb.” Then we had “Ly’in Ted” and “Little Marco.” Now it’s “Crooked Hillary” – 24/7. The relaunch of the FBI look into Clinton’s never-ending email controversy fuels Trump’s message. Expect to hear about her latest criminal conundrum with every speech.

Will Trump’s closing argument be enough? We’ll know in five days.

About the Author

Asma Khalid is a writer for National Public Radio. She is a political reporter whose focus is the intersection of demographics and politics in the 2016 election.


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