Connect with us

Politics

Senior UKIP figures urge supporters to rally behind party after ousting of Henry Bolton

Published

on

Politics

Trump’s federal budget is bigger than Biden’s campaign war chest

Published

on

WASHINGTON — By the most common measure, Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign fundraising operation has grown into a juggernaut that left President Donald Trump’s version in the dust. But it’s the wrong yardstick.

While Biden is flooding the airwaves with ads after nearly doubling Trump with a record-setting $364 million haul in August — the month of the two parties’ conventions — the former vice president is really running a smaller operation in an asymmetrical fight.

That’s largely because Trump has tapped the resources of the federal government to support his re-election bid in a systematic and comprehensive fashion.

In other words, Trump’s U.S. Treasury is bigger than Biden’s campaign war chest.

All presidents seeking a second term use the trappings of their office to promote their campaigns, but Trump stands out for the degree to which he has created symbiosis between the White House and his political operation.

He tapped his most influential White House aide, son-in-law Jared Kushner, to oversee the campaign from the West Wing, making it impossible to tell where one outfit starts and the other ends. And last month, he turned the Rose Garden into the stage for the last night of the Republican National Convention.

“More than some presidents, Trump is willing to use this power for political purposes, without guardrails,” Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian and Princeton University professor, said. “That was the lesson of impeachment and it will continue to play out.”

The House impeached Trump last year after he withheld almost $400 million in aid for Ukraine’s national defense while he pressured that country to announce an investigation into Biden.

Earlier this year, the White House coronavirus task force purchased billions of dollars of goods and services, and distributed and withheld emergency aid, in part on the basis of political considerations, according to sources who spoke to NBC News at the time.

The Health and Human Services Department recently opened bidding for a $250 million public relations contract to “defeat despair and inspire hope” about the coronavirus pandemic. The list of ways in which federal agency missions have been contorted to back Trump’s political ends is virtually limitless.

Like presidents before him, Trump often boasts about federal cash support for voters. On the campaign trail in Michigan last week, for example, he pointed to assistance given in the wake of a flood in the state this year.

“We’re providing more than $43 million in federal funds to help homeowners, businesses and communities in central Michigan to recover from that catastrophe,” he said.

What’s different for Trump is that the pandemic has given him more money to dole out in a single year than most presidents had budgeted in their entire terms in office. This fiscal year, the federal government is on pace to lay out $6.6 trillion — 49 percent more than in fiscal 2019 — and Trump has found ways to create bonus political benefits for himself with the taxpayer dollars, starting with the move to put his name on $290 billion in stimulus checks sent out to Americans during the height of the crisis.

He has often spoken about his concern for small businesses, and cited the $500 billion-plus Paycheck Protection Program loans backed by the federal government as one of his successes, but seldom mentions Congress’ role in its development or the small businesses that were forced to close when they couldn’t access funds.

Trump also uses federal policy to try to create leverage with voters: he deferred payroll taxes for federal workers, including members of the armed forces, and promised that he would unilaterally forgive them if he is re-elected — even though such action is generally understood to require an act of Congress.

So, while Biden is bringing in a lot of bucks — and Republicans are right to worry that the president’s totals might reflect donor apathy — Trump has demonstrated he is willing and able to use tax dollars to fund his campaign in ways that make monthly fundraising reports look like pocket change.

“That doesn’t mean he wins,” Zelizer said. “But it must be part of the calculation when we compare what the two candidates have at their disposal.”



Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Boris Johnson concocted clever plot to avoid Tory rebellion over Brexit masterplan

Published

on

BORIS JOHNSON concocted his masterplan to push through controversial new Brexit legislation to avoid rebellion from the Tory backbench, it has been claimed.

Source link

Continue Reading

Politics

Biden targets military members, Latino voters in first Florida campaign visit

Published

on

Joe Biden on Tuesday used his first 2020 visit to the critical battleground state of Florida to hammer President Donald Trump over his reported criticism of fallen military members, telling a roundtable of servicemen and women that he is the better candidate on veterans’ issues.

“Nowhere are his faults more glaring or offensive to me, at least, as when it comes to his denigration of our service members, veterans, wounded warriors, the fallen,” Biden said during a speech in Tampa. “Quite frankly, it makes me very upset the way he gets in front of a camera and crows about how much he doe for our vets and then calls them ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,'” he added, nodding to a story published in The Atlantic earlier this month on Trump’s reported remarks.

Biden’s speech was followed by a roundtable with voters about military issues — a lengthy discussion that saw the Democratic presidential nominee touch on various policy issues like mental health services for veterans and protecting social security.

Biden’s trip to Florida was his first to the critical battleground this year. He last set foot in the state exactly one year ago, when he held an event in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami.

His stop in Tampa was one of two scheduled for the trip; later Tuesday, Biden will deliver remarks at a Hispanic Heritage Month event near Orlando — a stop that could help attract Puerto Rican voters who could be key to offsetting Trump’s advantage among Cuban voters. As many as 50,000 Puerto Ricans moved to the state after Hurricane Maria, according to the University of Florida. Those transplants are eligible to vote in Florida, and Democrats could motivate them to vote for Biden because of Trump’s widely criticized response to the hurricane. In another sign of its increased targeting of the Puerto Rican community in the Orlando area, the Biden campaign on Tuesday afternoon released a new plan focused specifically on uplifting Puerto Rico.

The Biden campaign in recent weeks has upped its attention in Florida, where polls show the candidates in a dead heat. Last week, Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., traveled to Miami, where she ripped the president over his remarks to journalist Bob Woodward about the COVID-19 pandemic. Her husband Douglas Emhoff, who is Jewish, held a community conversation last week with rabbis eight miles away in Aventura.

An NBC News/Marist survey released last week found the race in Florida tied overall, but with Biden underperforming among Latino voters. Seeking to counteract that, Latino voters across Florida are being reintroduced to Biden — and reminded of Trump — in different ways in different regions.

In ads, the Biden campaign is reminding Hispanic voters how Trump’s handling of the pandemic and economy has affected them, while Black voters are hearing stories from their own community about the need to turn out or risk another four years of no progress toward racial equality.

The Biden campaign has also targeted seniors in recent weeks with testimonial-style advertising featuring residents of the Trump-leaning retirement community The Villages discussing how the president’s inability to control the virus has forced them to stay inside and away from their families.

Meanwhile, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s political operation has announced a commitment to spend $100 million in Florida with a special focus on the Latino vote.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending