Five ways for Trump to score points in tonight's debate
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How many of Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE’s “issues” in the first two Presidential debates were of his own making and how many the product of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces DHS cyber agency to prioritize election security, Chinese threats ABC chose a debate moderator who hates Trump MORE’s spin machine is probably a matter of one’s own political view.

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What is indisputable is this: Time is short. For Donald Trump, he seemingly needs a miracle to beat Hillary at this point.

To jumpstart his White House bid, here are 5 ways Trump can improve at this debate. 

1. Avoid rising to the bait. Talk about the issues. Hillary Clinton’s election strategy at this point in the campaign can be summarized quite simply. Run out the clock. Everyday spent talking about twenty year old beauty pageants, Donald Trump’s comments about women he found attractive and tax returns is a day when no one is talking about the issues.

No one is discussing Benghazi. No one is discussing the Clinton Foundation’s influence-peddling scheme. No one is talking about classified emails sent on an unsecured server and the scandal of the FBI’s failure to prosecute. 

2. Talk more about trade and the economy. The Obama Administration has made a profession out of economic “statistics” so caveated and manipulated as to be meaningless. Chief amongst these is the unemployment rate, which, if it is to be believed, is so low that we are close to full unemployment. Americans who will watch the debate sitting on couches at home with their unemployed adult children know better.

Americans know our economy has been hollowed out. They know a generation ago families maintained a middle class standard of living on the wages of one bread winner. They know that it now takes two people at least, both working multiple part time jobs without benefits or prospect of advancement, to allow them to cling desperately to a middle class lifestyle. They know that when Donald Trump talks about the mass exodus of manufacturing jobs, he is speaking the truth. They drive past those empty factories everyday.

3. Elaborate about defense and the perilous state of world affairs. What President Obama and his key advisors, among them Hillary Clinton, have done to our national security is terrifying. NATO is teetering on the edge of a shooting war with Russia, just ask Turkey. The Chinese are menacing the entire South China Sea through which one third of the world’s trade passes.

The North Koreans are close to perfecting the capability to launch nuclear missiles. The day is not far off when they will be able not simply to detonate nuclear devices in test shafts on their own soil but to threaten our cities with annihilation. The scourge of Radical Islamic-inspired terrorism grows. Entire nation states in the Middle East have disintegrated.

In Aleppo, relentless aerial bombardment by Vladimir Putin and the Assad regime threatens to slaughter an entire city. Through all of this, Obama and Hillary have been completely ineffective. They have cut our military to the bone. They have apologized to our enemies. They have deserted our allies. They have endangered our nation and our people. 

4. Immigration control. He could remind Americans about the perils of unchecked immigration and a de facto open border policy. Talk about what it has done to our crime rate and our economy. Talk about the transformation of our Border Patrol into a weakened force.

Remind Americans, immigrants and descendants of immigrants all, that we are a nation of laws and that a nation that cannot control its borders cannot survive.

5. Hit Clinton on integrity issues. He could ask her directly about the blatant corruption that pervades the Clinton campaign and has been the hallmark of the Clintons’ political existence for decades. Talk about a Secretary of State who flaunts our security regulations, jeopardizes our national security and operates a home brewed email server and then skates free of any consequences.

Talk about a Secretary of State who allows American diplomats to be killed in Libya and then lies and distorts the facts to protect the only thing that truly matters to her, her own political future. Talk about decades of corruption and influence peddling and a political establishment that has insulated the Clintons and their allies from any and all consequences.

Talk about the issues. Hillary won’t.

Faddis is a former CIA operations officer with 20 years of experience in intelligence operations. He is a senior editor for AND Magazine and a contributor to counterterrorism and homeland security journals. He is author of "Operation Hotel California."


 

The views of Contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill