Rich Zeoli Column: It’s Still The Economy, Stupid

By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s STILL the Economy, Stupid.

So let me understand. The Republican party nominated a highly successful billionaire who has created thousands of jobs and built companies all over the world and the message is…corruption? Huh?

Look, I get it. The Clintons are the embodiment of corruption. The Clinton Foundation makes the Genco Olive Oil company look like a legit storefront. But Donald Trump isn’t a former federal prosecutor. He’s a businessman who understands the economy. Millions of Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or have stagnant wages. So why is the main issue in this campaign corruption?

Drain the Swamp? How about Lift up my Paycheck?

Maybe you think I don’t get it. The Clintons are corrupt and you’re saying and I don’t get it. But I do get it. Sadly, so do the voters. They just don’t care. Over 60 percent of voters think Hillary Clinton is untrustworthy and dishonest. They trust the flesh eating bacteria more than Hillary Clinton. Pirates have higher favorability. I’m talking old school walk the plank pillage pirates. Yet she is still leading in not only the RealClear average of polls, but every battleground state poll. So what’s going on?

Voters think all politicians are corrupt. It’s why everyone, and I do mean everyone, hates Congress. The argument that my opponent is more corrupt doesn’t work because no one is perfect. Everyone has a blemish. So if you make the debate about character or corruption, you end up arguing over who is more sleazy. Plus, voters don’t think it will ever change. We’ve heard the drain the swamp message before but the swamp is still home to lots of sleaze.

I know, I know. Donald Trump is different you say. If anyone can clean it up it’s him. Here’s another point. Voters don’t care about corruption. They care about their jobs. If corruption was the issue, why isn’t Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor who put away over 150 corrupt Jersey politicians, the nominee? The billionaire businessman needs to talk about jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s it.

Tonight is a night for Donald Trump to get back on message. The message is the economy and jobs. He needs to make the case that his decades of business experience is the answer to America’s fiscal woes. No one cares if they drain the swamp as long as they can get jobs building condos with water views and working at the swamp side outlet shops.

James Carville was right in 1992 when he said it’s the economy stupid. It wasn’t about character then, or Clinton would have lost, and it isn’t about character now, and Clinton may win. Donald Trump needs to convince millions of voters that he can create jobs and make them more money by slashing regulations and taxes.

Make that case. Before it’s too late. Leave the Swamp. Lift the Paycheck.

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