The journalists at MSNBC are worried. And rather than let viewers and voters make up their own minds, they need to explain to Americans what the right decisions are. MSNBC Live host Stephanie Ruhle is worried that voters still prefer President Trump on the question of who will be better for the economy, so she invited Biden advisor Jake Sullivan on to her Thursday show to help educate them.
Ruhle began by presenting some dire economic statistics, "despite the fact that another 860,000 Americans filed for unemployment this past week, 12 million Americans are still waiting to receive unemployment benefits, and new data from Yelp reveals that 60 percent of businesses that have closed during the pandemic will never reopen again. Despite all of that, President Trump is still doing better in polls when it comes to economic issues."
According to Ruhle, this can't be because voters disapprove of Biden's economic agenda. They must be idiots: "So while his policies might not be working for millions of Americans, somehow his messaging is. So how will Joe Biden counter that?" There was no mention of the pandemic-related lockdowns in Ruhle's opening statement.
How do Democrats counter that? This question is one of the favorites of liberal journalists and it shows just how much they've picked a side. They aren't referees. They're on the Democratic team.
Hence, Sullivan's appearance was to help set things right, "Jake, you are addressing this very issue today with the message it is time to reward work, not wealth. What does that mean?"
Sullivan thanked Ruhle for allowing him to spread his message without any push back and portrayed the choice that voters face as Democrats typically do: between someone who will cut taxes for corporations and someone who will make them pay their "fair share"
Ruhle followed by worrying:
Then is something getting lost in translation here? You've got business leaders. You've got a Jamie Dimon, for example, of JPMorgan who has said we didn't need the corporate tax rate to go down to 21%. We needed it cleaner and lower but it didn't need to go here. Gary Cohn, who is one of the creators of the tax cut said it didn't need to get that low. So many of saying it's okay if corporate taxes go up somewhat yet the president would have all Americans think everybody's taxes are going up.
Sullivan replied by promising that nobody making under $400,000 will see their taxes go up and that the fact-checkers have confirmed this. Ruhle could've responded by asking how that is possible with all the new spending Biden's promised, but instead lobbed another softball Sullivan's way, "From a policy perspective, day one, what is Joe Biden going to do?"
Sullivan's great plan was for more relief packages and when asked about the stock market, said that voters should trust Biden's economic agenda, because the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania does and that's Trump's alma mater.
This segment was sponsored by E-Trade.
Here is a transcript for the September 17 show:
MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle
STEPHANIE RUHLE: People vote based on the economy and despite the fact that another 860,000 Americans filed for unemployment this past week, 12 million Americans are still waiting to receive unemployment benefits, and new data from Yelp reveals that 60% of businesses that have closed during the pandemic will never reopen again. Despite all of that, President Trump is still doing better in polls when it comes to economic issues. So while his policies might not be working for millions of Americans, somehow his messaging is. So how will Joe Biden counter that? Joining me to answer that very question, senior policy adviser to Biden's campaign, Jake Sullivan. Jake, you are addressing this very issue today with the message it is time to reward work, not wealth. What does that mean?
JAKE SULLIVAN [BIDEN CAMPAIGN SR. POLICY ADVISOR]: First of all, thanks for having me on Stephanie. So Joe Biden will be in Scranton, Pennsylvania, tonight and Minnesota tomorrow to pose a very simple question to voters. If you’re a middle class family or you’re a small business, which of these two candidates is on your side? What Joe Biden means by rewarding work rather than wealth is to look hard at what Donald Trump has done over the last three years. He has given massive tax giveaways to large corporations and to billionaires. And his proposal to deal with all of those economic numbers you just laid out is another massive cut that will overwhelmingly go for the top 1%.
…Donald Trump's view is, billionaires should actually pay a lower tax rate than your average person, and Joe Biden is basically going to say, in a report that he's laying out today, he can deliver for working families in this country. Whereas what you'll get from Donald Trump is more in the way of tax cuts for the wealthiest people in this country.
RUHLE: Then is something getting lost in translation here? You've got business leaders. You've got a Jamie Dimon, for example, of JPMorgan who has said we didn't need the corporate tax rate to go down to 21%. We needed it cleaner and lower but it didn't need to go here. Gary Cohn, who is one of the creators of the tax cut said it didn't need to get that low. So many of saying it's okay if corporate taxes go up somewhat yet the president would have all Americans think everybody's taxes are going up.
SULLIVAN: Right and, you know, he's been driving that message through paid advertising, and it's been debunked by every independent fact-checker. The simple and incontrovertible fact is that Joe Biden will not raise your taxes one penny if you make less than $400,000 a year. If you are a millionaire or you’re a corporation, he is going to ask you to pay your fair share. And in terms of the polling data that you laid out, Stephanie, I think it's important to recognize that at the start of this race, Donald Trump had an enormous advantage on the economy. Joe Biden has closed that gap dramatically and in some polls, erased that entirely, and we believe that as we frame this final choice up of who is going to fight for the middle class, for working people, for small businesses in this country, at the end of the day when people walk into the voting booth, they're going to recognize that the guy who has their back is Joe Biden. And the guy who has got the back of the wealthy and the well-connected in this country is Donald Trump.
RUHLE: Well, you’re his policy guy. From a policy perspective, day one, what is Joe Biden going to do?
SULLIVAN: Well, the first thing he's going to do is what Donald Trump has completely failed to do for six months. You've got nearly 30 million people on unemployment and as you just showed, a substantial number of small businesses in this country at risk of permanent closure. And has Donald Trump brought congressional leaders together to put together a package that
will actually help those families and businesses? That will make the major investments in infrastructure and care-giving and clean energy that can get this economy going and put millions back to work? No he's been golfing and campaigning. Joe Biden will bring congressional leaders together to pass a major relief and recovery package right out of the gate and the other thing Joe Biden will do is that part of the reason we're struggling so much in the economy right now is Donald Trump has abjectly failed to get the coronavirus under control. He has simply waved the white flag in the face of the pandemic. Joe Biden will make sure that we deal with the public health crisis because he knows that's the only way we're going to be able to deal with the economic crisis in this country
RUHLE: Well the vice president will be speaking with senate Democrats today. We know congress has still not passed another COVID relief bill. Will VP Biden push them to act, to compromise with Republicans?
SULLIVAN: You know, it's kind of an odd thing to have Joe Biden pushing the Democrats because House
Democrats passed a bill back in May that would provide relief for working people. That's more than 100 days ago. And Senate Democrats have been willing to sit down and negotiate all the way through. So the real issue here is not about what folks up on the Hill are prepared to do it's what the guy in the oval office is prepared to do and he has so far abdicated his responsibility to bring the parties together to get a relief bill through. There's nothing that Senate Democrats would like more than to provide the kind of relief to people in this country that they so desperately need. And also to provide the resources to get our schools open, to get our businesses back open, to get testing and tracing and all the other things we need to get the pandemic under control. The responsibility here lies squarely at the feet of Donald Trump.
RUHLE: Obviously, not all Americans play in the stock market, but millions of Americans are reliant on their pensions, their 401(k)s. President Trump is saying to them, look at that 401(k), it's doing pretty well. Without me, it will be gone.
How do you give those Americans security that vice president isn't a retirement account loser?
SULLIVAN: Well, actually, the best evidence that we've received recently has come from Donald Trump's Alma mater, from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. They analyzed Joe Biden's plan and say it adds to growth over the long term. That he will actually boost economic growth in this country (…)