Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer to the studio.
During the third hour, Brewer reviewed current polling numbers for Biden versus Trump stating that it was important that Trump take a more presidential approach to the debate. He added that voters right now are looking for a president that is going to cure the country of the riots and the violence.
Leahy: And welcome back to the Tennessee Star Report. We are on with Clint Brewer. All-star panelist and reformed and recovering journalist. And Clint, five weeks until the election. The debate is going to be held tonight. Very interesting polls just came out this morning. General election Trump versus Biden. The Harvard Harris has polled Biden 47 Trump 45 plus 2.
Leahy: Narrowing. Wisconsin, Susquehanna Poll, Biden 48 Trump 46 plus 2. I mean, it’s following a certain pattern here, isn’t it?
Brewer: Yeah, I mean you can see a trend in some of the polls but tightening. I think the figure I heard this morning was the RealClearPolitics. It’s still like a 9 point average. But look, I think we’ve discussed this with the president before. With this president, you can kind of take polls and throw them out the window.
Leahy: And totally throw them out, because, you know, the shy Trump voter. I’m looking right now RealClearPolitics average, general election of the general population, Biden plus 6.
Leahy: But you know, it’s interesting. There’s one thrown in there by the ABC News and the Washington Post poll and the Fox poll. They all over sample Democrats in my view dramatically. But you know it again it’s sort of playing out a little bit like 2016 did with all the pollsters saying, you know, it’s going to be Hillary. It’s going to be Hillary. Oops!
Brewer: Yeah. I mean the people I know inside the campaign, the theme is that you know, they’re ahead at this moment, they are ahead of where they were against Hillary Clinton in 2016, still behind but you know, he plays from behind. Here’s the thing, the debate tonight…
Leahy: The debate tonight.
Brewer: All of these debates. You know, it’s similar to the situation we described with Senator Harris and the confirmation. I mean there’s you know, it’s a huge amount of risk and a huge amount of reward. And you know, I think for the president he’s you know, hamstrung himself tactically a little bit in that he’s lowered expectations for Biden too much. Biden has a history of gaffes by them, you know that Biden is also an experienced debater.
Leahy: He is an experienced debater, and he’s been resting up.
Brewer: He’s been resting.
Leahy: Big time!
Brewer: And he’s well-rested. You can’t say you can’t knock him for not being, but you know, I think he’s lowered the bar down too much.
Leahy: Yes, I think you’re probably right.
Brewer: And you know, I think for Biden, you know, all these topics that Chris Wallace has laid out all I mean, they’re the right topics in a lot of ways. But I think they’re all laid out and they all point at the president. I mean, they’re all about the president’s performance. And so, you know for Biden that looks great on paper. But again, it’s the how far do you take it? You know, how far do you take it?
Where is that line where you reach diminishing returns with the people who are going to decide the race? And those are the people who were in the middle of both parties looking for a home. All right. I mean looking for a comfort level with both candidates. I mean the thing I see in the polls is that there’s not a huge comfort level broadly with either candidate. Now in their bases there are.
Leahy: Well the base of Trump space loves them.
Leahy: Biden’s base tolerates him. That’s a good way to put it and so…
Brewer: You know, but it’s those it’s that group in the middle that don’t consider themselves too far. The voters who are too far left who are just looking for somebody in difficult times to trust. And I think that that trust factor, and I mean really, and it won’t happen – it never happens. If the president was going to do anything super intelligent tonight, it might be to be a little understated. I mean like he gets asked about his taxes.
I actually thought his answer was great, which was well, I just follow the laws of the country. I had professional people prepare these, and I’m a real estate developer and depreciation is a real thing. And you know, I haven’t done anything that, you know, 10,000 job creators in this country haven’t done every year for the last 50 years.
Leahy: It’s good.
Brewer: I could you know, I don’t know why you know, and that’s too nuanced really. I mean this whole idea of he didn’t pay taxes. So either he’s a crook or he’s a bad business person. That really is inaccurate, and I’m not being an apologist for the president, but that’s just factual. And business people, you know, so, I mean, I think Biden can take it too far right? And you know, I don’t think the Supreme Court justice is a winner for Biden. I got to tell you, I just don’t think so.
Leahy: And you know, the angle they’re saying is, well you’re going to lose your Affordable Care Act and healthcare Obamacare projection because of this nomination. And that I think leads in the direction to say well what do you think the Supreme Court’s job is Mr. Biden?
Brewer: Yeah, and the other thing is that I think the Americans, if you just look at the nuance in the polls, Americans are trying to find a candidate. Americans who are not already firmly in a camp are trying to find a candidate they trust more. And so, you know, the president needs to maybe dial it back to 65 percent (Leahy laughs) of his normal acts and look a little more presidential tonight. I think Biden, former Vice President Biden needs to really work to find that line and get right up to it, but not cross it in terms of his attack.
Leahy: Yeah. I think what he’s being coached to do, Biden, is in the first half hour to show aggressive behavior, attacking the president but not going quite too far. I think that’s what they’re coaching him to do.
Brewer: Well, what he’s got to lay off the case of why me, right? I mean like, why me over the president? I mean, they’re not terribly dissimilar. Right? I mean, they both have a habit of saying things that get them in trouble.
Leahy: And they are both septuagenarians.
Brewer: They’re both of the same age. I mean they’re both white males.
Leahy: They both have hair issues of a kind the present I think hair is going to come up. I think here’s what I predict, ready? Biden is going to say I didn’t spend $70,000 on a hairdresser. And then Trump is going to say yeah, but it’s all my real hair, Joe. That’s what I think is going to happen.
Brewer: Maybe, I’m not sure that’s a true statement.
Brewer: That it’s all his actual hair.
Leahy: Well it’s plugged in.
Brewer: Well, we don’t know. It’s not confirmed.
Leahy: No, no people have pulled on his hair, you know?
Leahy: Well, yeah, I think it is his real hair. It’s a but the color may not be COVID-19.
Brewer: It’s the ninth wonder of the world let me tell you.
Leahy: But you know, Joe Biden back into the 80s got the plugs. Rush calls him plugs.
Brewer: Yeah. Look, I think that you know, tonight is going to be a real balancing act for both candidates. I don’t think Trump can go 120 percent at Trump. And I don’t think Biden can carry it too far. I think he’s going to be careful. Because again, I think this election after you, you know, after people go to their corners, and all the people without a corner are going to be looking for the candidate, that they feel like can pull this country out of the situation it’s in.
Leahy: It’s quite the mess isn’t it?
Brewer: With the pandemic and with the riots. I mean, we’re in a pretty bad spot right now.
Leahy: Yeah, we’ve been in better spots.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Debate Stage” by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0.