Trump and Clinton at the final presidential debate in 2016. Photo: Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images

Philippe Reines, who played Donald Trump in mock debates with his longtime boss Hillary Clinton, has this advice for 2020 Dems, in a WashPost opinion piece.

His first commandment: "Go high when you can. But when he goes low, take advantage of the kneeling to knock his block off."

  • "Don’t apologize. Ever."
  • "A lot of industries are going to want to hedge their bets. Don’t declare you won’t take money from lobbyists. Take cigarette money. Counterfeit your own."
  • "Swing at every pitch. Trump never says, 'I’m not dignifying that with an answer.'"
  • "Do it yourself. Every time. On camera. Online. Surrogates are no match."
  • "Don’t cede Fox News."
  • "Boast. Gloat. About your accomplishments. Your biceps. Your everything. You didn’t co-sponsor; you got it done on your inevitable path to Mount Rushmore."
  • "Don’t wait for post-debate polls. You won. It’s obvious. Everyone saw. Say it onstage."
  • "Work the refs. The media are going to mess with you. Don’t rely on them. Call them out. You’re running for president of the United States, not the National Press Club."
  • "Resign your office. No distractions or ethical lapses. Run against your office."
  • "Don’t hire anyone who says they’d rather lose than stoop to his level. If you say it, get out of the way for someone living in the real world."

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 30,199,007 — Total deaths: 946,490— Total recoveries: 20,544, 967Map
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 a.m. ET: 6,675,593 — Total deaths: 197,644 — Total recoveries: 2,540,334 — Total tests: 90,710,730Map
  3. Politics: Former Pence aide says she plans to vote for Joe Biden, accusing Trump of costing lives in his coronavirus response.
  4. Health: Pew: 49% of Americans wouldn't get COVID-19 vaccine if available today Pandemic may cause cancer uptick The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine — COVID-19 racial disparities extend to health coverage losses.
  5. Business: Retail sales return to pre-coronavirus trend.
Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Mike Bloomberg's anti-chaos theory

CNN's Anderson Cooper questions Joe Biden last night at a drive-in town hall in Moosic, Pa., outside Scranton. Photo: CNN

Mike Bloomberg's $100 million Florida blitz begins today and will continue "wall to wall" in all 10 TV markets through Election Day, advisers tell me.

Why it matters: Bloomberg thinks that Joe Biden putting away Florida is the most feasible way to head off the national chaos we could have if the outcome of Trump v. Biden remained uncertain long after Election Day.

Biden's hardline Russia reset

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Getty Images photos: Mark Reinstein

When he talks about Russia, Joe Biden has sounded like Ronald Reagan all summer, setting up a potential Day 1 confrontation with Russian President Vladimir Putin if Biden were to win.

Why it matters: Biden has promised a forceful response against Russia for both election interference and alleged bounty payments to target American troops in Afghanistan. But being tougher than President Trump could be the easy part. The risk is overdoing it and making diplomacy impossible.