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How to beat Trump: Former staffer writes 2020 rulebook for Dems

Trump and Clinton
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."