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Four questions for GOP consultant Michael R. Caputo

East Aurora political consultant Michael R. Caputo has offered a GOP perspective all week to the Democratic National Convention. He is a former staff member of the Donald Trump campaign.


Donald Trump this week ignited a firestorm by inviting the Russians to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails. Did that backfire or play to his base?

Donald Trump’s sarcastic remark inviting Russia to hand over Hillary Clinton’s illegally deleted State Department emails was just that: sarcastic. The breathless focus on his joke as some kind of international incident is happening because humorless Democrats must deflect attention from their party’s damning leaked emails. This fake issue gets no traction with undecided voters, who are suddenly hearing more about Trump than Clinton – during her convention. That’s an infield error, forced by Trump on a stolen base.


After his speech on Wednesday, do you view Tim Kaine as an asset to Clinton’s campaign? Or does anybody care?

If the Clinton campaign was looking for an attack dog – a role Tim Kaine tried and failed to play in Philadelphia – they picked the wrong guy. But Kaine fails on the attack for all the right reasons: he’s a good guy with a genuine American back story, a solid Catholic whose faith has helped him succeed. Nobody really votes for the vice president, but if the Clinton team plays to his strengths and deploys him to faith communities and no-nonsense battleground states like Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Minnesota and Wisconsin, he could be valuable. But he’s no game-changer.


Will Clinton benefit from the strong endorsement of President Obama?

No question. In today’s political climate, after an unambiguous, full-throated and artful Obama endorsement like that, his supporters would vote for a zombie.


Did the Democrats make a shrewd move by featuring former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – an independent – to appeal to unaffiliated voters?

After Michael Bloomberg got going with his speech, I thought he was working his way up to endorsing Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson; appropriating our founding fathers to make a case for Hillary Clinton is a real stretch. Typically, a reputable business owner can knock a candidate’s business record effectively. But polls show Trump’s business acumen was burned into the minds of Americans for 10 years on "The Apprentice." Nobody has gotten traction tearing his business record down yet and I don’t think Bloomberg will be any different.



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