Former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis weighed in on Donald Trump’s criticisms of the media’s coverage of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and his claims she is avoiding answering questions.
“She responds to the press all the time, I mean she’s out on the campaign trail, the press asks her questions all the time, she’s not hiding. Maybe Trump ought to tell us where his tax returns are, and why he won’t release them,” the one-time Democratic presidential nominee told the FOX Business Network’s Charles Payne.
On calls for Hillary Clinton to hold a formal press conference to answer media questions, Dukakis responded, “I’ve got to tell you, during my entire campaign, I was out there for 18 months, I don’t remember doing a formal stand up press conference, presidential style, you just don’t do that in a campaign. You’re moving around, the press is with you, they’re asking a lot of questions, you’re responding as best you can.”
He also reacted to complaints that Hillary Clinton flip-flopped on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and questions over whether she would actually support it if elected, after opposing it.
“I think all of us are having increasing questions about the value of these trade agreements,” but, Dukakis continued, “If you take a look at this agreement, its actual benefit to the American economy is relatively small. I don’t consider it a major issue in this campaign.”
Dukakis then questioned the potential impact of Donald Trump’s economic agenda.
“This country, when Barack Obama took over, was an economic basket case. And it was an economic basket case because of Republican economic policies that practically killed us. General Motors was going bankrupt, Wall Street was hysterical. We’re a very different country today. And we’ve got a Republican nominee who basically wants to go back to the same policies that practically destroyed us in the first place. Those are the kind of issues we should be debating these days,” he said.
Then Payne questioned the economic recovery following the Great Recession, and whether it could even be called a recovery.
“One thing that you cannot debate is that even though we were in those dire economic times, this has been a very flat-footed recovery, it’s hard to even call it a recovery. We haven’t even had one single year of 3 percent growth,” said Payne.
To which Dukakis responded, “Hold it, you can’t be serious, we’ve come from economic disaster to relative economic health, particularly if you compare us with places like Europe.”
Dukakis then pointed to the jobs created under the Obama Administration.
“It’s 15 million who are now working and earning and supporting themselves and their families who weren’t doing so eight years ago under Republican policies, that’s what this issue, this election is all about,” he said.
But, Payne argued back, “It’s also going to be about the millions of people that have dropped out of the jobs market, it’s also going to be about people who yeah, they’re lucky enough to get a job but they’re not making what they were making. And I think more importantly it’s about the hopelessness that hangs over the air like a thick cloud.”
According to Dukakis, a Trump presidency would lead to policies that won’t work for the U.S. economy.
“The idea that we aren’t far better off thanks to the Obama Administration and its policies over the past eight years, and we ought to go back to the very same policies, tax cuts for the rich, all that kind of stuff we’re hearing from Trump doesn’t make much sense to me,” Dukakis continued, “I’ll tell you, Donald Trump is not the answer to our problems.”