Political News

Biden campaign seizes on Trump tax report to underscore 'Scranton vs. Park Ave' message

Posted September 28, 2020 11:22 a.m. EDT

— Joe Biden's presidential campaign reacted swiftly following a bombshell report from The New York Times that Donald Trump paid no federal income taxes in 10 out of 15 years beginning in 2000, turning around a digital video and putting out merchandise within hours of the report's release.

In a 30-second video posted to the campaign's grassroots Twitter account and retweeted by Biden's official page, the campaign highlights different income taxes paid by teachers, flashing the text on the screen over somber music. "Teachers paid $7,239, Firefighters paid $5,283, Nurses paid $10,216," the text above the tweet reads. "Donald Trump paid $750."

The campaign also released stickers on their website late Sunday night with the text, "I paid more income taxes than Donald Trump."

While Biden himself has yet to respond, his deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, told CNN's Anderson Cooper last night that the report is yet another example of how the race is "between Park Avenue and Scranton," the campaign's latest messaging push that casts the choice between the two candidates as clash between the working class and America's elite.

"You have in Donald Trump a president who spends his time thinking about how he can work his way out of paying taxes, of meeting the obligation that every other working person in this country meets every year," Bedingfield said. "You know, with Joe Biden you have somebody who has a completely different perspective on what it means to be a working family in this country."

Bedingfield continued to blast the president, saying he "looks down on working people."

Biden unveiled that line of attack in a CNN town hall earlier this month, saying just outside of his hometown of Scranton that "the way we were raised up here in this area, an awful lot of hardworking people busting their neck, all they ask for is a shot."

He added, "All that President Trump could see from Park Avenue is Wall Street. All he thinks about is the stock market."

At a White House briefing Sunday, Trump denied The New York Times story and claimed that he pays "a lot" in federal income taxes.

"I pay a lot, and I pay a lot in state income taxes," he said.

Trump added that he is willing to release his tax returns once he is no longer under audit by the Internal Revenue Service, which he said "treats me badly." The President, however, is under no obligation to hold his tax returns while under audit, despite his repeated claims otherwise.

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