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Newman on the weaknesses in Trump’s presidency

President Trump is known for both his successes and failures in business, having incurred six bankruptcies, before he became President of the United States. Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman joins The Final Round to break down why Trump’s presidency and campaign for his second term are parallel to his rise and falls in business.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Welcome back to The Final Round. We're just three weeks away from Election Day. So with just 21 days to go, Rick Newman is looking at some similarities between Donald Trump as president and what Donald Trump was like as a businessman. And Rick, it's interesting, because there are some parallels that you go through between Trump's bankruptcies and also the problems that he's having with his campaign. So what are some of those similarities, I guess, that you realized here over the last several weeks?

RICK NEWMAN: You know, Seana, when Trump was a candidate the first time around, I and many other reporters spent a fair amount of time learning about his business history, or refreshing our memories. And I'm going back to some of those days. So Trump has had six businesses that declared bankruptcy. Back in the early '90s, there were three casinos and a hotel, and then his casino company kind of transformed into something different, and that declared bankruptcy again in 2004 and 2009.

So what were some of the characteristics of those bankruptcies? Number one, Trump just could not stop taking on debt. People would warn him that he was taking on too much debt, and he just dismissed them and he didn't listen to it. And that got him in trouble several times. And I feel like that's something we're seeing in-- we saw it-- we've been seeing in his presidency and in his campaign.

He has-- people have been warning him, look, you need to move to the center. You need to enlarge your base. You need to appeal to more Americans. And he can't do it. He just keeps going after the same thing that he thinks got him into the White House, which is culture wars, um, you know, flail-- get people riled up on culture wars, vilify groups he thinks he can blame for problems, and things like that.

And he's just doing more and more of that. I mean, we're seeing him at his rallies. He-- he does not have much constructive to say, but he just rails against, quote, "the extremist Democrats." We know he rails against immigrants and other groups.

Another thing about Trump is that he really-- when he was in business, he really loved the dealmaking, but he didn't love running the companies. And if you think about his political career, winning the election in 2016 was like-- was like landing the deal of a lifetime. But, you know, you can make an argument that he hasn't been that interesting in governing.

You know, he's kind of lost focus, and he doesn't he hasn't even articulated an agenda for a second term. He has not had much to say to voters about what he wants to do during a second term that he didn't do during the first. He doesn't even really have a slogan. I mean, we know he had "Make America Great Again" in 2016, and he doesn't have a slogan really for 2020 that resonates like that.

So those are a few of the similarities. I think between Trump's business bankruptcies and what's happening now in the presidential campaign, there-- I think there are a few others. But look, he does have a way of landing on his feet even after, you know, he fails at something. We should keep that in mind.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, he certainly does. He seems to always get another chance. But Rick, real quick, just in terms of what it could mean for Congress, when you take a look at a lot of those senators, several GOP senators could be at risk potentially of losing their seats because of the support that they have provided to President Trump. So if we see that support dry up a little bit, then they could potentially not see a re-election year.

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, so what this is-- so liken them to Trump's partners in business deals. Trump has gotten in so deep with debt in those instances where the deal went bad that he brings his partners down with him. And in many cases that's the banks. But the banks are stuck with him.

You know, one guy who was on the Nevada Gaming Commission back in the late 1980s said Trump was too big to fail back then. That's a striking term, because we think that-- mainly we just associate that with the banks from the last big recession. But even when Trump went bankrupt, they couldn't let the casinos go out of business. They had to find a way to prop him up.

So, you know, the bankers lost hundreds of millions of dollars here. And if you liken that to what might be going on today, I mean, look at all the Republicans that have basically partnered up with Trump. I mean, you've got a lot of senators who are now endangered in states where they could lose to Democrats. If Trump loses, I think he's gonna bring a lot of Republicans down with him because they jumped on the bandwagon-- because, you know, when Trump won, they won. But when he loses, they're gonna lose, and they probably won't end up as well-off as he will.