Experts talk political ramifications of Trump tax report ahead of presidential debate

ABC News contributors Yvette Simpson, Sara Fagen, Matt Dowd and Alex Castellanos discuss the potential impact of The New York Times report just a day before the first presidential debate.
7:20 | 09/29/20

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Transcript for Experts talk political ramifications of Trump tax report ahead of presidential debate
The New York Times investigation in to the president's tax returns comes at a pivotal moment, ahead of the presidential debate tomorrow. How can it reshape the political battleground? I spoke to a chief political analyst, and founder of purple strategies, and CEO of democracy of America and Sarah Fagan, CEO of deep root analytics. Thank you for joining us, we are a month away from election day. Sarah I want to start with you, how important do you think the investigation by the "New York Times" about president trump's tax returns will be to his base and moderate voters that he is hoping to sway? I think for the base. They are loyal to him. I don't think that they are going to give credence to anything that the New York Times writes. But to moderate voters and the few people undecided, it's a problem for a couple of reasons. The first is every day we are talking about something negative for Donald Trump. He is not talking about his improvements to the economy precovid. How he is the leader to bring the economy back post covid. Progress in the Middle East, the things that he has done well, he is a not talking about them. The other reason that I think it's potentially very much a problem across the board. There's so much information in this this story, and so many unanswered questions. He is either going to be forced to put something out to combat this this and put an end to it, ie, his taxes which he has been unwilling to do so far. Or we are going to talk about it for the next month. And we have already seen Joe Biden coming out with an ad about average Americans and how much they are paying for taxes. Do you think it will change Biden's strategy? I don't know if it changes his strategy, but it shifts the dynamic in his favor. So we are going in to a debate tomorrow will Donald Trump is kind of already on the ropes. He will be on the defense, on the defensive side and I hope Joe Biden takes advantage of that. I worry though, that that means that Donald Trump is going to come out swinging, and I had hope that Joe Biden is ready to stick it to him and make sure that he answers to the American peep about how he went ten years without paying taxes, how he went two years paying less taxes than most Americans and how he measures that with America first strategy, so I think it will be an interesting shift in the dynamic. I hope that Joe Biden takes advantage of it and makes sure that Donald Trump has to answer that difficult question tomorrow. Even with so much in the article, still, so many questions unanswered, of course the president is denying the reporting, but Alex, what do you think Republicans make of all of this? I think the first thing Republicans are going to do is run out and hire Donald Trump's account apts and figure out how to not pay taxes. Kind of a wizardry trick. Republicans so far have been quiet on this one. They would rather be talking about a supreme court justice, talking about who's the best candidate to get the economy growing again. Once we get beyond the covid threat. But that's not what we are talking about today. So, look, this election is kind of like the ocean, you know, it's set in so many ways. Very little has changed since it the tide does go in and out. And for the reason Sarah said, people, this is not Donald Trump talking about why he should be re-elected, this is the campaign running against Donald Trump. That is a great point. And Matt the president has weathered a lot of controversies, that do most can didates, is this any different? It's different because we are heading in to a presidential election that is just over a month away. He has weathered this, and he has kept his numbers 40, 42%, that is a problem when you want to win a number of states, when you are behind in the fourth quarter, every minute you are spending trying to tend to injuries on your side is a minute you are not spending coming back from how far behind you are, and that's the problem for Donald Trump. He is behind nationally. He is behind in all the key states. And so, everyone time there's a day where he is not fighting to gain that, those points back, that momentum back is a problem. That's what his problem is. He cannot win an election with 43% of the vote. He has to take away points from Joe Biden. And the voters have been trying to get back suburban women, that's a demographic that trump has been trying to appeal to. Lost in the news, he nominated Amy coney Barrett to the supreme court, do you think the nomination could help him win back suburban women? I think it can, she is an incredible example of a working mom. A working mom with small children. She would be the first supreme court justice if confirmed to have school age children. She is a diverse person, working mom, well educated professor, law clerk. Theses are incredible accomplishments and she really, really are puts, I think, a dagger in the argument in the left that are so focused on such polarizing usuals and presents herself and talks about her background and who she is, that helps her and it helps Donald Trump. Ahead of the big supreme court nomination fight, what do you think Biden has to do? First, he has to live to fight another day. There's a lot of pressure on Joe Biden, people already know that Donald Trump is a disaster, I think Biden has to have a flawless execution. And he has to not take the bait. Trump is like a rat in a cage and he is doing to come out swings. Biden has to not take the bait and talk about who he is to the American people and distinguishing himself. Donald Trump does not win if Joe Biden remains steady. If he has a rough night, it may not have people feeling confident in his ability to lead. Do not take the bait from Donald Trump and focus, and he will win the day. What do you think each candidate has to do tomorrow? Donald Trump, if he spends all his time attacking Joe Biden, it's a problem. The only way he gains is if he rehabilitates his image with the American public. He should spend more time about rebuilding his image. Joe Biden has to stay calm, cool, and collected, there will come a time and he will have to pick it and pick it well and respond well. Otherwise, stay calm, cool and collected. Alex back to you for the last word. One word answer, who do you think will win tomorrow? I think -- I hope it's the American people. But my guess is Joe Biden. All right. Thank you so much to everyone for your time tonight.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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