Over the weekend, GOP frontrunner took a short break from attacking his GOP nomination rival Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) to take a swing at the presumptive Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton. Speaking with Fox News’ newest host (on his new show), Jesse Watters, Trump openly worried that if he were less bombastic voters might start falling “asleep.” He then added that while some people might not like how he campaigns, “it gets the job done. We have to get the job done, right Jesse?”
One wonders if Mr. Trump were to win the GOP nomination he’d take that same perspective into his general election fight with Hillary Clinton.
When Watters broached the subject of Mrs. Clinton, Trump spared nothing, and seemed to indicate that he might already have a strategy in place to use against his likely opponent.
“We call her Crooked Hillary because she’s always been a crooked person. The name came to me. The names come to me for different people. I like branding people. If [the brand] is correct… I will tell you, the word ‘Crooked Hillary’ is 100% correct… Go back to Whitewater, look at what is happening with the email [server containing top secret information in her basement]. So many different things. Look at the Foundation where [Bill Clinton] gets millions of dollars to make a speech — and then all of a sudden things get done for countries, always detrimental to the United States.
The only thing she’s got going is the woman card. Without the woman card she’s got nothing going. And she’s going to play it to the hilt.
She is a woman. But she is not liked by women… So I think we’re going to do very well with Hillary, and the polls are already beginning to show it.”
This is quite reminiscent of the attack strategy Mr. Trump uses against his Republican opponents. Where Hillary Clinton is “Crooked Hillary,” Jeb Bush was “Low Energy Jeb”, Marco Rubio was “Little Marco” and Ted Cruz is “Lyin’ Ted.” The question is, will the tactic be equally successful, or is Mr. Trump just kidding himself about being able to compete with the Clinton machine?
One indicator of how this might go is the “pivot” that Watters spoke of in the interview. Part of Trump’s pivot towards appearing more presidential has been the hiring of consummate professional and the ultimate Washington insider, Paul Manafort, to help run the Trump campaign.
The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol explained on Sunday’s episode of ABC’s This Week that Manafort represents something many Trump supporters may want to ignore… Donald Trump is now a Washington INSIDER.
“He certainly has reached out to the establishment, hasn’t he? Who is running his campaign now? Paul Manafort. The quintessential Washington insider, lobbyist. He’s represented dictators all over the world. I just think it’s perfect that Donald Trump, Mr. Outsider, time for a change. I think Kasich would be an obvious pick for Trump if he wants to signal that he has some respect for governing experience.”
At this point, Donald Trump supporters must realize that he’s not a “conservative” in the traditional, conservative values, beliefs, philosophies, politics sense. The only reason that I can see that a “conservative-leaning” voter would still cling to the Trump campaign would be this “outsider” image. Except, even this image is now being ripped away by the candidate himself as his campaign admits that its all been an act, and Trump has now hired a man who Kristol calls “the quintessential Washington insider, lobbyist” to run his campaign (not to mention the fact that Trump has, in the past, poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into the campaigns of the establishment politicians in both parties, though primarily the Democrat Party).
So my question is this: why are so-called conservatives still supporting Donald Trump? His positions aren’t conservative and now he’s running an “insider” campaign. What makes him appealing to disaffected Republican voters again?
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