I wrote an American Spectator column late last week attempting to give some objective analysis on the Donald Trump campaign and some things it’s going to need to do if Trump is going to have any chance of winning the general election in the fall.
The four things I said Trump needed to address before they eat away at his campaign and doom him to defeat were fairly obvious deficiencies – I said he needed to release his tax returns and get whatever skeletons might be included therein out of the closet now, rather than in October when the Democrats find a willing stooge at the IRS who’ll leak them, I said he needed to get the Trump University case settled and over with in advance of that case becoming center stage in the midst of a presidential election, I said he needed to revisit that list of Supreme Court justice possibilities he’d put forth a couple of weeks ago and pledge to nominate someone on that list, not someone “like” the people on the list, someone actually on the list, in order to assuage conservatives that they won’t be baited and switched for their vote, and I said Trump needs to give a Sister Souljah moment to the collection of trolls, punks and white supremacists making up the alt-Right movement and fueling the bile his campaign is floating on.
As you might imagine, the comments under the article tended to the vituperative. Here’s a sample…
Why should Trump listen to you? He torpedoed 16 GOP candidates for POTUS and is doing the same to Hillary. He doesn’t need to kowtow to the GOPe or the Press, he needs to do exactly what he is doing now: talking directly to the people.
Trump doesn’t need to release his taxes or settle the BS lawsuit.
Why should he release his taxes? Because the left dominated media wants to go through them with a fine tooth comb and use them as attacks on his wealth? While at the same time, dismissing the mountain of crime the CGI has accumulated???
As for the lawsuit, did you read Jeff Lord’s column about it? It’s a political shakedown and I commend him for not settling. Read the column and get back to me.
The writer has the typical response that the left dominated media expects from our side, that is, oh woe is us, really we’re good people, let us explain. Trump just dismisses this crap and moves on. Get used to an alpha male pal, he’s no Romney cowering at every turn.’
The last thing Trump needs is to follow the advice of these so called conservative writers.
Trump disclosed his financials that show his net worth. Who cares about his income? Why should Trump attack his supporters?
Trump has won the nomination doing it his way, ignoring the advice of the DC crowd.
The only thing Trump has to do to win is to attack mrs bubba, and her husband the rapist.
Obama is campaigning now for his legacy, knowing a Trump win is a rejection of his immigration, amnesty, Obamacare, and regulatory policies.
At this point, Trump should just ignore Obama, except to say as he has that Obama should be working instead of campaigning. Once the FBI report is released and Obama refuses to authorize an indictment of mrs bubba, then Trump will have a two-fer, attacking mrs bubba/Obama on the email scandal for Obama covering up for mrs bubba.
If Trump listens to you, he loses.
“Trump needs to…”
No. No he doesn’t. Especially when the unsolicited advice is coming from an ilk that has roundly despised him – but only after he declared his candidacy AND it was clear he was serious.
He might eventually come around to doing some things along the lines of what this writer is suggesting, but it’s certainly not going to be a result of “conservative intelligentsia” admonishing him.
PS – The judge in the Trump U. case is in a lawyers group for La Raza.
There are many more.
The basic gist of most of them holds that Trump shouldn’t listen to anything I have to offer, because I’m “conservative intelligentsia” and “DC establishment” since I’m writing for the Spectator. Which begs the question why any of these people would bother to read the Spectator in the first place if nothing said there is to be given credit.
It’s not like anything I said was particularly novel. Any political consultant you talk to, from the ones who win races all the time to the ones who always lose, will tell you a number of things about whether you’re a good candidate.
They will tell you that if people think you’re hiding embarrassing or disqualifying information in your tax returns, you’re going to lose a lot of votes from it.
They will tell you that if people think you’re a racist – not just somebody who means well but is misunderstood and unfairly painted as a bigot by the social justice warrior crowd but a hard-core racist – they’re not going to want to vote for you.
They will tell you that if people think your word can’t be trusted, particularly to your supporters, you will struggle to turn your vote out.
They will tell you that you simply can’t have a criminal case, or a civil case arising from what could be viewed as grossly dishonest behavior, hanging over your head while you’re running for office, because people don’t want to vote for a crook if they can help it.
That’s all very basic stuff. A candidate who has any of the four things wrong with him is in trouble.
Now, Hillary isn’t clean on that basis. Everybody knows Hillary is a crook. But her tax returns haven’t been an issue so far, and we know a decent amount about the millions of dollars she and her husband have been making in their influence-peddling scheme at the Clinton Foundation. It’s not a lack of financial transparency that dogs her, it’s the knowledge of how she made her money. That said, nobody thinks Hillary is a racist, at least not in the old-school sense, and nobody thinks that she’s a particular flip-flopper.
But Trump has problems with all four of the above. Big ones. That’s why I wrote the American Spectator column his fans refused to give any heed to.
And guess what? Not only isn’t Trump’s camp addressing any of the four, he’s actively making most of them worse.
Nothing much is happening on the tax return issue of late, though Trump’s new pal Mitch McConnell called for him to release those returns last week and Trump ignored him.
But settling the Trump U lawsuit? Not a chance. Trump has doubled and tripled down on fighting that suit, and he then managed to conflate it both with the question of his respect for the judiciary (and how he would approach it as president) and whether he’s a racist. Trump won’t shut up about how the judge in the Trump University case is a “Mexican,” even though he’s from Indiana and had to spend a year in hiding as a federal prosecutor because he was at war with the Mexican drug cartels, and his trolls are running around with the story that the judge is a member of La Raza even though he’s a member of a Hispanic legal society that has no relationship with La Raza other than the name.
And it’s even worse than that, because Trump is now demanding that his surrogates also attack the judge as a Mexican who has an inherent bias against Trump over the fact the candidate wants to build a wall.
Which has turned the campaign into a disaster. The whole thing. The proceedings of a conference call yesterday were leaked to Bloomberg, in detail, by someone associated with the campaign who was obviously appalled, and what came out shows this to be a train wreck…
When former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer interrupted the discussion to inform Trump that his own campaign had asked surrogates to stop talking about the lawsuit in an e-mail on Sunday, Trump repeatedly demanded to know who sent the memo, and immediately overruled his staff.
“Take that order and throw it the hell out,” Trump said.
Told the memo was sent by Erica Freeman, a staffer who circulates information to surrogates, Trump said he didn’t know her. He openly questioned how the campaign could defend itself if supporters weren’t allowed to talk.
“Are there any other stupid letters that were sent to you folks?” Trump said. “That’s one of the reasons I want to have this call, because you guys are getting sometimes stupid information from people that aren’t so smart.”
We know the campaign is broke, and it lacks staff and organization. Now we know it’s dysfunctional at the HQ level, with the candidate not even knowing what the staff is doing and running over them. We know the surrogates are in a state of confusion about what the campaign’s positions even are, and we can assume they’re also confused about how much of their personal credibility they want to lend to this effort.
What happened to Newt Gingrich, who has been shameless in his efforts to support Trump but couldn’t follow him down the path of castigating the judge for being Mexican, is a good example. Trump dressed Gingrich down on Sunday for making “inappropriate” statements along those lines.
It’s actually good this is happening in June, because there is time to fix it. No, there is no fixing Trump. Trump has to go. What’s going on now will not improve. It will only get worse. The question is whether the GOP will wake up and agree on someone else who isn’t a disaster. Trump is already down 11 points to Hillary Clinton, whose campaign is itself imploding, now that his “post-nomination bounce” has faded away.
There is a month left before the nomination. It’s going to be a painful month.