“Clear difference”: New Trump ad attacks Cruz on immigration

posted at 8:41 am on January 22, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

For ’tis the sport to have the engineer hoist with his own petard. Ted Cruz went on the attack against Marco Rubio on immigration last month in a largely successful attempt to blunt the momentum his fellow Senator had begun to garner. Rubio pushed back, reminding people that Cruz had attached a rider to the same bill for which Cruz was attacking, and that put Cruz on the defensive in a Fox News interview. Now with Iowa at stake, Donald Trump has released a new ad that focuses on Cruz’ struggle to answer the criticisms, while portraying Trump as the only candidate who will follow through on immigration:

Is this a fair representation of Cruz’ position? Not really, but then again, Cruz’ attack on Rubio turned out to be a little hypocritical, too. Cruz has shifted his position on immigration, or at least his public rhetoric; after attacking Rubio for it, he left himself open to the same attack. Left unsaid in this ad, of course, is that Trump has also flip-flopped on immigration. He publicly rebuked Mitt Romney for being too harsh and inflexible on the issue after the 2012 election. Maybe Cruz could run an ad making that case — or maybe Cruz should have been running those ads much earlier than now.

The problem for most other candidates is that they get pressed on how they plan to achieve their stated goals. Legislation and execution are complicated and nuanced, which is why immigration policy ends up being a trap for Rubio, Cruz, and others in the race. For whatever reason, Trump has been able to skate around that pressure. This ad is about as substantive as Trump gets. I’ll end illegal immigration. How exactly will Trump do that? Never mind, we’ll win, that’s all that matters. Borders? We need borders. I’ll build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. Really? How? Never mind, we’ll win, that’s all that matters. 

It’s all concept, no details, and concepts are very easy to sell. That’s the Trump strategy. He’s selling gut-level emotion, not policy or intellectual coherence. The reason it works is because people think the politicians who do have policy chops and intellectual coherence are either too weak to implement conservative solutions or don’t really believe in them. It’s all about authenticity, not policy or ideology. Trump has it in spades, and even a man like Cruz — who has burnt a thousand bridges with GOP leadership over his dedication to conservative principles — comes up short in comparison.

Today’s Morning Joe panel calls this a “devastating” ad, and it probably will be. John Heilemann says it proves that Trump will spend money going negative, but Trump’s been willing to go after anyone at a moment’s notice. They then screen Cruz’ response over eminent domain, an arcane yet critical issue that goes to the heart of redistributive power in government, and the reaction is … everything you’d think it would be.

One last point about the Cruz ad: That demonstrates that even a grassroots politician like Cruz doesn’t quite grasp the electorate’s mood. That ad would have worked much better by putting Susette Kelo on camera and having her tell how the government seized her house to give the land to Pfizer, followed immediately by a clip of Trump calling eminent domain “wonderful.” Arguments in this cycle have to be gut-level, not head-level. Would that have made a dent with Trump supporters? Maybe not, but it would have framed the argument much more effectively.


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Comment pages: 1 2

h a p f a t on January 22, 2016 at 9:35 AM

You are correct about Trump’s incoherence on the stump. He is vague enough (like Obysmal) to allow his fans to fill in the blanks as they choose.

Trump is unfamiliar with the details of the immigration plan that Sen. Sessions wrote/provided him, so Trump wings it with vacuous slogans.

onlineanalyst on January 22, 2016 at 1:47 PM

Borders? We need borders. I’ll build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. Really? How? Never mind, we’ll win, that’s all that matters.

For the too lazy to check … from DonaldJTrump.com:

The cost of building a permanent border wall pales mightily in comparison to what American taxpayers spend every single year on dealing with the fallout of illegal immigration on their communities, schools and unemployment offices.

Mexico must pay for the wall and, until they do, the United States will, among other things: impound all remittance payments derived from illegal wages; increase fees on all temporary visas issued to Mexican CEOs and diplomats (and if necessary cancel them); increase fees on all border crossing cards – of which we issue about 1 million to Mexican nationals each year (a major source of visa overstays); increase fees on all NAFTA worker visas from Mexico (another major source of overstays); and increase fees at ports of entry to the United States from Mexico [Tariffs and foreign aid cuts are also options]. We will not be taken advantage of anymore.

Not to mention the

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 1:59 PM

Wow, I head off to work, and without me, the wrong just piles up here.

A ban on Muslim entry as well as his proposal to shut down mosques are both unconstitutional because of the 1st Amendment.

Specifically: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Have you crazies forgotten that the freedom of religion is enshrined in the 1st Amendment? Congress shall make NO law prohibiting the free exercise of a religion. Period. No exceptions. Not even if the people practicing the religion are immigrants.

ANY ban on Islam, or any law that even sufficiently burdens Islam to meet the Supreme Court’s tests on what constitutes “prohibiting free exercise” is completely unconstitutional.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:02 PM

And by the way, I noticed that aside from huckleberry’s misguided attempt at suggesting that Donald Trump might behave within the bounds of the Constitution, nobody here has even tried to answer this question:

Seriously, how would Trump be any better for liberty than Hillary or Sanders? I don’t see how he could be the lesser evil, even in that crowd.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 8:45 AM

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:04 PM

This “witless ape” will eat you all.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2016 at 2:07 PM

Too continue that thought:

Not to mention the billions spent on the drug war aid package formally known as the Merida Initiative.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 2:08 PM

ANY ban on Islam, or any law that even sufficiently burdens Islam to meet the Supreme Court’s tests on what constitutes “prohibiting free exercise” is completely unconstitutional.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Get a clue.

He’d ban all entry from specific countries just as has been done in the past by former Presidents.

1st Amendment crisis averted.

Sheeesh.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 2:12 PM

Seriously, how would Trump be any better for liberty than Hillary or Sanders? I don’t see how he could be the lesser evil, even in that crowd.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 8:45 AM

Let me spell it slowly for you: W-A-L-L

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Get a clue.

He’d ban all entry from specific countries just as has been done in the past by former Presidents.

1st Amendment crisis averted.

Sheeesh.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 2:12 PM

No, that’s not what Trump said. That was RAND PAUL’S proposal, which all you Trump nutjobs called “too weak.”

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:16 PM

Let me spell it slowly for you: W-A-L-L

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 2:15 PM

That’s a restriction on liberty, not a benefit for liberty.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:17 PM

No, that’s not what Trump said. That was RAND PAUL’S proposal, which all you Trump nutjobs called “too weak.”

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:16 PM

Doesn’t matter. If he runs into a legal hurdle, he can just ban EVERYBODY.

fossten on January 22, 2016 at 2:22 PM

Here’s a question for consideration for all you Dumphtsters …
of ALL the candidates for POTUS who actually HIRES illegals ?

Yea that one.

Missilengr on January 22, 2016 at 2:39 PM

Doesn’t matter. If he runs into a legal hurdle, he can just ban EVERYBODY.

fossten on January 22, 2016 at 2:22 PM

LOL. You really think Congress would ever pass such a law? They wouldn’t, because most congressmen know that banning ALL LEGAL IMMIGRATION would break up families and cause a major economic depression.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:49 PM

Face it, in Trump’s America there would be no rule of law or Constitution, and liberty would suffer even more than it would under Hillary or Sanders.

Nobody who cares about the rule of law, the Constitution, or liberty would ever vote for Trump.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:51 PM

And by the way, I noticed that aside from huckleberry’s misguided attempt at suggesting that Donald Trump might behave within the bounds of the Constitution, nobody here has even tried to answer this question:

Because you can’t read:

Lets start with cutting the corporate tax in half.

nobar on January 22, 2016 at 9:22 AM

Don’t blame others for your own inability to think critically.

nobar on January 22, 2016 at 3:03 PM

nobar,

While establishing a new 45% tariff. That’s significantly worse for liberty, and it would hit the poor and middle class the hardest.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 3:15 PM

and it would hit the poor and middle class the hardest.

Not as much as you think, as it would now incentivize businesses to manufacture here instead of overseas.

nobar on January 22, 2016 at 3:21 PM

While establishing a new 45% tariff. That’s significantly worse for liberty, and it would hit the poor and middle class the hardest.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 3:15 PM

Economics is hard, I know. However … just for you … the tariff would be to offset the Chinese currency manipulation. THAT hits the American poor and middle class the hardest by putting them our of work. Motivate China to stop the yuan manipulation and the tariff can be rescinded. Obviously, the details are more complex than that, but I simplified it because … economics is hard.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 3:23 PM

You really think Congress would ever pass such a law? They wouldn’t, because most congressmen know that banning ALL LEGAL IMMIGRATION would break up families and cause a major economic depression.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:49 PM

A Pen. Good enough in the past. Good enough in the future.

Here is Jimmy and his pen.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Economics is hard, I know. However … just for you … the tariff would be to offset the Chinese currency manipulation. THAT hits the American poor and middle class the hardest by putting them our of work. Motivate China to stop the yuan manipulation and the tariff can be rescinded. Obviously, the details are more complex than that, but I simplified it because … economics is hard.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 3:23 PM

A tariff will only increase the costs of labor even further, which will then drive up the prices of goods and services … which will undoubtedly hurt the poor and the middle class. The “Chinese currency manipulation” excuse is grossly exaggerated. The yuan is fragile and overestimated in value. A tariff would only empower China to hit back and go full protectionist on their own economy in order to prop up a weak currency.

Aizen on January 22, 2016 at 3:31 PM

That’s a restriction on liberty, not a benefit for liberty.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:17 PM

I don’t recall reading anything about other countries residents being included by the liberties set forth in our Constitution.

Also interesting to note how easily the term liberty flows from your fingertips when concerned about non-Americans.

Yet, liberty means absolutely nothing to you when arguing for the latest big government mandate to be forced upon we Americans.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 3:41 PM

Whores for obama and amnesty

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2016 at 3:59 PM

A Pen. Good enough in the past. Good enough in the future.

Here is Jimmy and his pen.

Carnac on January 22, 2016 at 3:31 PM

And there we have it: Trump supporters calling on their Dear Leader to act like even more of a dictator than our current Dear Leader.

The Constitution, rule of law, and liberty mean absolutely NOTHING to you people.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 8:14 PM

A ban on Muslim entry as well as his proposal to shut down mosques are both unconstitutional because of the 1st Amendment.

Specifically: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

Have you crazies forgotten that the freedom of religion is enshrined in the 1st Amendment? Congress shall make NO law prohibiting the free exercise of a religion. Period. No exceptions. Not even if the people practicing the religion are immigrants.

ANY ban on Islam, or any law that even sufficiently burdens Islam to meet the Supreme Court’s tests on what constitutes “prohibiting free exercise” is completely unconstitutional.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Foreign nationals on foreign soil do NOT have Constitutional rights. A Muslim in Pakistani or a Christian in Sweden do not have First Amendment rights while still in their homelands.

I can provide you legions of citations. You cannot.

Lime in the Coconut on January 22, 2016 at 9:45 PM

The Constitution is called the Constitution of the United States and not the Earth’s Constitution for a reason. It applies to citizens of the United States and foreign nationals on American soil.

A Syrian in Homs doesn’t have rights under our Constitution.

As I have demonstrated twice previously on this thread, the Supreme Court has ruled that this nation has the absolute right to decide who can and who cannot enter as part of its sovereignty. If we wanted to ban people with hangnails or freckles, it would be stupid, but it would also be absolutely constitutional.

Period.

Story.

End of.

Lime in the Coconut on January 22, 2016 at 9:51 PM

Foreign nationals on foreign soil do NOT have Constitutional rights. A Muslim in Pakistani or a Christian in Sweden do not have First Amendment rights while still in their homelands.

I can provide you legions of citations. You cannot.

Lime in the Coconut on January 22, 2016 at 9:45 PM

The Constitution SPECIFICALLY BANS CONGRESS FROM MAKING ANY LAW that prohibits the exercise of a religion. Doesn’t matter who the victims are. NO LAW.

Trump wants to shred the Constitution, and you’re trying to make excuses for him. You Trump people are even worse than the Obama drones.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 11:47 PM

The Constitution SPECIFICALLY BANS CONGRESS FROM MAKING ANY LAW that prohibits the exercise of a religion. Doesn’t matter who the victims are. NO LAW.

Trump wants to shred the Constitution, and you’re trying to make excuses for him. You Trump people are even worse than the Obama drones.

TBSchemer on January 22, 2016 at 11:47 PM

The Constitution only applies to American citizens and foreign nationals on American soil. Per Supreme Court precedent, the United States can decide who to permit to enter or deny entry for any reason it wants.

Once again, you bloody fvcking moron, I am not a Trump person.

Lime in the Coconut on January 23, 2016 at 2:20 AM

That’s not really an attack ad. It just plays Cruz’s various immigration answers to press questions. It’s not Trump’s fault that Cruz has flip flopped on the issues.

cimbri on January 23, 2016 at 5:10 AM

The Constitution only applies to American citizens and foreign nationals on American soil. Per Supreme Court precedent, the United States can decide who to permit to enter or deny entry for any reason it wants.

Once again, you bloody fvcking moron, I am not a Trump person.

Lime in the Coconut on January 23, 2016 at 2:20 AM

No, it doesn’t. Foreigners may not have standing to sue the US government, but that doesn’t make it constitutional to prohibit the free exercise of religion. Also, a US citizen spouse certainly has standing to sue on behalf of a foreign spouse who has been barred entry on the basis of their religious beliefs.

TBSchemer on January 23, 2016 at 5:27 PM

A US business certainly has standing to sue the US government over the deportation of one of their workers for their religious beliefs.

TBSchemer on January 23, 2016 at 5:28 PM

youtube voted 1,117 agree with Trump and 3,645 disagree aka Trump LIED with this add

just saying

mathewsjw on January 24, 2016 at 3:48 AM

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