Trump on not attacking Scott Walker: "Right now I'm catering to the Republicans"

This reminds me of him telling an audience of fans, to their faces, that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any support. You’ve got to be mighty confident in your own political invulnerability to not only admit that you’re pandering but to imply (“right now”) that the panders will change once the electorate changes.


In the meantime, I guess, enjoy Trump in ultra-mega-uber-right-wing mode:

Donald Trump said in an interview that economic conditions are so perilous that the country is headed for a “very massive recession” and that “it’s a terrible time right now” to invest in the stock market, embracing a distinctly gloomy view of the economy that counters mainstream economic forecasts…

He insisted that he would be able to get rid of the nation’s more than $19 trillion national debt “over a period of eight years.”

Most economists would consider this impossible because it could require taking more than $2 trillion a year out of the annual $4 trillion budget to pay off holders of the debt.

Trump refuses to cut entitlements, the key long-term driver of America’s exploding debt, so he’d have to produce this magical $2.5 trillion in annual savings mostly via new revenue. But his tax plan promises a big tax cut across the board, leaving the source of that new revenue a mystery. You can increase revenue without raising taxes by growing the economy, but the economy would have to grow at a massive rate sustained over eight years to produce the type of surplus he’s imagining here — and Trump himself is predicting a giant recession to come if we stay on the course we’re on. The magic bullet that’s going to solve all this, apparently, is electing him president and letting him fight a trade war with China that’ll supposedly bring back jobs and kickstart growth … except that a trade war is far more likely to do harm to the U.S. economy than good. This is what it sounds like when he’s in “catering to the Republicans” mode, though. As the man himself said elsewhere yesterday, “if I win, all of the bad things happening in the U.S. will be rapidly reversed!” That’s the populist/nationalist version of Obama telling liberals that electing him would be remembered as the moment the rise of the oceans began to slow.


Consider his polite refusal to attack Walker a variation on an unlikely theme, though. Namely, Trump has begun to learn from his mistakes. He did attack Walker a few days ago — for not raising taxes, of all things (isn’t he supposed to be catering to Republicans?) — at which point an advisor must have pulled him aside and reminded him that Walker’s favorable rating among Republicans in Wisconsin is something like 80/17. Now here he is in the clip citing a plaque Walker gave him and noting that Walker’s popular with the voters Trump’s “catering to.” That’s just one example of a change of course in a week that’s been full of them. Everyone’s heard about his abortion reversal but he’s also undertaken to undo some of his tactical mistakes, per this interview with Maureen Dowd:

“Yeah, it was a mistake,” he said, sounding a bit chastened. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have sent it.”

I was telling him he lost my sister’s vote when he retweeted a seriously unflattering photo of the pretty Heidi Cruz next to a glam shot of his wife, Melania…

Wouldn’t it have been better, I asked, if Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski had simply called the reporter Michelle Fields and apologized for yanking her arm?

“You’re right, but from what I understand it wouldn’t have mattered,” Trump said.

Until now, his take on Lewandowksi and Fields was, first, that nothing happened and then, after the surveillance video emerged, that Lewandowski was simply intervening in what might have been a threatening situation for Trump. Now, he says, Lewandowski should have apologized. Maybe that explains, at least in part, why his role in Trump’s campaign is shrinking. If so, that would be the biggest admission yet by Trump that the way he’s done business lately needs to change.


Incidentally, the most buzzworthy quote from the Dowd interview is when she asked him whether he was ever involved with a woman who’s had an abortion when he was a bachelor. Trump’s answer: “Such an interesting question. So what’s your next question?” Click the image to watch.


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