Would It Even Make A Difference To His Supporters If Trump’s Immigration Policy Was Just The Candidate Paying Lip Service To Get Elected?
[guest post by Dana]
I’m not convinced it would.
I heard Ted Cruz interviewed today and he referred to a story about Donald Trump having met with the NYT editorial board last month. The meeting apparently involved a portion of an interview that is off the record where Trump suggested that he doesn’t really believe in his immigration policy and the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants, but is instead playing politics and saying what he needs to say in order to get elected.
“I will say there was a very disturbing story that broke today. That apparently there is a secret tape that The New York Times editorial board has of Donald Trump saying that he doesn’t believe what he’s saying on immigration,” Cruz said. “That all of his promises to secure the border are not real and if he’s president he doesn’t intend to do what he says.”
As a result, Cruz, and now Marco Rubio, are both asking Trump to give his permission for the NYT to release the tape. As it is off-the-record, the NYT would need his approval to release it.
“I call on Donald, ask The New York Times to release the tape. And do so today before the Super Tuesday primary,” Cruz told reporters. “There are one of two instances. It is either false. If Donald didn’t say that to The New York Times he deserves to have this cleared up. And releasing the tape can clear it up. The alternative is that it is true,” Cruz added. “He recently said he loves the poorly educated. Well, I hope it’s not the case that Donald Trump is telling The New York Times editorial board that he is deliberately misleading the voters and he has no intention of doing anything he’s saying right now.”
“The voters deserve to know if he says something different when he’s talking to The New York Times than he does when he’s talking to the voters and we deserve to know before Super Tuesday,” the Texas senator continued.
This weekend, NYT columnist Gail Collins offered this speculation about Trump:
The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. So you obviously can’t explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it’s going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.
Coincidentally, Collins happened to be present at the January 5 meeting with Trump and the editorial board.
And according to BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith:
Sources familiar with the recording and transcript — which have reached near-mythical status at the Times — tell me that the second sentence is a bit more than speculation. It reflects, instead, something Trump said about the flexibility of his hardline anti-immigration stance.
Question: Would it even matter to Trump supporters if any of this were true? I’m inclined to think it wouldn’t. Not really. Why would this matter when so many other negative revelations about Trump haven’t caused him to lose any support? But, given that his hard-line immigration stance is the lifeblood of his campaign, without it, what does he really have?
Trump supporters have been unshakable and loyal to a fault, a really big fault, and if this story is true yet doesn’t make them scurry to another candidate, nothing will. Am I right??