SAN ANTONIO, January 20, 2016 — Donald Trump’s sixty-year history of embracing liberal “New York values” has finally come into question, and his responses are inadequate and non-sensical.
Sen. Ted Cruz’s attack on Trump’s “New York values” originated from Trump’s own words. in 1999 Trump did an interview with Tim Russert of CBS. After stating that he agreed with allowing homosexuals to serve in the military, Trump said, “I’ve lived in New York City—Manhattan—all my life, so you know, my views are a little different than if I had lived in Iowa.”
Later in the same interview, Trump was asked whether he supported banning partial birth abortion (intact dilation and extraction, a third-trimester procedure done when the child is certainly viable outside the mother’s womb) he said,
“… and again, it may be a little of my New York background because there is some different attitudes in different parts of the country and, you know, I was raised in New York …” When pressed for a second time on whether he would ban late-term/partial birth abortion, he said, “No. I am pro-choice in every respect and as far as it goes.”
Trump’s position is far more radical than the position taken by most Americans on abortion. In a 2003 Gallup poll, the most recent poll in which Gallup asked this question, 84 percent of Americans said abortion should be outlawed in the third trimester.
In 2004, Trump was interviewed by CNN. He said then, “In many cases, I probably identify more as Democrat.” When Wolf Blitzer asked if he was only a Democrat on social issues Trump responded,
“It just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans. Now, it shouldn’t be that way. But if you go back, I mean it just seems that the economy does better under the Democrats.”
This was when George W. Bush was President and the economy was booming.
Last September, when questioned about being a Democrat for most of his life, Trump told Don Lemon of CNN,
“Well, in New York City, everybody was a Democrat, practically. If you run for city council, if you run for political office, whoever wins the Democrat primary is automatically—there was almost no election, because the Republicans hardly exist in New York City.”
Trump must be forgetting that George Pataki, a Republican, was governor of New York from 1995 through 2006, and the Mayor of New York City was a Republican from 1994 through 2007. Michael Bloomberg ran as a Republican the first time he was elected, then switched to Independent for his second campaign.
There was a 20 year period, from 1994 through 2014, when the mayor of New York City was not a Democrat, and a ten year period when the governor of New York was not a Democrat.
It seems that Trump’s New York values have also influenced his support and appreciation for radical, statist Democrats, and particularly Hillary Clinton. In 2012 Trump said the following in a Fox News interview:
“Hillary Clinton I think is a terrific woman,” he told Greta Van Susteren. “I am biased because I have known her for years. I live in New York. She lives in New York. I really like her and her husband both a lot. I think she really works hard. And I think, again, she’s given an agenda, it is not all on her, but I think she really works hard and I think she does a good job. I just like her.”
That interview was shortly after Benghazi, where Hillary seemingly left four Americans for dead, and Trump still says that she “did a good job” as Secretary of State.
Trump’s love-fest for Clinton doesn’t end there. In 2005, Trump invited Hillary to his third wedding and made sure that she sat in the first row. In 2008 Trump said in a blog post, “I know Hillary and I think she’d make a great president or vice-president.”
Lastly, according to Time Magazine ,
“When Clinton last ran for office (in 2008), Trump was torn between supporting her and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. “They’re both terrific people, and I hope they both get the nomination,” he told CNN in 2007, adding that he thought Clinton would surround herself with good people to negotiate a deal with Iran. A year later, Trump wondered publicly why Clinton wasn’t chosen as President Obama’s running-mate.”
One should pause immediately upon reading these statements and ask, “when was the last time I thought that Hillary Clinton would make a great president, or that she did a good job as Secretary of State, or that she and her husband were terrific people?”
Hillary is not stupid; her team almost certainly has campaign ads preprepared highlighting the decades of praise and adoration Trump has heaped upon the Clintons. Trump will have a very difficult time describing why his views about Hillary have changed so drastically since as recent as 2012.
Trump’s “New York values” have apparently led him to donate tens of millions of dollars to far-left Democrats and big government progressive Republicans. It seems the only candidates Trump doesn’t donate to are the true conservatives, maybe because they cannot be bought so easily.
Since 2007 alone, Trump has donated to: Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation (over $100,000), Anthony Weiner, Sen. Chuck Schumer, Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Robert Menendez, and he donated $50,000 to Rahm Emanuel in 2010, after the Tea Party wave.
Emanuel was Obama’s first chief of staff who infamously coined the phrase, “never let a crisis go to waste.”
Trump has countered these charges with two arguments, which can be characterized as follows: First, everyone changes views, and even Reagan switched parties; second, he is a businessman and he had to support and donate to politicians on both sides of the aisle in order to make sure that he could cash those donations in for favors and backroom deals whenever he needed something from those politicians.
Both arguments fundamentally fail.
Since Reagan’s second term in office, Trump has changed party affiliations no fewer than five times. In 1987 he first registered as a Republican; in 1999 he registered as a member of the Independence Party; in 2001 he changed his affiliation to Democrat; in 2009 Trump switched back to Republican; and, finally, in 2014, he ditched the GOP and chose to check the “I do not wish to enroll in a party,” box.
Reagan, on the other hand, was a Democrat his entire life until he switched parties in 1962. Between that time and when he became President in 1980, he developed a deep and convincing record as a conservative and well-liked governor of the State of California.
Reagan had a record conservatives could analyze and trust; Americans knew Reagan was telling the truth because he had a history of keeping his word. In contrast, Trump, a man who has changed parties five times in the last thirty-five years, has a very liberal record on many issues. Conservatives are apparently supposed to ignore his sixty-year history of supporting liberal policies and big-government politicians..
Trump’s second argument also fails. Trump says he supported politicians and policies on both sides of the aisle until 2012 because he needed to curry favor from both Republicans and Democrats. It is illogical and inconsistent for Americans to think that Trump manipulated businessmen and politicians for money and favors, but that he would not manipulate the American people in order to obtain the one thing he does not have: absolute power.
Trump is not the conservative he tries to paint himself as, and it is beyond time that he answer for his sixty-year history of embracing his liberal “New York values.”