Most people have had the somewhat disturbing experience of cachinnation; to laugh loudly, to laugh inordinately, and to laugh inappropriately given the circumstances. Maybe it’s after someone falls down some stairs. Or at a funeral. Or when Donald Trump announces he’s taking another look at the presidency.
It’s not his first time considering a run for the executive office. In 1999, 2000, and 2004, he considered running, and more recently in 2010 he announced he was considering running for 2012. While many news outlets considered it a publicity stunt, he actually did alright in a 2011 Public Policy Polling survey, taking the lead amongst GOP candidates including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin. “The fact is a lot of people in the polls don’t vote for me because they think I’m just having a good time,” he said at the time, according to The NY Daily News. “They think that I’m promoting ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ which I’m absolutely not.” He may not have taken the White House by storm — or even run — but he did contribute the accusations that Obama wasn’t really born in America, and suggested he might secretly be Muslim.
According to Trump, he’s just as sincere this time around as he was then, saying Wednesday, according to Time, that he is “looking at it very, very seriously” and has speeches set up in both Iowa and New Hampshire in the coming weeks. At CPAC, he stated that he puts the chance that he runs at “75 and 80% — I’m really inclined.” That being said, whether he has plans as of yet to cancel his show, Celebrity Apprentice, is still uncertain. Time reports that he does not plan to cancel, quoting Sharon Panozzo, publicity director for NBC, “The network [has] picked up the show. Trump himself announced this during our live finale last month.” Conversely, Vox references Dan Tuohy of New Hampshire Union Leader, saying that Trump did not renew his hosting contract for the show with NBC. With those facts in mind, it still appears to be something the TV mogul is considering, at least strongly enough to have hired an advisory team.
So what’s his message?
His message stays true to Trump, and is just as aggressively anti-anyone-that-isn’t-America as you’d expect. A diplomat he is not. “The country is in serious trouble. I’ve never seen anything like it. With me running things, all these countries throughout the world will not be ripping off the United States anymore,” said Trump according to Time. First of all, most politicians prefer to phrase their potential run as leadership, rather than “running things” and we can only hope his foreign policy will develop a degree of nuance beyond “all these countries” who are “ripping” us off.
“We must stop other countries from totally taking advantage of our representatives who are being out-negotiated at every turn. I am the only one who can make America truly great again!” said Trump in a Facebook announcement that he’s putting together an exploratory committee for 2016.
In regards to ISIL and the Middle East, he’s in favor of a more involved military strategy. “You know, a year ago you wouldn’t have said it, and nobody would have liked it, now everybody likes it — you may have to have some boots on the ground for a period of time until you get rid of the cancer,” said Trump at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
His stance on immigration
Like many candidates, Trump has put a great deal of focus in his recent commentary on immigration and the need to reform the system. In particular, he’s focused on building a wall at the border, and argues that Republicans who speak in favor of allowing immigrants into the country won’t get votes.
“As far as our borders are concerned, we need strong borders, we need a wall. If I run I will tell you the king of building buildings the king of building walls, nobody can build them like Trump, that I can promise you.”
His stance on the economy
His biggest talking point on improving the economy has largely had to do with his own business success — and he takes every opportunity to shamelessly plug his wealth, because being a business man with success in managing a great deal of money isn’t a bad item to have on your resume. “I just spent $250 million rebuilding [the Trump National in Miami] making it the best resort in the country. And I saw Tiger Woods and Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson … I created a lot of jobs there … It will be perhaps the most luxurious hotel when we finish, anywhere in the world,” said Trump, almost immediately after walking on stage, before making a confusing segue into the national debt.
Other politicians, Republicans and Democrats alike, have been focusing on the middle class a great deal, whether by arguing in favor of scaling back government, or reforming the tax code. But Trump doesn’t appear to care whether or not he appeals to that votership. He spoke during CPAC on other issues as well, including Medicaid and Medicare, and where he sees the Republican party failing or succeeding. Ultimately, he could take some of the very right-wing vote, but a world in which Trump stands a chance at sitting in the Oval Office is a scary world indeed.
More from Politics Cheat Sheet:
- 2016 Elections: Do Voters Really Want a Change?
- 3 Things We Learned in Detroit About Jeb Bush as a 2016 Candidate
- What Kind of President Would Marco Rubio Make?
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