Donald Trump has flirted with the idea of running for president for as long as I can remember. As a young field staffer for Steve Forbes in 2000, I still remember reading a magazine article about a potential Trump candidacy that year. I especially recall the part of the article that stated that Trump isn’t much of a fan of shaking hands. A presidential candidate that doesn’t like shaking hands? I remember thinking to myself, good luck with that!
Trump has plenty of skeptics, including NBC News’ Chuck Todd, who recently found himself in a Twitter battle with the real-estate mogul after he said that Trump was, “one of the dumbest voices in politics.” Trump told TheIowaRepublican.com, “ I don’t have a lot of respect for Chuck Todd. I know him, and I know of his antics, and he thinks I’m just having fun, but it’s not fun. I love the country, and I have a voice. I have millions of followers, even on Twitter I have millions of followers, and they want to hear what I have to say.”
While it’s easy to question Trump’s motives and seriousness about running for president, it’s hard to write off a man of considerable wealth and who also happens to be a household name. Over the past few years he’s also honed a message that appeals to voters. In his speech at The FAMiLY Leader’s Leadership Summit, Trump’s remarks focused on the leadership deficit in Washington and how foreign countries easily manipulate their currency, which puts American businesses at a huge disadvantage.
Trump also made it clear that he wasn’t a fan of the type of campaign Mitt Romney ran, and he said that Karl Rove’s ads were there the worst he had ever seen. As Trump recounted the last presidential campaign, he told the audience that he respected Mitt Romney as a person but wanted to know, “What the hell happened to the Romney campaign?” Romney’s poor campaign could also prompt a guy like Trump to take a more serious look at running in the future.
Having never held elected office, and thus never having had to cast a vote of a piece of legislation, it can be somewhat difficult to pin Trump down on current issues. For example, in his speech, he commended Republicans like Texas Senator Ted Cruz for trying to defund Obamacare, but would Trump join Cruz in shutting down the federal government over the issue if he was in the senate?
“I’d approve a budget, but I wouldn’t approve Obamacare,” Trump told TheIowaRepublican.com. “I really think that Obamacare is a disaster for the country, I think it’s bad in terms of insurance, but its also going to have a huge negative economic impact on the country, which is going to hurt a lot of people.”
Trump has also made a number of disparaging comments about wind turbines on Twitter recently. Now, the windmills that Trump is upset with are in Scotland, but with Iowa already the leader in wind energy production in the county, it seemed only appropriate to ask him about wind energy and other renewable energy sources. “I’m in favor, generally speaking, of renewables. Windmills do a lot of damage to the environment and a lot of damage to birds, and a lot of damage to the beauty of the country. It really depends on where they are put. As you know, they are very inefficient because they only work when the wind is blowing, and you only get electricity when the wind is blowing.”
TheIowaRepublican.com also asked Trump how someone like him would relate to hard working Americans. “It’s funny. I think the people I most resonate with are the working class. I employ thousands, tens-of-thousands of working class people, and I give them great salaries, great healthcare – I give them great everything.” Trump went on to say, “You saw the standing ovation today in Iowa, I mean, I think the people who like me the best actually are the working class and the workers.”
On Sunday, a lady working pharmacy counter at my local Walmart proved otherwise. Seeing TheIowaRepublican.com logo on my shirt, she asked if I had gone to see Trump in Ames on Saturday. I told her that I had, and that I’d also interviewed him. She shook her head and then told me that he’s not her choice in the next election. When I asked her why, she mentioned that he had filed for bankruptcy, and she doesn’t want anyone like that running the country.
Should Mr. Trump run for president, he will soon figure out that Iowans can be as ruthless on the campaign trail as he is in the boardroom. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would enjoy watching Trump campaigning in Iowa.
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