Immigration speech brings back id surfing arena Trump

Donald_Trump_August_19,_2015_(cropped)For a few weeks after Donald J. Trump reshuffled his campaign team, it looked like he was going to try to run a more traditional campaign. Although some thought that the ascension of Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon would give Trump licence to be Trump, he seemed to be more under the sway of veteran Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway.

All the talk was that the hard-charging start-up that is the Trump campaign had pivoted, even potentially on his signature red meat rage issue, immigration.

On 20 August, he met with a newly formed Hispanic advisory council, and the buzz was that he was open to discussing legalisation for undocumented immigrants.

Trump sceptics said that the real estate tycoon wasn’t really softening his position but rather trying to shore up his support with white women, a demographic that he was underperforming with.

“His best hope is not attracting Hispanic or Asian voters but projecting to independents and Republican women that he’s not as bombastic as the guy they heard about in the primaries,” said Gromer Jeffers Jr., political writer for the Dallas Morning News.

After an attempt to present himself as an international statesman with a last-minute visit to Mexico, it seemed like a good time to press reset. That didn’t happen.

Instead, Trump gave a greatest hits version of his fiery anti-immigration speech.

After a couple of quiet, gaffe-free weeks, teleprompter Trump once again reverted to the id surfing arena rockstar Trump feeding off the crowd and whipping them up about promises to build a massive wall on the Mexican border, which experts have estimated would cost from $15 bn to $25 bn.

“The press was given word of an expected pivot on immigration over the last 10 days,” New York Times Presidential campaign correspondent Maggie Haberman wrote during live analysis of the speech. Instead she said: “This isn’t really a policy speech is it? It’s red meat wrapped around some expansions.”

The New York Times live coverage described the speech as a throwback to the first speech he made on immigration a year ago in June.

In the hours after his visit to Mexico, controversy was already dogging Trump again. He had said that he didn’t discuss who would pay for the wall with President Enrique Peña Nieto, but the Mexican leader quickly disputed that in a tweet saying he started their discussions with a refusal to pay for any wall.

If Trump was downplaying the issue in the meeting with Peña Nieto, he didn’t in his speech. “We will build a great wall along the southern border. And Mexico will pay for the wall —100 percent. They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall.”

If the Republican Hispanic advisory council thought Trump was softening on his position about providing a path for legalisation for some undocumented immigrants, Trump made it clear that he was against any path to legal citizenship for them.

As for what he would do with the estimated 11 m undocumented immigrants in the US, it was difficult to know exactly what he would do based on the speech apart from deportation. He talked about creating a deportation task force.

Talk of a pivot now seems more like the latest round of wishful thinking from mainstream Republicans who desperately want him to expand his base of support so that his unpopularity doesn’t endanger down ballot members of the party, especially those running for the Senate.

“That speech was unlikely to comfort Hispanics, and unlikely to soothe white suburbanites who are concerned about the racist label that has stuck to Trump,” Habermas said.

The irony is that teleprompter Trump was working. The polls had tightened a bit in the last two weeks after Clinton’s convention bounce and Trump’s post-convention meltdown. It will take time to see how the speech and the controversy over who is paying for his signature border wall will play out with voters.

But the speech made one thing clear, Trump will not be moderating his message on immigration to reach out to Latino voters. He has been trying to reach out to African-American voters by asking them what they had to lose by trying something new and “trying Trump”, but with polls in some areas showing him with zero percent support amongst African-Americans, he has nothing to lose.

But this was the last chance to press reset with one of the fastest growing groups in the US. On the issue of immigration, Trump has decided to be Trump.


  • Zorin001

    Trump has managed the impossible for me, he’s actually managed to make me feel some sympathy for the Republican party.

    The alt-Right tail is now wagging the Republican dog, the question is just how bad does it get; not for Trump but for the Senate and Congress elections. You could have the tea-party nightmare; President Hilary and a rock solid majority in both levels of the House.

    Or we end up with President Trump in which case turn out the lights.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Kevin, you’re very misinformed. Trump has massive support. He is saying and doing all the right things. US people of all races are rallying behind him and the movement to fight the globalist special interests. The msm is almost entirely putting out lies and propaganda against him because they are controlled by these special interests. Its the same thing as with brexit. Crooked Hillary is their puppet. That’s why she gets msm support.
    On immigration, you said there is no route for illegals to become citizens. That’s incorrect. The route is to leave the country and reapply the legal way just like everyone else. They are breaking the law after all !!

    Read independant media for the real facts.

  • Kevin Charman-Anderson

    @Sir_Rantsalot_2015:disqus Trump is a regular politician who says different things depending on the audience. When he met with the Republican Hispanic advisory councii on 20 August, he said according to Buzzfeed – hardly the hated MSM – “In a Saturday meeting with his newly announced Hispanic advisory council, Donald Trump suggested he is interested in figuring out a “humane and efficient” manner to deal with immigrants in the country illegally, according to three sources.” And it’s clear that at least one of those Hispanic advisory council members heard something different yesterday than he heard in that meeting because he has resigned. According to Politico, Jacob Monty said, “I was a strong supporter of Donald Trump when I believed he was going to address the immigration problem realistically and compassionately. What I heard today was not realistic and not compassionate.”
    Maybe deporting undocumented immigrants and having them apply for immigration legally is “humane and efficient”, but that is not what Monty and many others took away from the meeting.
    And as for coverage of the speech last night, yes, he said that undocumented immigrants can leave the country and reapply. But he also said that sometime in the future there might be and “’appropriate disposition’ for those immigrants who remain without legal status,” according to Julia Preston of the New York Times.
    As for your call to read independent media, how can Breitbart be considered independent of the Trump campaign when their CEO is on leave so he can run the Trump campaign?

  • Anglo-Irish

    There are two possibilities.

    Either Trump has realised that this has gone too far, and he has enough self awareness to accept that he is totally incapable of carrying out the role of President of the United States of America and he is deliberately trying to sabotage his own campaign, or he’s a complete egotistical moron and believes there are enough fellow morons in the US to get him elected.

    One of his PR advisors who resigned when she realised that it was getting out of hand explained the original idea.

    Despite this information and his ludicrous pontificating divisive speeches he’s still in the race.

  • npbinni

    What a horrific choice Americans have for their next president: either one of the most dishonest and incompetent Secretaries of State in American history with a sense of entitlement. or an arrogant, egotistical blowhard who is interested in nothing but his own aggrandisement. When it comes down to it, they are really not that different from one another.

  • Petee

    don’t believe the rightwing media!

  • Sir Rantsalot

    I have heard that buzfeed and gawker were peddlers of anti trump propaganda. I wouldn’t consider it a source of accurate info! You can tell the propaganda sites because they are thick with isms and mud slinging like ‘incompetent’ and light on any facts and figures. If you read left sites then I would encourage you to read right wing and conservative sites also. FYI the left labels everything conservative as Far Right. Just ignore the label.
    By independant, I meant not under corporate control. Yes Breitbart ceo is on trump team and Milo also is pro trump. It is rising fast in the world of truthful online news. When you realise the US election is about corporate elite control versus the people. I believe that gives Breitbart a lot of credibility.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    ‘Totally incapable egotistical moron ludicrous pontificating divisive…..’
    You sound a lot like one of those crazy social justice warriors that thinks that throwing insults at someone is the same as making a facts based argument.

    Have you read any of the sites I linked above? Or watched any Trump speeches? Or press conferences? Or have you based your opinion completely on filtered reports that are other peoples biased opinions?

  • Cosmo

    Another possibility, is that in the event he doesn’t win, he is going to set up a new News Channel with a ready-made sucker-audience. Bannon is there on tap; and there’s Roger Ayres ready for another job.

  • Cosmo

    Trump is a demagogue with a quick turn of tongue ‘cleverly’ tuning into the deep-seated racism against darker skins, which is deeply embedded in the US psyche.
    Most of his fans, don’t actually have the education, literacy or critical concentration to analyse their situation, and why they are where they are; – so Trump is giving them ‘fast-food’ answers. As to why they can’t spot a contradictory, unsightly, pampered, second-hand car salesman, for the fraud that he is – I suppose that ‘reality show’ culture has simply mushed any intuitive insights about what to respect in a human, they might ever have had. They don’t care about any attempts to reach the truth, because they must have lost all hope in their future in the US.

  • Cosmo

    The US is imploding. Al Qaeda really did beat them with that sucker punch, which left them stupidly making every mistake they could in its aftermath.

  • Anglo-Irish

    You are under the impression that Trump is capable of making fact based arguments?

    Good one, I do enjoy a laugh on a Sunday afternoon.

    This is a man born into enormous wealth – no problem, good luck to him – who would have been wealthier than he is now if he had simply invested his inheritance in Fortune 500 companies.

    Instead of which he chose to gamble with his inheritance because his ego told him that he could do better.

    The result of which is that he is poorer than he could be and has had four companies bearing his name go into bankruptcy leaving a trail of human misery behind.

    I have little time for Hillary but just about anyone with a working brain would be preferred to that clown.

    And you know what? I think even he is beginning to understand it.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Winston Churchill said that you could always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they had tried everything else.

    As he was half American himself then you would think he knew what he was on about.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Comes down to which one we think will do the least damage.

    Hillary by a short head, poor choice of words, what with Monica and all, but you know what I mean.

  • Cosmo

    Actually, in the last century I think the US had some of the best talent in the world; but they were recent immigrants who brought some brainpower and culture with them. But the Neo-Con elite bankrupted the nation in every way possible.

  • Cosmo

    Her foreign policy will be very very bad for the world.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Whilst I tend to agree with that Trump has asked why they can’t just Nuke people so it might not be as bad as that!

  • Cosmo

    Do you know what, if you’re the target of modern weaponry – whether it’s a barrel bomb, drone attack, chemical weapons – the sheer extent of the destruction probably feels like a nuclear bomb’s gone off.
    But, I agree with your observation:- how would Trump have coped with the insult of the red-carpet insult by the Chinese yesterday !? No doubt, his dim-wit Fox-news-fed supporters are already saying he would make a better President because he would bravely press the button.

  • Cosmo

    after all, all his values go perfectly with a certain strand of Christianity.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Did you see the film Dr Strangelove?

    If you did then you will remember the airforce man played by Slim Pickings who managed to release the bomb and went down straddling it waving his cowboy hat whilst giving a rebel yell?

    There is no doubt that he was a Republican.

  • Cosmo

    Yes, very vivid.
    Trump is exceptionally litigious, which is one of the reasons, the Media proceeded with kid-gloves early on in the campaign. (And it will probably keep the wife protected too from those pesky stories in D Mail.)
    Well, he probably learned his ‘hit first legally’ techniques from a ‘man’ he inherited from his father. (See link below).
    You can be sure, that if there had been smartphones, there would have been some juicy photos emerge (maybe still to come) of what these Trump, Roger Stone and Cohn got up to at Studio 54 nightclub. (Far far racier, than Lewinsky, I would wager.)

  • Cosmo

    You might also ‘enjoy’ Thirteen Days – a film about the Cuban Crisis, giving a depiction of Kennedy trying to navigate his way around the trigger-happy military.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Saw the film, lived through the crisis.

    Good film.

  • Anglo-Irish

    As they say you can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps.

    ‘ The Donald ‘ doesn’t appear too discerning about who he hangs around with.

  • Sir Rantsalot

    Your first link was to Marie Claire ! Snigger snigger, 🙂
    These articles are not saying any real points or information. Just listing his private life and that he has changed party several times over the years. Can you not see that these are written to demonise and mud sling only? The writers intention is to call him names, that’s it. Look at the response to the list of quotes.
    Its great to watch the little people rally round a candidate that really is against the establishment. He’ll win by a big margin in November.

  • Anglo-Irish

    Well then let’s just address the things we’ve witnessed him do during his ‘campaign’.

    Mock a disabled man on national television.

    Offer to pay the fines for any of his supporters who assault hecklers.

    Brag about building a wall along the Mexican border and get the Mexicans to pay for it.

    Insult the memory of an American Muslim soldier who died for his country.

    Call for a ban on Muslims being allowed entry to the US.

    He then denies that some of this ever happened although it has been witnessed.

    And as Trump is famously litigious, looking to sue people at every opportunity you can bet that Marie Claire are sure of their facts and have got him by his tiny little balls ( snigger snigger ).

  • grumpy oul man

    That thinks throwing insults at someone is the same as fact based argument.
    LOL the pot has just had a go at the kettle about it colour

  • Cosmo

    I am just dreading these ‘debates’ because I anticipate that T is going to throw some ghastly and personalised insults, as his technique. An exemplar cheer leader for playground bullying – for the whole world.

  • grumpy oul man

    Of course he will throw around personal insults, what else can he do.
    The man has no policies and no understanding of politics so he will not debate, you might as well expect a penguin to lecture on Quantum Physics than T actually debating..

  • Cosmo

    The sinister thing is that his fans, don’t care about the contradictions, the hypocrisy, the lies, the manipulation. They seem to have come to a point where they just don’t (really) care any more, they want an apocalyptic finale, like they are giving it one last throw of the dice.

  • grumpy oul man

    It should be remembered that a lot of the right wing nutjobs who support him are end of dayers and would wellcome the apocalypse and think it is thier duty to make the conditions right for the second coming.
    Very worrying.

  • Cosmo

    I sense that soldier for god stuff has receeded; and what is now being harnessed is the hatred of the dark skin, morphing into utter demonisation of Muslim/migrants; with a significant efficiency being generously funded by US friends of a certain country in the middle east, who would very much like Europe to see ‘the problem’ with Islam, in racist terms, like they see it. Funding of right wing anti immigrant ‘reportage and comment’ generated in Europe, for the uncritical US audience, and then cross pollinated back into Europe, with a veneer of academic respectability, to serve a growth in Islamaphobia. I am very pessimistic, by the steady way that news and opinion and the audience is being manipulated. Advisers to Trump, like Roger Stone, with Nixon tattooed on his back, mouthing dire warnings of the savages raping and over-running the US, like they are in Europe, in his The FT interview, for goodness sake.

  • grumpy oul man

    I suspect the soldier of god lot are still around, but as you say in a different guise.
    We have a few on Slugger, their level of ignorance is astounding. Rantalot is a classic example, no need for any proof as long as it suits their worldview they will make his own proof up

  • Cosmo

    ‘poor ‘ chap. He must have sinned horribly, to have the punishment of having to check in, and report for duty, for missionary work on Slugger.
    But Breitbart, now has a London branch. Editor in chief Raseem Kassam, former UKIp advisor, steam room companion, and flatmate to Farage. There is money flowing in, from US.

  • AntrimGael

    Big, big worries for the Democrats now. Hilary Clinton diagnosed with pneumonia and Trump’s people and the Republican media are going into overdrive. This COULD be a massive game changer now.