A PIVOT? REALLY?
When GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump tapped Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon to run his campaign earlier this month, the last thing anyone expected was a pivot on the issue that launched his populist surge over a year ago.
Yet Trump has done just that … offering up modified language on the issue of illegal immigration that many view as a sop to centrist voters.
“No citizenship,” Trump said in addressing illegal aliens at a town hall meeting earlier this week. “They’ll pay back taxes. They have to pay taxes. There’s no amnesty, but we will work with them.”
That’s a departure from Trump’s prior pronouncements on this issue. In fact, it’s been argued that Trump is now trending toward the same position he previously ripped his establishment “Republican” rivals for embracing.
Breitbart has also been hammering away at the illegal immigration issue for months. In fact, their coverage has been so aggressive that it’s prompted censorship on social media.
Trump’s campaign said he wasn’t changing his policy – just the words he was using to describe it.
Now? We have no clue what’s going on …
This website has never breathed fire on the immigration issue – although we have consistently called for government to appropriate more resources to border security.
“Why not stop subsidizing millions of things government shouldn’t be doing and start spending tax dollars on one of the handful of things it should do?” we wrote recently.
We’ve also consistently called for the elimination of taxpayer benefits for illegals – as well as automatic deportation for violent criminal aliens.
“Those who enter the United States illegally should automatically forfeit their right to American citizenship and taxpayer-funded benefits of any kind,” we wrote in July 2014. “And illegal immigrants who commit violent crimes should be deported immediately.”
Is that happening? Um, no.
Here’s Trump’s fundamental problem: Efforts to mollify his prior bold pronouncements on immigration reform are unlikely to convert those who remain skeptical of his candidacy. Not only that, such efforts could backfire by suppressing turnout among the “Silent Majority” he is counting on.
Also the waffling – the whole “he’s not changing his policy he’s just changing his words” – makes Trump look like precisely the sort of politician he’s spent the last year exposing.