Top Trump aide to RNC: Don’t worry, it’s all an act

GOP 2016 Debate

He gets you. He really, really gets you.

Eh, forget that. He’s about to stop getting you. Or stop pretending to get you. Or start pretending he doesn’t get you.

Which one is it? That’s anyone’s guess, but one of the top aides to Donald Trump’s campaign is now on the record admitting: It’s all an act. From the Washington Post, which obtained a recording of the remarks:

“Trump’s chief strategist Paul Manafort told members of the Republican National Committee in a closed-door briefing (in Florida) Thursday afternoon that his candidate has been playing a ‘part’ on the campaign trail, but is starting to pivot toward presenting a more businesslike and presidential ‘persona.’

“‘He gets it,’ Manafort told RNC members. ‘The part that he’s been playing is now evolving into the part that you’ve been expecting. The negatives will come down, the image is going to change, but “Crooked Hillary” is still going to be “Crooked Hillary.”‘”

“The RNC members laughed at Manafort’s use of Trump’s derogatory nickname for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. ‘She is going to hate him,’ Manafort said. ‘And he enjoys digging it in that way.’

“Manafort argued that Clinton’s negative favorability ratings are caused by ‘character’ issues, whereas Trump’s are fueled by ‘personality’ concerns.

“‘Fixing personality negatives is a lot easier than fixing character negatives,’ Manafort said. ‘You can’t change somebody’s character, but you can change the way a person presents himself.'”

Where to begin? Let’s start with the obvious, the part about “the part.” If your support for Trump is based on his willingness not to be “politically correct,” well, it sounds like he’s about to become more P.C. If your support is based on his not being a real politician, well, what do folks hate more about “politicians” than their phoniness, their willingness to say one thing to one group and something completely different to others? This news would seem to underscore my point the other day, that whatever you think about the issues, it’s totally irrational to believe anything Trump says.

Before you object that this is more about style than substance: With Trump, the style is the substance. There is no there there. Anyone else would be embarrassed to go around revealing his utter ignorance about the issues. His utterances on various topics, when actually heard, are nothing but incoherent rambling. Not only can he not explain how he would do the few concrete things he’s said he’ll do, such as building a wall on the southern border and making Mexico pay for it; he doesn’t even try to do so. There is nothing to Trump but his personality.

Even that has earned him the votes of less than 40 percent of GOP voters, although that may be enough to win him the nomination. Now he’s going to change it, and this is supposed to be a smart move? People are supposed to believe the new Trump personality is the real one — while the base of people who liked the old one are supposed to believe that remains the real one? Can you really “change the way a person presents himself” successfully, when the “way he presents himself” is the reason for his success?

Actually, it just might work. Voters so far have seemed nonplussed by the fact Trump’s positions on the issues have changed 180 degrees from what they were, in many cases, just a few years ago — and in some cases, days and even hours before. Who’s to say the cult of personality can’t simply absorb a new personality?

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131 comments
JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Kasich and Cruz now working together to keep Trump from as many delegates as possible.

Neither sees that if not Trump it won't be them.

My guess the collusion will only strengthen the Trump vote and maybe give him a first round convention win. 

lvg
lvg

Stupid Party led by Rinse a Peanut heads straight towards the cliff -and running.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@lvg

The majority of the "stupid party" work for a living and pay their own bills.

The majority of your party leach off them and don't know which bathroom they're supposed to use.

John Seo
John Seo

If Donald Trump had a press release writer worth his salt wouldn’t he and his spokesman be better off issuing news releases rather than winging it in front of TV cameras? Sticking to a script has its rewards; while winging it has obvious risks. If they need to bone up on the basics, heck, it’s better late than never …

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EBQWZWY?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

Travelfish
Travelfish

If the Republican leadership weren't addicted to big business payola in exchange for open borders and cheap labor ... there wouldn't be a Trump candidacy. Or, at least, he wouldn't be in the commanding position he's in.

But go ahead and convince yourself there's some other reason.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

It's a good thing Democrat leadership isn't addicted to big business payola, amirite?

Don S. Rowley
Don S. Rowley

That's why he likes the poorly educated trailer trash voters that are flocking to his campaign and that are rallying in Stone Mountain with their bed sheets today

tailhook2591
tailhook2591

He's a plant by the Dems to destroy the Republican Party and get Hildebeast elected...and people are falling for it.

'Pub Heaven
'Pub Heaven

@easystreet Have you had a chance to contact Reince Priebus?

He may have an interest in your information...

lvg
lvg

@332-206 @easystreet Rinse a Peanut does not have a clue. Same disaster as 2012 but getting worse.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Who do the Trumpsters think Donald ate with, partied with, if not those old Establishment types?

Sheila Taylor
Sheila Taylor

What's an act?? That Trump is even more of a lunatic than he's showing us now??? I understand that lots of people are mad for various reasons, but why are they so easily suspending reality? Trump is about as presidential as a mosquito. SMH

Bruno2
Bruno2

Bruno: "But, how is it fair that I should pay such a disproportionate share of taxes??  Why should I be my Brother's Keeper??  How come I'm not the "Kept" one??"

Hedley: "They have convinced themselves the real enemy is the poor guy working at Wal Mart for 9 bucks an hour who gets a 100 dollars a month in food stamps"

Dalton: "Are your brothers the giant corporations who have bought the government and have that government give them lots of free stuff paid for by you and me?"

Jefferson: "Do you get a disproportionate share of income?"

Too bad it's going into the weekend, because I think this topic is the "honest conversation about politics" that our country needs, since it is obvious that Libs and Cons have very fundamentally different views of the proper role of government.

The Con view is pretty simple: Government exists to provide the basic backbone that a society needs to function safely.  As such, services such as police, military, roads and other basic infrastructure are all within the legitimate scope of the government.  Basic education and enforcement of reasonable safety laws are also well within the scope of effective government along with a fair legal system.  Once this basic structure is established, then it is up to the individual to make their own life within this safe society.  In the Con mindset, self-sufficiency should be the goal for every citizen, and every citizen should be invested in their community by contributing something in the way of tax dollars.

The Lib view seems to be that providing a setting for people to succeed within is not enough.  The Lib view seems to be that it is normal for people to look toward the government for economic support even under "full employment" conditions.  How else can you explain the acceptance of the fact that nearly 15% of our population are currently receiving food stamps, the highest percentage of any time since food stamps have been given out??  Have the past six years, the time period in which food stamp usage has increased dramatically, truly been the "worst of times" in the past 40 years??

http://www.trivisonno.com/wp-content/uploads/Food-Stamps-Percent.jpg

As Hedley indicates, the amount of aid per person isn't huge, but that's not the point in the Con mindset. The point is that a healthy society requires self-sufficient people.  Enabling sloth and deception leads to negative character traits, which leads to a poorly functioning society.  Cons are fine with helping the truly needy, but that's not what is going on today in the USA with 1 in 5 people receiving some kind of direct aid.

Per Dalton's point, I'm really not sure what "free stuff" he believes is being given to corporations, but if he means reduced taxes as an incentive to relocate to a new state, that's =/= to free stuff, since no taxes were being collected prior to the move.  Otherwise, Cons don't support subsidies to businesses unless such subsidies benefit society as a whole.  In case you forgot, most Cons opposed bailing out GM while the Libs thought it was a great idea.  It was Obama's decision not to prosecute any of the players in the 2008 banking crisis.

Per Jefferson's point, obviously I am a high earner in order to pay such a high tax load. I became a high-earner by working long hours for many, many years and sacrificing immediate pleasures while I watched most of my acquaintances and neighbors do the opposite.  As such, my reward is to hand over nearly 40% of everything I earn to the govt while my former acquaintances and neighbors pay little to no federal taxes, paying only state taxes and sales tax ( = less than 13% of their total income).  Can you see where that might come across as being somewhat unfair??

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

It should also be noted that when it comes to our freedoms, it is conservatives who defend them and seek to maximize them, and leftists who frequently seek to infringe or eliminate them.

Leftists currently seek to rewrite the First Amendment to give politicians power to control speech, eliminate the Second Amendment, eviscerate the Fourth Amendment through Federal agency hassling of conservative groups, and ignore the Ninth and Tenth Amendments by concentrating more and more power in Washington DC.

Leftists will, of course, scream about abortion and gay marriage. Conservatives will point out that abortion deprives what Hillary calls a "person" of their right to life and therefore should be prohibited or limited, whereas leftists argue that as long as that person's pinky toe is still in the birth canal, it's OK to decapitate them.

On the whole though, our liberties, particularly those so clearly spelled out in Our Constitution's plain language, are far safer with conservatives than with leftists.

lvg
lvg

@Bruno2 You should learn from Romney and pay 14% or less in taxes. 

bu22
bu22

And if you believe there is a new Trump, he's got a university course to sell you...

Bruno2
Bruno2

@xxxzzz To be honest, I'd almost rather take a chance on Trump than on Cruz, who I know would be a terrible President.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Cruz is smart, principled, and reliably conservative. There's no need to take a chance on Trump. You have no idea what he stands for.

bu22
bu22

@Lil_Barry_Bailout Agreed.  Now Cruz thinks being disliked by everyone he works with is an asset, so there's that against him.

lvg
lvg

@xxxzzz @Lil_Barry_Bailout and he is not a "natural born citizen" so he is unqualified to be president. Supreme Court witll split even due to intransigence of Stupid Party if Cruz were elected.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Anyone who pays income taxes is paying a disproportionate share, since half of adults pay none.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

And Hillary? Is she going to put taker Democrats back on the tax rolls? LMAO!

Rita Bryant Massey
Rita Bryant Massey

Blah Blah Blah How about doing your job and writing something worth reading.. Dip Stick!!

Wesley Andrew Hightower
Wesley Andrew Hightower

I can't read the article. I'm sorry to unfollow your feed, but nag screens blocking access make this a dead link.

Harvey Heath
Harvey Heath

It is a act Trump is using the old George Wallace trick on not so smart people.

Sheila Taylor
Sheila Taylor

Yep! Amazing that it still works. You would think that poor, southern whites would have figured out that they are targets just like other groups, but nope!!! It was a trick back then and it's still a trick.

Jan Marynowski
Jan Marynowski

The trick is that Black Americans still trust Democrats and still want to be part of Liberal Plantation . Scary. .....

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

  how is it fair that I should pay such a disproportionate share of taxes??  Why should I be my Brother's Keeper??  How come I'm not the "Kept" one??


This is at the heart of why Republicans fail.


They have convinced themselves the real enemy is the poor guy working at Wal Mart for 9 bucks an hour who gets a 100 dollars a month in food stamps. That guy just wants to be paid a decent wage and support his family.


Meanwhile corporations are recording record profits.


You are picking on the wrong guy. The little guy.



Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

Too bad more people aren't doing better, but that's the slow-growth, rigged Obama economy.

'Pub Heaven
'Pub Heaven

@Bruno2 @Lil_Barry_Bailout

Fewer private sector jobs at the end of Bush's term than when he started. 10,000,000 new jobs added during the Obama administration.


But we Could Have done better.

Mitt promised to have the unenployment rate down to 6% by 2017...

TicTacs
TicTacs

Reckon' the RNC is worried ?

Bruno2
Bruno2

 Kyle: "Before you object that this is more about style than substance: With Trump, the style is the substance."

Kyle--I understand that you don't like Trump, but to ignore his track record of business success puts you in the same category as the Libs who refer to him as a "Reality Show Star".  I'm sure that you, like most people, are trying your best to provide for your family and create a sound financial future. How much progress have you made toward that end??  Have you hit even the "millionaire" level yet??

I believe that most of Trump's supporters understand that his business success didn't come easily.  It never does, no matter how much money you start out with.  As such, I'm guessing that they are more impressed with that actual track record vs. whatever quip came out of his mouth during the last debate.

Kyle: "Voters so far have seemed nonplussed by the fact Trump’s positions on the issues have changed 180 degrees from what they were, in many cases, just a few years ago — and in some cases, days and even hours before."

My feeling is that you have been involved with political reporting for so long that you can no longer see things through the eyes of our mostly non-political population.  You view people's apparent lack of concern about his inconsistency on positions as an indictment of their character and intelligence, whereas I would characterize that phenomenon more as seeing the forest and ignoring the individual trees.

As the so-called "conservative" columnist for the AJC, I don't expect you to be a sycophant for every Republican candidate who comes down the pike, but I would expect you to present their candidacies in a fair way.  I'm not a Trump supporter (as of yet), but still feel an obligation to be fair in my assessments.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Bruno2 His business record is less sterling than he makes it out to be. He is almost alone in the category of managing to go bankrupt with casinos. His real-estate deals -- "deals" are one of his selling points, no? -- are so underwhelming that it has been calculated he would have more money (billions more) if he'd just invested in a real-estate index fund. And of course, he hasn't released the kind of information that would let the public evaluate whether his claims about his success and wealth are actually true.

All that said, let's assume/pretend for a moment that everything he's told us about his business success is true. So what? What does that mean for his ability to negotiate with foreign leaders for whom money isn't the first priority, or maybe not one at all? One might think his success would be attributable to knowing the particulars of any given deal/situation, right? Well, what then does it say about his ability to be successful as a president that he doesn't know the particulars of just about any topic he's addressed on the campaign trail?

To answer your question about my wealth: No, I am not (at age 37) a millionaire. But I have a better "money I have" to "money daddy gave me" ratio than he does.

As for my harping on his inconsistency: Changing his mind on one issue is not a bad thing, and arguably is a good thing. He has changed his mind on every issue, oftentimes within a matter of hours. This isn't about consistency; it's about whether he has given any thought whatsoever to the issues he talks about. I, for one, would like to have a president who thinks things through more than a couple of seconds before he opens his mouth.

Finally, I don't think I'm presenting Trump in an unfair way, at all. Favorable? Hell no. But fairness requires that we look at the man as he really is, right?

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Lil_Barry_Bailout @Bruno2 I've heard that story stated more than one way.  One story says that he started with a $1,000,000 loan from his father.  Another story says something about $200,000,000, which is where the "index fund" comparison originates.  If you're basing your statement based on the $200,000,000 starting figure, please explain the source of your numbers.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Kyle_Wingfield @Bruno2 Thanks for the reply, Kyle.  I'm sure you know I'm poking you a bit.  Blogging would be boring otherwise.

Per the Atlantic City casinos that bore his name, I don't believe you know the whole story.  All of the casinos there ended up in big financial trouble, with several closing in the past couple of years.  Trump claims that he had reduced his stake considerably in all of "his" casinos in AC such that he was a minority owner by the time the big troubles came.  Either way, to hold that small portion of his portfolio out as evidence that he's a failure simple isn't telling the whole truth.

Per your point that business success doesn't always translate to political success, there may be some truth to that since the environment that political deals takes place in is very different from the one in which cut-throat business negotiations occur.  In that same vein, I didn't think Carson's success as a surgeon particularly qualified him for office since caring for patients is very different from being an administrator.  However, I'm willing to give a businessman a chance, having voted for Ross Perot twice vs having a bunch of crooked attorneys call all of the shots.

I do share your concern that Trump hasn't done a better job developing positions, etc.  Not much to add there.

Finally, I'm confident that you will be a millionaire one day due to your conservative character which gives you the ability to defer pleasure now in order to build a solid future.  As I've mentioned several times, my 4 sisters and I all started with less than nothing, coming from a broken home in which our Dad left us with a pile of gambling debts.  Now, we're all rich, with a couple of my sisters reaching the multi-million dollar level.  As I keep telling folks here, where's there a will, there's a way.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Bruno2 The story says where they came from: The $100 million figure was from a BusinessWeek estimate in 1978; the $200 million figure was his own self-reported number in 1976.

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Kyle_Wingfield @Bruno2 So where did the $100 million and $200 million figures mentioned in the story come from??  Trump claims he started with a $1,000,000 loan.  If the $100 and $200 million levels were a result of his earlier successes, it's  disingenuous to list those as his "starting point" and to start counting only from that point forward.

Example: I took a big gamble earlier this year, and put my whole load in steel, gaining 80% thus far this year.  But, since it went down a bit yesterday, more than the big indexes, would it be fair to say that my investing performance is worse than if I had simply invested in a Dow index fund??

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Kyle_Wingfield @Bruno2 I'm asking did his father give him $1,000,000 or $100,000,000??  Those would be very different starting points.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Bruno2 I take your points, but will push back on this one: "Trump claims that he had reduced his stake considerably in all of "his" casinos in AC such that he was a minority owner by the time the big troubles came."

Trump "claims" lots of things. The fact is that he ran the company for 10 years -- the whole time as chairman, and part of the time as CEO -- during which it went into bankruptcy. And his casino company's stock during that time fell by 89%, while an index of gambling companies rose by 160%. More here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/its-worse-than-you-think-trumps-business-disaster-2016-03-04

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@Bruno2

Given what he started with, Trump would have been better off financially putting his money in an S&P 500 index fund than applying his "business success".

Bruno2
Bruno2

@Kyle_Wingfield @Bruno2 Hmmm--Do you recall what sticker symbol "Trump Hotels and Resorts" traded under??  I don't recall seeing as a tradeable entity.

On the other hand, MGM stock fell below $1.00 per share in early Feb, 2009, so picking 2005 as an endpoint again is somewhat disingenuous.


P.S. To demonstrate my investing style, I took out a large stake in Valeant (VRX) a few weeks ago when everyone in the world was spitting on the stock.  Check it out today.  If you're willing to be a "bottom-feeder" like me, you can make some huge returns.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Bruno2 @Kyle_Wingfield Ask members of the USFL about Trump's business sense.


In fact there was an ESPN 30 for 30 about it.


When asked tough questions he stormed off. Like the child that he is.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWxMCLHXkVc


They had a perfectly good thing going playing ball in the spring. But the Donald wanted to take on the NFL. It was a complete disaster. 

Finn-McCool
Finn-McCool

@Bruno2 It sure helps to hit that first million after your dad gives you a million. Dontcha think?

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@Bruno2 @Hedley_Lammar @Kyle_Wingfield None. Neither has Donald.


The USFL was conceived in 1965 by New OrleansLouisiana, businessman David Dixon, who saw a market for a professional football league that would play while the established National Football League was in their off-season. Dixon had been a key player in the construction of the Louisiana Superdome and the expansion of the NFL into New Orleans in 1967


Trump reminds me of the rich guy who was born on third base and will tell you he hit a triple.


Give me a break.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@Bruno2 I see what you mean, and I don't know the answer, but I'm not sure it matters.

Compare him to a baseball player -- say, Jeff Francoeur. Now, Frenchy did really well early on, piling up HRs and RBIs. Then he started a long slide where he was worse than the league average. Of course, his number of HRs and RBIs continued to rise even though he was worse than average. And the fact he wasn't as great later on doesn't erase the success he had early. But an average player, or especially a better than average player, would have more.

That is (more or less) the point here.