Nathan Deal on Trump, trade and anger in the electorate

AJC Photo / Bob Andres

AJC Photo / Bob Andres

The question on many elected Republicans’ minds these days is how to respond to the Trump phenomenon. Although election results like this past week’s primary in Georgia suggest anti-establishment sentiment lacks a channel when The Donald isn’t on the ballot, they’d rather not risk their political futures on being wrong about that.

Getting elected is one thing; governing is another. So I decided to ask someone who has stood in his last election, but still has a lot on his agenda before retiring from office, what he has taken (so far) from this year’s strange campaign.

“I think it’s been characterized as he’s tapping into the anger of the American people,” began Gov. Nathan Deal during an interview Wednesday. “I heard a good definition … that anger is fear turned inward.

“People are afraid of what’s happening in the world, and they apparently do not feel that established government has given them enough reassurances that they will be protected — whether it be terrorism, whether it be protecting their ability to earn a living, whether it be … assurances they can afford for their children to get an education in the manner in which they think is appropriate. There are just a lot of things that people are angry about. And government really, quite frankly, should be in the business of giving people relief from their fears, if that’s what fear is, is anger turned outward.”

Deal said one of the main issues Trump has seized upon, the wisdom of some of America’s trade agreements, also caused him some unease during his 17-plus years in Congress.

“There are many of us who have been in elected office at the congressional level who — at least I’ve had the feeling — we’ve entered into these trade agreements, and then we forget about them. We don’t enforce the terms of those agreements, we don’t hold people accountable for the conditions that were associated with the agreements.

“A bad agreement to start with is bad enough. But one that doesn’t appear bad at the outset (but) that is really not enforced, turns out to be a bad agreement. And I think that’s what he’s pointing out in some of these trade agreements, is we’ve just sort of walked away from the enforcement side of things. And you can’t do that, because you’ll be taken advantage of.”

Deal hasn’t formally endorsed Trump; a spokeswoman says he voted for Jeb Bush but still intends to support the GOP’s nominee. He said he doesn’t agree “with everything (Trump) has said, and the ways in which he’s said it,” but that the businessman “has to be commended” for attracting more people to the party’s primaries.

The reconciliation between Trump and the GOP establishment has been uneven, to say the least. Deal called on “those who have been, and are still in, positions of leadership … to make accommodations” while also putting the onus on Trump, if he’s elected, to cultivate the relationships needed to move his agenda through Congress.

“Because,” Deal said, “campaigns that rely simply on emotion without substance to change the direction of the issues that people are angry about will ultimately be rejected, because it will be just another disappointment.”

Reader Comments 0

20 comments
Caius
Caius

"Trump's intent to temporarily halt Muslim immigrants..."

Another presidential executive order?  It will not get through congress unless it has a wide ranging immigration bill attached to it. I will keep 1.5 billion muslims out of the country and you give me a path to citizenship for 9 million illegals already here.  Deal? It takes at least 2 parties to make a deal. I do not see much deal making in the next 4 years.


President Trump, or Clinton or Sanders will need to deal with a congress that will be as anti-executive branch as the last 5 congresses have been.


Which raises the question, will Trump, Clinton or Sanders have any coattails?  If so, positive or negative?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

re, Trump's remarks on temporarily halting Muslim immigration.

I keep reading where this that or the other Liberal, and sometimes RINO's try to convince readers that Trump's intent to temporarily halt Muslim immigrants is a kin to Satin.

What BS.

Under normal circumstances there certainly would not and should not be a religious test to immigrate to the USA.

However, this is not normal circumstances.

The issue with Muslims and the reason that test should at least temporarily apply is, their religion and governance are one in the same.

Their religion plainly calls for death to infidels - anyone that is not Muslim.

And, the radicals have set about to do just that.

So, let the Liberals and others wrap themselves in false religious and patriotic belief if they wish.

For logical minded patriots, a temporary halt on Muslim immigrants is the right thing to do. 

Starik
Starik

@JohnnyReb Actually, our American Muslims are cooperating fully with the FBI and police agencies in identifying problems. What about the Muslims who have actively assisted us in Afghanistan and Iraq?  Should we abandon them like we did the Vietnamese?

lvg
lvg

Excellent reporting Kyle.


Please tell us which  Presidents initiated the trade deals with China? What will happen if Herr Trump cancels those deals along with Chinese and North Korean military buildup?


” Deal said, “campaigns that rely simply on emotion without substance to change the direction of the issues that people are angry about will ultimately be rejected, because it will be just another disappointment.”


Cons will vote for Trump strictly out of hate for   Dems.  Cons would support an d elect a child predator and triple murderer if he hates Obama, Hillary and liberal health care agenda.


Man showed his disrespect for rule of law by haranguing  the Judge handling his case on Twitter. But he is the hero of the Stupid Party!

lvg
lvg

@Kyle_Wingfield @lvg Big difference in human emotions and motivation if people act out of hatred for  a party ( who has a track record of accomplishments) vs. fear of a pending disaster due to incompetence  arrogance  and fascism with an agenda that changes every time Trump speaks.

.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@lvg "Cons will vote for Trump strictly out of hate for   Dems."

Let's not pretend that's a one-way street. Witness the polls showing the No. 1 reason people say they'd vote for Hillary is to vote against Trump.

Cobbian
Cobbian

@Kyle_Wingfield @lvg Kyle, people saying they will vote for Hillary BECAUSE the want to vote against Trump is not saying they are for Hillary or that they are Democrats or that they hate Republicans.  I know a few Republicans who are not going to vote for anyone for president or will end up voting for Hillary.  Really are the only choices they see as reasonable given how awful Trump is.  


I see a huge loss of integrity in Republicans who are willing to support someone like him for the presidency.  Pubs got railroaded and now they are going to roll over and die and become the party of Trump.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@lvg @Kyle_Wingfield Judging from Democratic comments, its mostly hatred of a party.  For Republicans, its mostly hatred of Hillary, who hates Republicans as well, describing them as "the enemy."

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I certainly do not agree with Gov. Deal on the role of Government, but not surprised given his liberal tendencies.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

There will prove to be a stark difference between Obama and Trump.

Obama is dangerously arrogant and has overstepped his authority when Congress would not give him what he wanted.

Obama could care less about relationships with Congress and his lack of success is evidence.

Trump on the other hand has been successful because of building relationships.

He will do so with Congress and may at times accept less than what us staunch Conservatives would have preferred, but there will be leaps and bounds improvement over the Obama years.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@JohnnyReb Yeah, he's pretty good at building relationships with married women. 

Eye wonder
Eye wonder

@JohnnyReb

You've penned a lot of funny stuff in your time here, JR. This is - by far - the funniest.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Eye wonder @JohnnyReb of course you Libbies twist the intent of remarks into something that goes along with your beliefs.

Just as has Lap Media twisted Trump remarks.

Trump has been criticized for example on giving contributions to Liberals.  He did that when he was building relationships for business.

He will build relationships with Congress, as I stated.

There is no advantage in building relationships with Islamist Terrorists or Illegal Immigrants.

Silly Bloggers
Silly Bloggers

@JohnnyReb @Eye wonder Not agreeing with your comment does not make  you a liberal.  I voted McCain and Romney.  I have been called a Republiklan amongst other things.  I'll vote Johnson if he gets any headwind.  If he doesn't, I will vote (vomit) Hillary.


I'm not an Obama fan, but the amount of grievances laid at  his feet are ridiculous.  I have never seen such an embodiment of the word scapegoat in my entire life.  He has overreached multiple times.  He hugs the left at times as well...but let's  not act like he isn't building relationships with Congress...what has Congress done to help him out?  Congress wouldn't pass a law that cut taxes by 50%, increased employment by 200%, and saved the economy as we know it if the idea originated from Obama.  


At the end of the day, I'm making significantly more money that I was in 2008, my wife and I have had no trouble finding work when we have needed to do so, and ourselves and our children have quality insurance.  Are we filthy rich and get everything our hearts' desire?  Absolutely not.  But we manage to pay for day care, groceries, the mortgage, car payments, a vacation or two, and put away a little bit for retirement and college every year.


I didn't vote for Obama, but I'd take him in a heart beat for another four-years over Trump or Hillary.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Silly Bloggers @JohnnyReb @Eye wonder a vote for anyone other than Trump is a vote for Hillary or whoever the Dems run.

If you are OK with Dems picking 5 or so SCOTUS justices, then go for it.

I think that would be insane if you care for the country and future of your family.

As to Obama, he got far more than he deserved.

One reason for Trump's support is voters are angry at Republicans for not standing up to him more.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@JohnnyReb @Eye wonder Or standing governors or the people in Congress he will have to deal with?  He burns bridges when there is no benefit to doing so (just like Hillary lies when there is no benefit to doing so).  Trump is used to people jumping when he calls.  He will be very mistaken if he thinks that will happen if he becomes president.

xxxzzz
xxxzzz

@Silly Bloggers @JohnnyReb @Eye wonder Obama is as much an idiot when it comes to building relationships as Trump.  He will bad-mouth the Republicans, calling them corrupt or evil, and then expect them to agree with what he wants.  He is the worst leader we have had as president in my lifetime, even worse than Jimmy Carter.