Donald Trump knows his own quotes are stacked high against him, especially when it comes to discussing those serious politicians who never, ever eat their own words. It’s exactly why he thinks he (might!) be a perfect Republican presidential candidate (if!) he chooses to run. Unlike Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who can be cut down after a couple racially-tinged comments, or flip-flopping Mitt Kerry, Trump gets the journalists’ lips lickin’ but keeps on tickin.’ Take him at his word.
“Who’s been more in the public eye than me?” argued Trump to Lloyd Grove in January. “For 30 years I’ve been a very public person. And who’s dealt with politicians more than me? I probably have raised and given more money to politicians than anybody. I’ve been very much a part of politics in this country. It’s not like I’m a novice.”
So true. Trump is no bushy-headed newbie, and he has been very much a part of politics in this country over the years. Trump abides by the Me Doctrine when discussing the qualities that make a good president and candidate. Over the years, he’s also had plenty of opportunities to not only discuss himself but other celebu-iticians as well. Since potential presidential candidate Trump wishes to move beyond the birther thing and discuss other important issues, there should be no area he’s better equipped to discuss than Trump’s knowledge of other people.
Here are some the things past-Trump has said that present-Trump may (or may not!) need to address. As Trump himself would probably agree, they’re only significant because “The Donald” said them himself, but they certainly come from a man whose own opinions reflect those of a similarly fickle country.
When Bill Ayers was known as ‘William’
During his crowded public appearance as a maybe-maybe-not potential presidential candidate earlier this month in Boca Raton, Fla., Trump indulged the audience’s request for comments on Barack Obama’s freshman book ghostwriter and puppet master Bill Ayers. Trump knows a fraud when he sees one, because Trump “wrote one of the biggest selling business books, they say the biggest selling business books…so I know a lot about books…The first one [“Dreams of My Father”] was written by Ernest Hemingway-plus, the second [“Audacity of Hope”] was written by a high school graduate.”
Trump’s been riding the wave of conservative conspiracy theorists (not that there’s anything wrong with that). It’s certainly a change of tone, however, from the run-up to the 2008 election. In an interview with a man who’s as much of a journalist as Trump is a politician, Wolf Blitzer asked if John Kerry should bring up Bill Ayers when debating Obama.
“I think William Ayers has been aired out quite a bit already,” responded Trump. “I think people are hearing about it and it’s a long time ago. I would rather see him talk about the economy, talk about the war, talk about OPEC.”
For the record, Trump is talking a lot about OPEC.
It’s just not the same without my friends
This isn’t Trump’s first rodeo. He of course began speed-walking for president back in 2000, briefly flirting with the idea as being a candidate for a group whose luck, since 1992, hasn’t really changed — the Reform Party.
But Trump had no desire to stay in the ring after he lost his tag-team partner.
“Since the beginning of my political exploratory effort, I have consistently said that I was only interested in running if I had the prospect of winning,” said Trump when he called it quits. “Without Jesse [Ventura], the Reform Party is just an extremist shell and cannot be a force or even a factor in 2000.”
Yes, without Ventura, what was the Reform Party but a bunch of crazies? Ventura stormed out of the party, going from the reform movement to the deformed Truther Movement. Today, when one types in “jesse+ventura” in Google, the first choice is ‘jesse+ventura+conspiracy+theory.”
It’s not much worse than the first suggested search for another one of Trump’s once-favorite people, and fellow part-time Floridian.
Asked by Wolf what he thought of then-Gov. Palin, Trump said he could “only go by the people of Alaska. She’s got the highest rating in the whole of United States as being the most popular a governor.” He gave an example.
“Another great governor friend of mine is Charlie Crist, he’s got a very high rating, too,” said Trump.
While Trump may seem consistent on Palin — he’s offered vague compliments recently, too — he wasn’t feeling the same kind of Tea Party solidarity back in 2008 after McCain’s defeat. When Greta van Sustren asked what Trump thought of the Grizzly Mama and (possibly! maybe!) fellow Republican 2012 contender, Trump was uncharacteristically bland.
“[Palin] certainly made things interesting but the question is, ‘Did she help?’” Trump rhetorically asked Trump. ”I just don’t know. I don’t have any answer for it…I think for any Republican to get out of the legacy of George Bush…is going to be very tough.”
Technically, when you’re mocked as having the same IQ as W, yes, it is going to be tough.
The hits on other political figures are equally Trumpian.
Clinton can triangulate? Yeah, well, Trump can get the bargain rate
Trump briefly described meeting Palin at the Grand Hyatt, “which I built.” But to really show political acumen, it’s the Clintons you have to outdo. Trump did that back in 1999, according to a Toronto Star article from the same time:
Even the Clintons’ latest deal, a $1.7 million house in New York’s Westchester County, showed the president’s lack of business acumen, Trump said. If Trump — who described himself as ”by far the biggest developer in Manhattan” — had done the deal, he said, he could have saved the Clintons at least $500,000.
Trump’s EPA would stand for Even Putting Area
Like Al Gore — whom he refused an invitation to freely bash at the Boca Raton rally — Trump is an environmentalist.
“I have received many, many environmental accolades and awards. I consider myself to be an environmentalist in the true sense of the word,” said Trump as he was planning his 9-iron paradise in Scotland, according to The Times of London.
As Vanity Fair’s –— and Trump prison-pal — Julie Weiner noted, Trump actually did receive an environmental award from the National Golf Club in New Jersey, which is like the Sierra Club for small, milfoil-dense ponds. He certainly won’t get any votes from PETA lovers, as he said manatees were like “huge amoebas [and] constantly getting hit by boats.”
Meh. Who really wants or needs PETA’s help?
Experience is everything when it’s Trump Experience. Everything else is negotiable
In slightly defending Palin during the last election cycle, celebrity Trump was a bit different than Future Candidate Trump, who has been touting Current Trump’s vast experience in everything from foreign policy to book writing.
“Well look at what other people have been doing and they had a lot of experience and they’re the ones that got us into this mess,” Trump told Wolf. “Maybe you need less experience.”
Trump’s quick hits
On Mitt Romney: “Good looking guy.”
On Pat Buchanan: “Prehistoric.”
On Daily Caller reporter Jeff Winkler: “You do a good job…Keep in touch. You and I’ll be talking a lot.”