In victory speech last night following a resounding win in the GOP New York primary, Donald Trump made a short victory speech. He quickly hit on most of his talking points, but made a claim that we haven’t heard in a while. While promising to repeal Obamacare he actually gave us a couple of numbers: “We’re getting rid of Obamacare. It’s going to be repealed and replaced, it is a total disaster. With premiums going up 35, 45, 55 percent it’s probably going to end of its own volition. We’re getting rid of it.”
Trump has made this claim before, and the good people at Politifact looked into it. They found that there are isolated examples of premium hikes that large, but overall health insurances on the Federal Exchange hikes were much lower.
Of all the plans on the Federal Exchange only 7% had a rate of 30% or more. The Kaiser Foundation found that the lowest cost plans, that make up 68% of the plans on the exchange, only increased 4.4%. Politifact and an AP study put the overall increases for health insurance at 12 to 13 percent. During the Bush Administration healthcare premiums grew by an average of 13.2% per year.
Not a whole lot of commentary is necessary here. Can a man who confuses the greatest terror attack in US history with a chain of convenience stores really be taken seriously about understanding “New York values?” Is disgracing the deaths of more than 3000 Americans by comparing them to a place to buy cigarettes and Icees a “New York value?” Perhaps the voters of New York will make a statement today on what they think of Donald Trump’s values.
Here is a full transcript of the above video, taken at a Buffalo, NY rally on April 17th:
“I think what I want to do, I want to talk just for a second, I wrote this out and it’s very close to my heart because I was down there. And I watched our police and our firemen down at 7-11, down at the World Trade Center, right after it came down. And I saw the greatest people I have ever seen in action. I saw the bravest people I’ve ever seen, including the construction workers, including every person down there. That’s what New York values about(sic). So I wrote out a little something. And I’d like to talk about the New York values that we all know so well. The values that make us love this state, despite its problems, we love this state, we know it’s gonna come back. If I’m President it’s gonna come back so fast you won’t even believe it. You watch.”
Donald Trump has spent a lot of time in the last couple of weeks blasting the RNC and the Republican establishment for what he called “rigged” elections. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, he said “What we are seeing now is not a proper use of the rules, but a flagrant abuse of the rules. Delegates are supposed to reflect the decisions of voters, but the system is being rigged by party operatives with “double-agent” delegates who reject the decision of voters.”
“These are dirty tricksters. This is a dirty trick,” Trump said Tuesday of the Colorado delegates at a rally in Rome, NY. “The RNC, the Republican National Committee, they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this kind of crap to happen.”
The problem is that the Republican National Convention lets the states decide how their delegates are dispersed. The official GOP website states that “Our nominee will be chosen by primary voters and delegates, and each state determines the date and format of their own primary process.” So Trump’s problem is really with the individual states and their Republican organizations, not with the RNC itself.
The head of the RNC Reince Priebus responded to CBS News thusly: “Just because someone doesn’t like the kind of rules in particular states, doesn’t necessarily mean that the rules are rigged. It just means that they wish the delegates were awarded a different way.”
At the 29:45 minute mark of the above video, during a long passage of boasting about his accomplishments and assets, Trump brought up his 1987 book The Art of the Deal.
“We had great success in the book world. The Art of the Deal, one of the most successful books ever done…in business. Maybe the most successful. See, I used to say the most successful business book ever written. But I don’t do that now.” Trump then points at the media pit in the back of the room and affects a simpering, mocking tone. “Because they’ll go back and examine. ‘Well, let’s see, twenty years ago somebody wrote a book,’ let me just tell you. So I say one of the most successful, but I think it might be the most successful.”
Trump actually takes time out from his hyperbolic bragging to berate the media in an insulting and puerile mocking tone for doing their job. What else is the media for except to fact check? He even admits that they’re right, that he began saying “one of the most successful books” instead of the “the most successful.” Trump shows so much contempt for the truth that he can’t even be bothered to fact check himself and see if his book is the best selling business book of all time. It took me 15 seconds to find a comparison of The Art of the Deal against other business books.
Successful? Yes. Even one of the most successful? Yes, it’s hard to argue with that, The Art of the Deal made the top seven. But “most successful?” Definitely not. Estimates on The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People range as high as 25 million copies sold, whereas The Art of the Deal sold in the neighborhood of 1 million copies. Mocking the media for fact checking your inaccuracies will not help you sell more books.
At the 17:45 mark of the above video Trump said “Now I haven’t even started on Hillary, and my numbers are better, right now, than Ronald Reagan’s numbers were with Jimmy Carter. You know, Ronald Reagan, who was great, he had a 30% favorability and he was behind Jimmy Carter by so much everybody said ‘Oh, this is going to be a disaster.”
Politifact checked out the numbers, and compared Trump to Clinton. In both instances they used the average of multiple polls. In April of 1980 Carter was leading Reagan by an average of 5%. In a similar comparison of Trump versus Clinton in March of 2012, the average of the polls has Trump trailing by 11%, more that double the amount Reagan was trailing. This is not even taking into consideration that in 1980 there was a third party candidate, John Anderson.
Trump also said Reagan had a 30% favorability rating, not just voting poll data. In May of 1980 a Gallup poll placed Reagan’s favorability rating at about 70%. Trump’s favorability rating in a similar poll was actually 30% now, 40% below Reagan. Futhermore, only 13% of respondents in a poll in 1980 said they would definitely not vote for Reagan. 54% of those polled by the AP recently said they would definitely not vote for Trump.
So Trump again tries to bask in the glow of the almighty Reagan, and again comes up short.
In a seemingly distracted speech in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Trump made a surprising and bizarre comment about former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. While reading what seem to be bullet points directly from a piece of paper, Trump said “I know a lot about Pennsylvania, and it’s great. How’s Joe Paterno? Are we gonna bring that back?” The crowd begins booing as a confused Trump continues: “How about that whole…about that whole deal…and we love Penn State, do we love Penn State?”
Joe Paterno died in 2012 after being forced into retirement amid allegations of a coverup involving Jerry Sandusky and years of sexual assaults on children. Is Trump suggesting that Penn State “bring back” a dead man who “retired” in disgrace after allegations of covering up decades of child sex abuse?
According to a campaign spokesperson, Trump was supposed to be referring the the statue of Paterno that was removed from Penn State, but didn’t read that part from his notes, and made no mention of a statue in the speech.
In a wholesome family interview with Anderson Cooper last night, Donald Trump perpetuated the fiction that he “started with a million dollar loan, and built a $10 billion company, it’s a phenomenal company.” Check the 4:45 mark of the above video. He has made this claim many times, so many times in fact that he might actually believe it at this point.
“It has not been easy for me. It has not been easy for me. I started off in Brooklyn. My father gave me a small loan of a million dollars,” Trump told the Today Show in October of 2015. “I came into Manhattan, and I had to pay him back, and I had to pay him back with interest. But I came into Manhattan and I started buying properties, and I did great.”
“He (Marco Rubio) also said I got $200 million from my father. I wish. I wish. I got a very, very small loan from my father many years ago,” Trump stated at a news conference in February of 2016. “I built that into a massive empire and I paid my father back that loan…The number is wrong by a factor of hundreds of — I mean, by a fortune. I got a small loan. I started a business.”
The truth is that Donald closed his first big deal in Manhattan with a million dollar loan from his father’s company Village Construction Corp. That’s not where the story ends however. Donald Trump’s father, Fred Trump, had also set up a line of credit for him to use in the building of the hotel, as well guaranteeing the $70 million loan Donald took out for the construction of the hotel in 1978. He was worth about $200 million at this point. This was essential to the deal getting done, but wasn’t mentioned in Trump’s biography “The Art of the Deal.” Trump biographer Wayne Barrett referred to this loan guarantee in his book “The Deals And the Downfall,” saying “no document in the long paper trail attached to the Commodore deal better demonstrated the lack of bank confidence in the Donald or the project, and none made clear the limits of his promoter role.” Donald Trump was also receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars per year from his family, from various trusts and salaries.
Last night at the CNN Family Town Hall Donald Trump complained that he was being treated unfairly by the GOP and that somehow the party was responsible for the unlikely prospect of his campaign getting to 1237 delegates. “I know the rules very well, but I know it’s stacked against me by the establishment,” Trump told the crowd.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the RNC, called out Trump on twitter for his incessant whining about the fairness of “the rules” that have been in place for years:
It has become glaringly obvious over the past couple of weeks that Donald Trump is not a politician. The disorganization of his campaign came into focus last week when sloppy politicking and bad information cost him all the delegates in Colorado, where the Ted Cruz campaign’s manuvering and political connections secured the entire lot. Ted Cruz is just much better than Trump at organizing on the ground level, talking to the delegates and making sure that everyone is informed.
Trump is a sore loser, making numerous statements like “The Republican National Committee, they should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to kind of crap to happen. The rules are no good when they don’t count your vote … like in Colorado.” But as it turns out, Trump has actually benefited from the delegate system, as he has received 45% of the delegates awarded while only receiving 37% of the popular vote.
In a tweet last week that has since been deleted, Donald Trump boasted that “Reports are RNC has received +1 million postcards so far!” including a picture of a printed postcard from an organization called USAforTrump2016. The twitter handle @Cam appears to be a mistake, as the last post they made was in March saying “So the #FBI got into the #iPhone. Da fuq?” But digging in to the USAforTrump2016 website and twitter reveals that for $1 USAforTrump2016 will send out two of the above postcards on behalf of a registered voter, informing the RNC that the pledged voter will only vote for Trump. Considering that postcards cost $.35 to send, that is a tidy profit of $.30 per postcard.
Donald Trump obviously didn’t bother to look into the insane claim that a million postcards were sent, as the USAforTrump2016 gofundme page shows that they have raised a whopping $5312, just over half of their goal of $10000. By my count that makes 10624 postcards, barely 1% of one million. In addition, none of these cards have actually been sent, or even printed, as USAforTrump2016 only ordered the first 10000 yesterday April 11th.
Donald Trump is not the only one not doing his homework, as a close look at the address on that postcard shows “301 1st Street SE Washington, DC 20003.” Unfortunately for USAforTrump2016 and Mr. Trump the RNC headquarters is located at 310 1st SE, down the block and across the street from the parking lot at 301 1st Street SE where all of these postcards will be sent.
Speaking on the Judge Jeanine Show Saturday (12:00 mark in the above video), Trump was asked about Obama coming out against him. He feigns surprise, and says that nobody wants to run against him. He then does an interesting thing, that he has done before, he refers to the infamous Gallup poll from January of 1980 showing that Carter was leading Reagan by 30 points. Reagan ended up winning by 10 points, a landslide.
“And it was interesting, because the polls of Ronald Reagan, when he was running against Jimmy Carter, the polls were so bad. Much worse than my polls, and my polls, some of them are good. In the Fox polls I beat Hillary Clinton.”
Trump loves to compare himself to Reagan, and in this instance he is hoping that he could be seen as the savior underdog. There are some serious differences however between the 1980 race and the 2016 race.
In an excellent article on Red State, Dan McLaughlin runs down several reasons that the 1980 election was a very different one from the 2016 race.
Polling was in its infancy in 1980. In 2016 we have access to dozens of polls of different types utilizing large sample sizes and computer data that can be aggregated to get a better picture of the actual sentiment of the country. In 1980 there was one poll, run by Gallup. They were low on Reagan the entire race, and ultimately got it wrong, having Reagan only winning by 3%. Private polling by the Reagan and Carter camps told a more accurate story.
Another difference is that Carter was an incumbent. Incumbents automatically start out high, obviously having the highest name recognition. Hillary Clinton is not an incumbent.
At the time of the original poll, January of l980, the Iran Hostage crisis had just happened. The American people tend to rally around their country and leaders when there is a foreign threat. As the Carter Administration faltered on the hostage crisis public support quickly eroded. As you can see in the below poll, Carter took a nose dive from January 1980, whereas Clinton has remained steady.
In January of 1980, Reagan had not yet started winning primaries. After he won a few of them he unified the GOP behind him, who supported him. Compare this to Donald Trump, who has repeatedly threatened the GOP to run as a third party candidate, and will almost certainly force a contested convention. There is a serious groundswell of anti-Trump sentiment in the Republican party, with many of his former opponents refusing to endorse him and many actively campaigning against him.
Reagan had plenty of political experience and a track record for winning. He won the governorship of California, and made a serious second place showing in the 1976 Presidential race. Trump is a complete unknown, having never been in an election before. Reagan had proven himself a winner.
Reagan was not extremely well known at that point, and thus got to write a lot of his own narrative for the American people. Donald Trump is already very well known, and generally disliked. A poll at Five Thirty Eight found that a whopping 58% of Republicans had an unfavorable opinion of The Donald. Reagan got to tell the American people who he was and was able to shape how they got to know him. Trump is already known, and the American people don’t seem to like what they see.
Trump trades in the language of the “disaffected white working class voter,” his target audience and almost exclusively who he appeals to. Red State tells an amazing story of the changing American demographic in one statistic that does not bode well for Donald Trump. In 1980 the white worker class voter made up 65% of the general electorate. In 2012 that demographic was the fastest shrinking in the country, making up just 36% of electorate. That’s a staggering 44% drop in just 32 years.
As much as Trump wants to be Reagan, and have a massive comeback like Reagan in 1980, the climate and situation of the two candidates couldn’t really be more different. Reagan worked tirelessly to unite his party and the voters around him while Donald Trump has gone out of his way to alienate almost everyone from Republicans to women to minorities. He can invoke the sacred name of Reagan as much as he wants but the odds of a underdog comeback are disappearing by the second.