Trump’s bizarre strategy and beliefs
WASHINGTON — More than six weeks after he became the presumptive Republican Party presidential nominee, Donald Trump is continuing to postpone his general election campaign until the party’s convention in July.
His Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, began pivoting toward the general election even before she officially reached the number of delegates to win the nomination, and on Thursday last week began airing ads in eight battleground states.
Trump, who secured his party’s nomination a month before Clinton did, has yet to air any general election ads. The delay is yet another sign of his unorthodox and disorganized campaign.
Usually, by June, presidential candidates are well on their way to shoring up their campaign infrastructure and fundraising to meet the demands of the general election.
Trump claimed on Saturday if he couldn’t raise enough funds, “I would just put up my own money,” like he did for his primary campaign, but his financial disclosures indicate that he does not have sufficient funds to run a general election campaign.
Trump has about $160 million in pretax income, The Wall Street Journal estimates. In the 2012 general election, Barack Obama spent $721 million and Mitt Romney spent $449 million.
Trump dismissed these concerns by insisting that he has “raised a lot of money for the party” and criticizing Clinton for taking campaign contributions from Wall Street.
“She’s selling herself to Wall Street, and the Wall Street fat cats are putting up a lot of money for her,” he said. “I don’t want that kind of money. I don’t need that money.”
However, Clinton’s campaign has far outpaced Trump’s in terms of organization. According to her latest campaign finance reports, she has spent more than triple the amount of money that Trump has. In addition, her campaign employs about 10 times more staffers.
Trump has thrown out traditional political techniques at every turn. During the primaries, he faced criticism for running an amateur campaign, even from people within the campaign itself.
So far he hasn’t done much to assuage those concerns, continuing to invest little in grassroots campaigning and questioning the importance of using data analytics — areas where Democrats have had a significant advantage over Republicans in recent elections.
His reliance on free media, in the form of wall-to-wall network television coverage of his raucous campaign rallies, may not work for a general election campaign. His message will have to be targeted toward specific swing states and constituencies, which so far he has not done.
Instead, in the month since he officially won the nomination, he has made several campaign stops in traditionally Republican states and has doubled down on brash and divisive rhetoric, sinking his already abysmal favorability ratings.
Behind the scenes, his campaign has shown little evidence of organization and strategy. Trump fired national political director Rick Wiley after only a few weeks on the job, even though Wiley was brought in specifically to coordinate with party officials and help shift the campaign toward the general election.
Trump’s campaign structure remains scant. Despite being a national-level campaign, it lacks basic elements such as a communications team and a rapid response director. When an adviser told Trump to hire a rapid response director, the mogul reportedly said: “I am the rapid response person.”
When Trump launched racist attacks against a federal judge, prompting many Republicans — including some of his prominent supporters — to distance themselves, he and his staff completely miscommunicated their strategy.
Trump’s staff instructed campaign surrogates to divert attention from the story, while Trump wanted to escalate the attacks and ordered them to ignore his staff’s advice.
And Trump’s latest controversy, the response to the Orlando mass shooting that congratulated himself and reiterated his proposal to bar Muslim immigrants, iscausing further hand-wringing and disunity among GOP leaders.
On Saturday, Trump was unfazed, arguing that he doesn’t need the party to unite behind him in order to win.
“I think I can win either way,” he told NBC. “I do believe we can win either way, but it would be nice if we stuck together.”
Trump’s controversial beliefs Arab-americans cheered the attacks on 9/11. Trump repeatedly claimed that on 11 September, 2001, there were thousands of Arab-americans celebrating in New Jersey after two planes flew into the Twin Towers. He says such public demonstrations “tell you something” about Muslims living in the US. However, there are no media reports to back up the claim.
There should be surveillance on US mosques. Trump believes Muslims should be tracked by law enforcement as a counterterrorism initiative. He has walked back some comments about keeping a database on all American Muslims, but says he doesn’t care if watching mosques is seen as “politically incorrect”.
The US should use waterboarding and other methods of “strong interrogation” in its fight against the Islamic State. The candidate said that these methods are “peanuts” compared to the tactics used by the militants, such as beheadings.
Trump would “bomb the hell” out of IS. He claims that no other candidate would be tougher on the Islamic State and he would weaken the militants bycutting off their access to oil.
He wants to build a “great, great wall” between the US and Mexico. In some of his earliest campaign comments, Trump suggested that Mexicans coming to the US are largely criminals.
“They are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and they’re rapists,” he said. A wall on the border, he claims, will not only keep out undocumented immigrants but Syrian migrants as well. He also believes that Mexico should have to pay for the wall, which a BBC analysis estimates could cost between $2.2bn and $13bn.
Mass deportation of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the US should go into effect. Despite criticism that this idea is both xenophobic and prohibitively expensive — the BBC estimates $114bn — Trump says his deportation plan is as achievable as it will be humane.
In addition, his immigration reforms would end “birthright citizenship”, the policy that grants the children of illegal immigrants citizenship so long as they are born on American soil. He does not support creating a new path to citizenship for undocumented workers.
He and Vladmir Putin would “get along very well”. In an interview with CNN, Trump said that Putin and Obama dislike one another too much to negotiate, but that “I would probably get along with him very well. And I don’t think you’d be having the kind of problems that you’re having right now”.
In order to end mass shootings, the US should invest in mental health treatment. However, Trump does not believe that more gun control is the answer.
In a position paper on gun rights, Trump revealed he has a concealed carry permit and that when it comes to gun and magazine bans, “the government has no business dictating what types of firearms good, honest peo- ple are allowed to own”. He would also oppose an expansion of background checks.
China should be taken to task on a number of issues in order to make trade with the US more equitable. If elected he says he will make China stop undervaluing its currency, and force it to step up its environmental and labour standards.
He is also critical of the county’s lax attitude towards American intellectual property and hacking.
The Black Lives Matter movement is “trouble”. Trump mocks former Democratic candidates like Martin O’malley for apologising to members of the protest movement against police brutality and casts himself as a pro-law enforcement candidate.
“I think they’re looking for trouble,” he once said of the activist group. He also tweeted a controversial graphic purporting to show that African Americans kill whites and blacks at a far higher rates than whites or police officers.
However, the graphic cites a fictitious “Crime Statistics Bureau” for its numbers, and has been widely debunked using real FBI data.
Climate change is just “weather”. While Trump believes that maintaining “clean air” and “clean water” is important, he dismissed climate change science as a “hoax” and believes environmental restrictions on businesses makes them less competitive in the global marketplace.
“I do not believe that we should imperil the companies within our country,” he told CNN on the issue. “It costs so much and nobody knows exactly if it’s going to work.”
The world would be better off if Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddhafi were still in power. Trump told CNN that he believes the situation in both Libya and Iraq is “far worse” than it ever was under the two deceased dictators.
While he concedes Saddam was a “horrible guy”, he says he did a better job combating terrorists.
He would send back Syrian migrants seeking asylum in the US. He says that the Paris attacks prove that even a handful of terrorists posing as migrants could do catastrophic damage, and so he will oppose resettling any Syrians in the US, and deport those who have already been placed here.
Muslims should not be admitted to the US. In a press release published in the wake of the terrorist attacks in San Bernardino, California, Trump wrote that he is “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.
He is a “really nice guy”. In Trump’s most recent book, Crippled America, he writes that “I’m a really nice guy, believe me, I pride myself on being a nice guy but I’m also passionate and determined to make our country great again”.
The news site Gawker points out that he calls himself a “nice guy” throughout the book, and Trump repeated that self-assessment in his opening monologue on Saturday Night Live and in an interview with the Washington Post.
Doctors should be punished for administering abortions - or should they? In an interview with MSNBC, Mr Trump said that if abortion were to become illegal, women should be punished for obtaining them.
He then retracted, saying the doctor would be responsible and he or she should be punished instead. — huffingtonpost.com/bbc
Republican party presidential nominee Donald Trump.