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April 19, 2011

Trump: Ryan's Plan Is "Too Extreme"

Might help him get elected, but just getting elected isn't everything. As Paul Ryan said, politicians should be in office for more than the perks.

If he's not behind some variation of the Ryan plan, then, like everyone else, he's got two options: Raise taxes significantly on the middle class or let the country go bankrupt. Those options don't change just because he's The Donald.

Then again, I doubt any Republican presidential candidate will strongly endorse the Ryan plan, either. They'll say something weak like "it's a good start to a national conversation" or something. The right thing here is definitely not the popular thing, and I doubt many candidates will tank their chances for the sake of honesty and integrity.

Think Progress has a bit of a hit piece on Trump, claiming that he has previously called Reagan a "con man" who "couldn't deliver the goods" in his book The Art of the Deal, but curiously enough, while they do show an image from one page, they don't show the page that contains that quote.

The page they actually prove exists says something critical, but less so, of Reagan:

Ronald Regan is another example. He is so smooth and effective a performer that he completely won over the American people. Only now, nearly seven years later [the book was published near the end of Reagan's presidency], are people beginning to question whether there's anything beneath that smile.

So, Think Progress, where's the "con man" and "can't deliver the goods" part?

What I'm guessing is this: Trump began with a general screed against politicians, labeling them "con men" who "can't deliver the goods," and then later specifically talked about some politicians. Think Progress is taking the position that that general critique of politicians applies, by the distributive property or something, to his later remarks about Reagan.

Well, maybe. Very debatable, though. If someone rants about all politicians, as we commonly do, it's not clear if he really means "all." Given that Think Progress won't quote this part of the book, it's unlikely Trump's connection between that general screed and Reagan must be pretty weak.

But the quoted passage does indicate misgivings about Reagan, and demonstrates Trump's basic politics: He is and always was a bit of a centrist and default-Democrat and populist at heart. Supposedly now he's a recent convert to some form of conviction conservatism but it's hard to believe that Donald Trump -- who has the ego you'd guess a billionaire might have -- has suddenly realized that he's been wrong all of his life and has changed his opinions on everything.

Ah: A commenter notes at the top of the page Trump is generally talking about politicians not being "able to deliver the goods." Still, it's not directly matched to Reagan (kinda-sorta), and I still see no "con man" connection to Reagan.

Party-Switching: A history of switching parties based on which party he's thinking of running as a candidate with -- in 1999 he switched to the Independence Party because he was thinking of running for Perot's semi-party nomination.

In 2009, he switched from Democrat to Republican. I guess he switched from Independence to Democrat between 1999 and 2009.


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posted by Ace at 02:03 PM

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