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February 29, 2016

Trump's Off-the-Record Interview With the New York Times: Is He A Lot More Flexible, and a Lot Less Hard-Line, on Immigration Than He's Telling Conservative Voters?

Given that this is his signature issue, and the only thing I personally would entertain voting for him on, I'd sure like to know if this is true.

The New York Times can't release the off-the-record transcripts-- but Donald Trump could, and he could give them permission to do so.

Of course, I don't think he will.

Ben Smith, at Buzzfeed:

On Saturday, columnist Gail Collins, one of the attendees at the meeting (which also included editor-in-chief Dean Baquet), floated a bit of speculation in her column:
The most optimistic analysis of Trump as a presidential candidate is that he just doesn’t believe in positions, except the ones you adopt for strategic purposes when you’re making a deal. So you obviously can't explain how you’re going to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, because it's going to be the first bid in some future monster negotiation session.

Sources familiar with the recording and transcript --which have reached near-mythical status at the Times -- tell me that the second sentence is a bit more than speculation. It reflects, instead, something Trump said about the flexibility of his hard-line anti-immigration stance.

So what exactly did Trump say about immigration, about deportations, about the wall? Did he abandon a core promise of his campaign in a private conversation with liberal power brokers in New York?

...

"If [Trump] wants to call up and ask us to release this transcript, he's free to do that and then we can decide what we would do," Rosenthal said.

All candidates are taking a strategic position on immigration: Rubio is pretending that he'll actually secure the border before rushing to grant amnesty (he won't). Cruz is saying he is against legalization "now and forever." Trump is claiming he'll deport 11 million people before letting most of them back in through a Big Beautiful Door.

As far as the immigration hard-line goes, I imagine there's going to be some bargaining on this.

But I'd like to know just how flexible the guy running as a "deal-maker," the guy who says "you have to be a little bit establishment," is on his signature issue.


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posted by Ace at 02:18 PM

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