On 16 June, Donald Trump made remarks lambasting Mexican illegal immigrants, “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists..” (hear the remarks). Since then he has doubled down on this remark and has become the focus for attack.
Univision and NBC have dropped Trump’s Miss Universe pageant and lawsuits abound.
According to commentators on Meet the Press, his comments are the number one issue on Hispanic television. A commentator from the Washington Post mused this might be Trump’s “Todd Akins” moment referring to an unfortunate statement made by Todd Akins that caused him to lose party support and thus the election. (Note: in our humble opinion, Trump DOES NOT NEED party support in that respect…).
Jeb Bush attacked Trump in severe terms, saying his remarks were only meant to “inflame and incite.” Former RNC Chair Michael Steele came right out and said Trump was “full of B.S.” Trump was also chastised by Rick Perry, Chris Christie, and Marco Rubio.
Trump’s only supporter was Ted Cruz, who, while not explicitly agreeing with the statements applauded Trump for giving focus to the issue of illegal immigration.
In return, Trump hammered Marco Rubio who “..has zero credibility on securing our border. Nothing has been more ‘divisive’ than the outright lies Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) used to try and sell his amnesty for illegal immigrants to the American people.”
PBP comment – In March when Mr. Trump announced he was “80% in” the presidential race, we noted his potential and said he would make things interesting. He has. We now predict he will be one of the top three candidates in the Republican Primary.
We believe this maneuver was a well planned strategy, not a gaff. One can say his recent press has been damaging, but more important is the overall efffect – the stage is now Trump versus everyone else so if you are going to choose sides, the opposition to Trump on this issuee is divided among 13 other candidates. Additionally, since he is being attacked and taken seriously by serious candidates, it largely overcomes Trump’s lack of credibility with core conservatives, who now must also take him seriously.
If Trump now backs himself up with evidence, anecdotes, theory and support from core conservative pundits, he will be able to move the center of the illegal immigration issue toward his view. The sting of the bad press will fade and Trump’s campaign stature will continue to grow.
Trump may lose the Hispanic vote, but Hispanic voters are generally Democratic and won’t be voters in the primary. Trump has plenty of time until the general election to make another bold move to get them back.
No this is not the end of Trump’s presidential bid. It’s just the beginning.