Last week, we believed Trump might turn into a respectable Republican candidate. His rhetoric was softer, and he seemed apologetic; in a word: presidential. But alas, this was not so. Trump did pivot–but to the left, and on immigration of all things.
Though he has held just about every policy position possible in this campaign, his strongest area has always been immigration. Trump declared that he would protect Americans from the “Mexicans who are taking our jobs.”
Now, Trump is walking most of this strongman rhetoric back under his new campaign managers. He went from promoting one of the harshest immigration policies imaginable to something further left than the notorious Gang of Eight bill.
A few of Trump’s most ardent supporters are in complete denial. Governor Chris Christie remarked in an interview with ABC that “This is a guy who’s been very consistent on no amnesty, no legalization, for folks who have come into the country illegally, and that’s always been the underpinning of his policy.” That may have been true for the majority of the campaign, but does it remain so?
Rudy Guiliani is taking the “clarification” defense. In an interview with Fox & Friends, he said this: “”Well what we can expect is the clear things, for sure. He’s gonna build a wall. It’s gonna be a technological as well as a physical wall.” With regard to a path to legalization, the former New York mayor did not know anything.
Trump is proposing something close to “touch-back amnesty.” This is a policy that moves illegal immigrants that get deported up to the front of the line in the legal immigration process. It is merely a charade to please those who want to deport people for the sake of deporting them.
The more reluctant Trump supporters see this as a good thing. It makes him seem more realistic than the grandiose Trump we’ve seen. Others, like Ann Coulter are chastising him. She credited the shift to his dropping poll numbers.
Whatever his reasoning, this is the line Trump has chosen for this week. The nice thing about Trump is that, if you wait a few days, he’ll change–but will it be for the better?