Trump Hard to Pin Down

FedUp PAC Staff

If the Republican establishment has learned anything from the 2016 Presidential campaign, it’s that the immigration disaster is a big issue with many Republican primary voters. The rise of Donald Trump shows that many GOP voters want real border security, an end to unchecked immigration from Muslim countries and protection from government programs like H-1B visas that replace skilled American labor with foreign “guest” workers. Now the voters who gave rise to Trump based on immigration have cause to wonder if they were sold a bill of goods.

FOX News host Megyn Kelly pointed out during the March 3 Republican presidential debate that Trump’s website condemned H-1B visas because they “decimate American workers.” And it’s true that some big companies have been found to use H-1Bs to import foreign workers, force American employees to train their replacements and then pay the foreigner a lower salary than what the American had earned. That’s why some debate viewers on March 3 were nearly stunned to hear Trump, under questioning from Megyn Kelly, suddenly change his position. “I’m changing. I’m changing,” repeated Mr. Trump. “We need highly skilled people in this country, and if we can’t do it, we’ll get them in.”

A few hours later, Trump’s turnaround got even more confusing when he backtracked on his comments during the debate and returned to his original promise to “end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program. . . .” Trump might have set some kind of record by changing his position on one of the defining issues of his campaign twice in one day. And there would be more to come in the March 3 debate.

Next up, Ms. Kelly addressed Mr. Trump’s change of heart concerning Barack Obama’s plan to take in thousands of Muslim refugees from Syria. On September 8, 2015, Trump said, “I hate the concept of it, but on a humanitarian basis, you have to [bring in the refugees]” Then, the very next day, Trump told radio talk show host Sean Hannity, “I’d love to help, but we have our own problems.” When asked about the apparent contradiction, Trump said the question was new to him and that he was not aware of the number of refugees Obama planned to accept. But the record shows Trump was not hearing the question for the first time. Four days earlier, on September 4, 2015, on the MSNBC “Morning Joe” program, Trump said about Syrian refugees, “We have so many problems, and the answer is, possibly, yes.”

Mr. Trump also admitted during the March 3 debate that he had an off-the-record January interview about immigration with the The New York Times. The conversation reportedly concerned Mr. Trump’s backing off his hard-core position on building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. In answer to a question from Ms. Kelly about how much flexibility he had shown to The New York Times, Mr. Trump said, “There’s always give and take, there is always negotiation. Without give and take, you’ll never agree.” When Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz demanded that Trump ask the New York Times to release a tape of the interview, he refused.

Readers can draw their own conclusions from Mr. Trump’s performance at the March 3 GOP debate. After all, he’s not the first politician to flip-flop on issues that concern voters a great deal. Still, the H-1B program, Syrian refugees and border security are not just any issues – they are supposedly the heart and soul of Mr. Trump’s outsider campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. You can’t blame Trump supporters who watched the debate if they went away wondering just how much of an “outsider” their candidate really is.