Donald Trump the self-proclaimed outsider says if nominated, he will likely choose an insider for vice president. In a Q&A at Regent University for CBN – the Christian Broadcasting Network – Pat Robertson at his side, he told the crowd, “We’re going to probably choose somebody that’s somewhat political.”
Asked by Pat Robertson, “In your selection as president, what criteria would you use to pick somebody?”
Trump answered, to applause,
“Pro-life. We want– It starts with that, starts with it. A very conservative, a very, very smart, I mean like Judge (Antonin) Scalia would be a perfect He was a perfect representative.”
So far, so good. The Evangelical crowd heard what it wanted, and that’s what CBN advertised in their coverage. Somebody who wants to protect the pre-born and let the post-born die in droves.
But that wasn’t the only VP question asked, and the other – the one focused on by CNN in their coverage – got a different answer:
“What are the most important qualities you are going to look for in a vice presidential candidate?”
“The main quality that you want is somebody who can be a great president if something happens do you, don’t you think? That’s gotta be number one.”
Here he looked at failed 1988 presidential candidate Robertson of all people, as if for confirmation, and as if he had any answers.
So somebody who is a political insider and “pro-life” – in other words, pretty much any Republican you care to name, whatever their “outsider” pretensions.
Trump explained, not failing to plug himself,
“And then I would want somebody who can help me with government. So most likely that would be a political person, because I’m business, and I’m very good at what I do and all of that – and I’m also very, very political – you’ve see me. When you can get zoning on the West Side of Manhattan to build almost 6,000 units of housing and you have to go through New York City politics, believe me, that’s tough.”
“That’s as tough – I don’t say Israel-Palestine (to chuckles from Robertson) but it’s about as tough a deal (to general laughter) – the single toughest deal.”
He did show a modicum of reality when he admitted of Israel-Palestine,
“I view that as the single toughest deal. We’re going to give it a shot … A lot of good people have gone down trying to give that one a shot.”
What is interesting is that he thinks an insider VP will pave the way for a 100-day Trumpalooza with a magic wand:
“I do want somebody that’s political, because I want to get lots of great legislation we all want passed.”
He’s going to need a wizard, not a politician. Bernie Sanders has drawn criticism because of a lack of visible support for his agenda in Congress. Trump will have the same problem, or worse.
Look at Obama’s problems and a much more modest agenda. Trump told Robertson that Obama wasn’t able to get things done, because he couldn’t work with representatives and senators. He thinks he can.
In fact, as The New York Times‘ Jennifer Steinhauer tells us this morning, the Republican race has put Trump on a collision course with Paul Ryan, who will chair the Republican national convention:
“As Mr. Trump inches closer to being the party’s presidential nominee, Republicans fear he won’t back the conservative agenda pushed by Mr. Ryan, the House speaker.”
Steinhauer says Trump stands in opposition to the Republican orthodoxy represented by Paul Ryan & Co., but then as Catholic leaders have pointed out, Ryan stands in opposition to Christian orthodoxy.
Let’s be blunt: Jesus Christ couldn’t get legislation pushed past Paul Ryan and the House of Representatives. And Trump, if elected, will find out how Obama has felt for the past 7 years, minus the racism.
As Obama has learned, you can’t make a deal with people who refuse to negotiate, who see compromise as betrayal of their rigid and reality-free ideology. And where sheer hatefulness is concerned, Trump will meet his match in the House.
But there is another overlooked problem in all this people should be talking about. Trump presents himself as the ultimate rebel, the outsider come in to shake up the system with his business acumen and deal-making. If he chooses a political insider as VP, and something happens to him, what about his ‘outsider’ agenda?
He appears to be forgetting that an establishment Republican isn’t going to pursue a Trump agenda. That is most likely because there is no other Trump. He is a party of one, and if he’s not here to bless us with his presence, we might as well have somebody running the country who knows his a** from a hole in the ground.
Perhaps America could be thankful for this small blessing if there were indeed such a thing as a Republican who knew his a** from a hole in the ground. Sadly, there are none.
This seems to be truly a cult of personality, a cult of Trump personality to be specific. Even talking about a VP, Trump mostly talked about himself. A VP is generally a non-entity until called upon, but a Trump VP will be a shadow of a non-entity.
Told to be free to name names, Trump said – no doubt as Sarah Palin clenched – it’s “too early” Don’t worry, Sarah. America clenched too.