Donald Trump: His Appeal Might Not Be What Most People Think It Is
By Richard A. McCormack
In asking around, I have found few people who have listened to one of Donald Trump's stump speeches. They know him for his slanderous statements about other candidates, immigrants and members of the press. What most people don't know is that the basis of his campaign is his condemnation of a corrupt political system that has promoted a trade policy that has resulted in the hemorrhaging of American wealth and jobs.
He argues that electing a traditional politician as president would continue current trade policies that would lead to permanent economic damage. In a broad denouncement of American politics, he argues that such a president would be beholden to the financial and corporate interests that provided him or her with the campaign contributions needed to get elected.
These statements strike a receptive chord among those attending his events, but it has raised the ire of traditional Republicans. The Club For Growth has started an advertising campaign against Trump, stating that his economic policy positions "are downright horrendous!" Trump, says the Club for Growth, "doesn't just saber rattle about trade wars, he wants to take up the sword and rush the U.S. into massive trade wars with huge tariffs that would be a devastating tax on American businesses and consumers." A Club for Growth ad running in Iowa, says that Trump "really is just playing us for chumps." Added conservative commentator Glenn Beck about Trump's trade stance: "Tell me exactly: How is this guy a republican conservative? He is a republican progressive." If he was really interested in keeping jobs in the United States, he would reduce corporate taxes and regulations.
More than half of Trump's campaign speeches concern his desire to turn trade policy on its head. He will do this as president by exploiting his expertise as a negotiator of good business deals, he says. America's "stupid" politicians have been out-maneuvered by their foreign competitors in trade deals.
Trump is all over the place in his speeches. He does not read a prepared script. He says teleprompters should be banned for all of the candidates, and he admits that giving different, unscripted speeches means that "I am working my ass off." If he did speak from notes, he would not get the attention of the media because, he says, he would be like every other politician: banal.
He points to the rows of television cameras in the back of the room and says: "They are here not because of the polls or because of what I say. They are here because of ratings. They wouldn't be here if I didn't get ratings. They are not nice people. They don't care about me. They don't care about you. The only thing they care about is ratings."
If anybody knows this it's Donald Trump, star of his own NBC television show.
During his speeches, Trump frequently moves away from a point, makes non sequiturs and gets distracted by humor about his money, his success and his hair. His self-deprecating quips are uncomfortable and don't generate much laughter.
His speeches are that of a populist: acerbic and bombastic. He is always having to apologize before and backfill after making the indiscretions that boost his ratings.
Below is what some of a Donald Trump stump speech looks like on paper:
I'm a nice person. Nobody knows that. I tell people I'm a nice person. But I don't want to be a nice person when we are talking about China and negotiating with China.
Business Week named me the country's best negotiator. Wouldn't it be nice to have a good negotiator as president? I don't want to brag, but wouldn't it be nice?
I mean look at what is happening with China. China has been taking our jobs, our money, our base, our manufacturing, everything. Think about this. It is one of the greatest thefts in the history of the world, what they have taken out of our country. They rebuilt China and we owe them -- think of it -- $1.4 trillion. How do you do that? That is like a magic act.
How good are they as negotiators? They take everything and we owe them money.
We owe Japan $1.4 trillion. We owe them both $1.4 trillion -- same number. The balance, the deficits, the numbers, are crazy.
If you look at the deficits we have with Japan, with China and with almost everybody, honestly, they are abusers. And, by the way, I love them. They buy my apartments. I do great with the Chinese. They are great people. The problem is their leaders are too smart for our leaders.
It's very simple. I'm a free trader. I believe in free trade. I like free trade. But free trade is only good if you have smart representatives. It's not good if we have dummies. It's not good if our leaders are incompetent. It's not good if they haven't read The Art of the Deal, the greatest book of all time second to the Bible.
I have been using a term that hasn't been used in a long time. It's called the silent majority. You are the silent majority. I'm the silent majority. (Clapping) The silent majority is tired of politicians who are all talk and no action. It's true -- they are tired. I have watched the politicians and watched the politicians talk. Jeb Bush is very low energy. I'm not used to that kind of a person. (Gesticulates, shakes head -- laughter)
I'm just not used to it. I'm used to dealing with killers. Negotiating with Japan, negotiating with China, when these people walk in the room they don't say, "Oh, hello. How is the weather? It's so beautiful outside. It's lovely. How are the Yankees doing?" They say: "We Want Deal!" Jeb Bush would jump out of the seat.
Who would you rather have negotiating against China? Against Iran? Against anybody? Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton or Trump? ("Trump!" the audience yells)
I think so. I think so. Believe me. Believe me. (Trump, Trump, Trump the crowd chants)
I was graded on a speech. They gave me all A's, but they said the one mistake he makes is he speaks through the applause. That's true. You know why? Because I don't have time. It's true. It's true. I tried not doing that, but I want to get going. I want to get things done. Does everybody here know that? (Clapping)
So Jeb Bush was with Marco Rubio. He's a nice guy. I think he's a nice person, but I don't care if he's nice because I want somebody that is going to make great deals and make us rich again, and he can't do it.
So Marco Rubio was not supposed to run [for president] because his mentor [Jeb Bush] was running from the state of Florida. People thought it was disrespectful to a person who brought him along slowly.
If I were Bush and I brought somebody along and I'm older than Marco and he says he's running against me and it's not his turn because he's really anxious and driven for himself, I would really go after that guy. I would say he is the most disloyal guy. He's a terrible person. He is horrible and I hate him, okay.
I'd say that. I'd at least say it to myself, probably not to the world. So I saw them on the stage recently and Jeb said, "Marco is a dear, dear friend of mine he is such a wonderful person." And Marco said, "I love Jeb."
If I were Jeb, I wouldn't say that Marco is a good friend of mine. Marco did something he was not supposed to do. I watched them as they are hugging and kissing and holding each other -- very much like what Chris Christie did with the President.
They are hugging and kissing and they are proclaiming their great deep love for each other. It's politicians! It's all talk, no action! It's all bull. It's gotta stop! We need people who are going to take us to the promised land. We need people who are going to be great.
You look at Mexico, which is the new China, they are doing great. You look at Ford building a massive plant there. You look at other companies from Europe, from all over. A plant was going to be built in Tennessee -- a $1 billion automobile plant. It's not being built in Tennessee any more. It's going to go to Mexico.
I have holdings in Chicago. I have a great building in Chicago. Nabisco has a big factory there. They make Oreos. I am never eating Oreos again, never, ever, ever. Ahh, maybe if I can find some made in the United States I will. But they are closing their big plant in Chicago and they are moving it to Mexico. What is going on? I mean, how stupid are we? Why are we allowing it to happen?
So what I would do if I were president is I would talk to these people. Somebody has to talk to them, and if you don't talk to them, it's never going to change. You can get them to stay in Chicago or to build someplace else in this country. You can get Ford, believe me, to stay in this country.
Sometimes it's so unfair the trade agreements if you look at the amount of business that has been moved out of our country. Whether it's Mexico or any other country, it is absolutely uncontrollable by the people that we have currently.
And we can do something to change. Now let me tell you something, I would go to Nabisco, I would go to Ford. I would say: "Fellas, I have Carl Icahn ready -- a killer, killer. I have other people ready. I have people who are so nasty, so mean, so horrible that nobody would want to have dinner with them. It's true. They are horrible human beings. I admit it. They are Wall Street killers. A couple of them are nice -- like 2 percent -- but they are the greatest negotiators in the world. I know the best. I know guys who are overrated. I know guys that are really good. I know people you've never heard of who are better than all of them. We're going to use our best."
I would say to the head of Ford, because this is a big abuse -- $2.5 billion for a plant. You know how big that plant is? How many plants do we close to build that new plant in Mexico for $2.5 billion? I would say to Ford very simply: "Sorry, you have to move back."
Now when they build those cars, trucks and parts, they send them over [to the United States with] no tax, no nothing. And they have come up with a new scheme -- illegals are going to drive the cars over. (Laughter) No, it's true, it's true. It's true because it works so nicely. Nobody is going to check them. They are probably going to keep them and live the rest of their lives happily in the United States -- but we have to do something about it.
Now let's say Jeb Bush is president. He knows it's wrong. He's not a stupid person, I don't think. I don't know. What do I know? Let's say he is president, and he knows it's wrong. He is going to say, "No, no, no. We don't want that. Ford we don't want you to go. So we're going to charge you a tax."
And then he is going to be hit by their lobbyists who gave him millions. He has been given $135 million or $140 million, and I don't have anything from them. I don't want anything. I don't want money. . . because I don't want to be controlled. Last week I turned down $5 million from a big lobbyist -- not a bad person; tough guy. But when he gives me five he's not doing that because he thinks I have beautiful hair. And it is my hair.
So Bush would go over to Ford and the lobbyist would say, "No, no, we gave you millions of dollars Mr. President and you owe it to Ford. Let them have what they want." And after about 10 minutes [Bush] is going to say, "Oh I can't do that. I can't do that. They really helped me in my campaign."
With me, I don't want their money. I've turned down so much money I feel like such a stupid person. It's true. It's the first time in my life I feel stupid. Guys are offering me millions -- $5 million -- I could have it right now and I turned him down.
I'll take a vote, how about if I take all of this money and promise and swear to you that I won't do anything for these people. What about that? No? (Boos) That's what I thought.
I feel so stupid, but that's the way it has to be. Because one of the things they like about me is that nobody is going to buy me. Nobody is going to buy me. (Cheers)
So after about 10 minutes with Ford, Bush goes out and says, "Go on, build your plant. Build it, please, how dare me -- it was so terrible that I even thought about doing that because you contributed money."
Me? Different. I'll call them up and say, "You gotta go. I don't want you in Mexico." I love Mexico. I love the Mexican people. I have thousands of Mexican people that have worked for me over the years. I love the Hispanics -- the spirit, I love that. But we have leaders that can't compete with their leaders. Their leaders are too smart. So I would say to the head of Ford, "Sorry, I'm not going to approve. For every car and every truck and every part that comes across that southern border you are going to pay a 35 percent tax, okay?" (Cheers) That is what is going to happen.
And this is too easy. I don't need any of those killers I told you about although I'm going to use them anyway. This is too easy. This is like taking candy from a baby.
So what happens is they're going to say, "No, no, no." And then they're going to have people call me and these are people I didn't take their money and I'm going to say, "Get out of here." And if I know them and if they are friends of mine, I'd say, "I'm not interested."
Let's say that this whole process starts at 12 noon. By 4:00 in the afternoon the head of Ford will call me and will say. "Mr. President, we have decided to build in the United States." That will happen. That will happen. (Applause)
If they are really tough, they will wait until the next day, but I guarantee you that by 5:00 the next day they're back, and that is great because we need jobs. We can't keep giving out our jobs.
College debt -- it's out of control. You see what's happening with colleges? The prices of these colleges are rapidly rising, and students are borrowing money from the government. It's the only thing the government makes money on: college students and college debt while the thing we need are jobs. The students come up to me and say, "Mr. Trump I've borrowed and I don't know how I will ever pay it off." It's almost as if they have no hope.
To me, one of the saddest things I've seen in making the rounds is college students' college debt. They say, "I apply for a job from a very good college. I worked hard I became a great student. I can't get a job Mr. Trump." And a lot of them can't get jobs because China has our jobs and Japan has our jobs and so many other places have our jobs. We don't have jobs. So they get out and there is no place to go. But we're going to solve the problem. We're going to bring back the jobs from China. We're going to bring back the jobs from Japan. (Clapping)
And we're going to be fair. But if you look at the trade deficit we have with China it's astronomical. People are saying, "How are you going to balance the budget?" How about by making good deals with China and Japan. Look at the trade deficits. I was in Los Angeles two weeks ago. I saw ships that were so big I've never seen anything like it, with cars from Japan. They are pouring off. We sell them some beef -- if you look at the difference in numbers here [imports] compared to [exports], it's so crazy. They send cars, we send wheat.
It's all going to change. We're going to have great relationships with these people. You know the crazy thing is that every country in the world thinks that the United States is represented by stupid people, and they are right of course. No, they are wrong: Very stupid people. (Laughter)
Every country in the world, everybody makes money. And the funny thing is we don't get along with anybody. Think of it. Here we have deals that are all bad and everybody hates us.
I was just watching on television that we are in a very bad place with Russia. We are working on the Ukraine. That's fine, but why isn't Europe leading that whole charge? Why are we always leading? We have a lot of problems. We're sending an F-22 -- brand new, gorgeous, and our best military people are going over there. I think the Ukraine is great, and we should be worried about the Ukraine, but you know, Germany is over there. They are far richer than we are. Germany has made a fortune. We protect Germany for no money. We protect South Korea for no money. So Germany is over there and they are not worried about it. Germany is saying, "Let these dopey people take care of us" along with all the European countries.
Now in North Korea, you have a situation where he is rearing his head again. I just ordered 4,000 television sets for a big job that I did. That is a lot of sets. They are all made in South Korea. They don't make them in the United States. I wish. (Turns around to the audience) Do you make television sets? They don't make them anywhere in this country.
So I ordered 4,000 of them from Samsung and LG -- all of them from South Korea. They are good sets. They are great. I paid a fortune. I'm saying, they make a fortune, but look at the deficit we have with South Korea. I love South Korea. I love all of these countries, but why is it we protect them? This guy (North Korea leader Kim Jong-Il) raises his head, nuclear this I'm going to wipe them out, and we have 28,000 troops there right now, which is nothing compared to the million that they have in North Korea. Okay, South Korea doesn't pay us anything. What are we doing? Somebody says, "That's not nice, you're asking them to pay." We're watching South Korea. We're watching the Ukraine. We're watching Germany. We're watching Japan. We have a treaty with Japan: If Japan gets attacked, we have to immediately go to their aid. If we get attacked, Japan doesn't have to help us. Oh, that's a fair deal. That's the kind of deals we're in now.
Saudi Arabia. I love Saudi Arabia. The people are very nice to me. They buy my apartments you wouldn't believe it. They'll pay me anything. They have nothing but money. I have a beautiful plane. All of a sudden it doesn't look so good when I look at their planes. I'm jealous. It's terrible. Saudi Arabia made $1 billion a day before oil went down, so let's say it's half a billion now. That's pretty good. We protect them and we get nothing.
I am the most militaristic person. I would build a military so strong, so powerful, so incredible, nobody would ever use it (Clapping). We would never have to use it. I would have the best everything.
We're going to get the greatest negotiators in the world. We're going to negotiate and make a lot of money. We're going to be great. Everyone is going to love us. It's true. Business Week magazine had a story of the ten things the Chinese most want. Anything Trump. Apartments -- anything Trump. I ask, "How can that be possible?" Maybe they respect me.
We shouldn't have gone into Iraq but we did; we made a mistake. You know who is getting the oil out of Iraq -- the stuff that ISIS doesn't have? China. You know what we get? Nothing. Thousands of lives lost and wounded warriors. Two trillion dollars spent and we have nothing.
Afghanistan is rich in minerals. We are fighting in Afghanistan, and on the other side of the mountain, they have massive excavation equipment from China. They are taking out all of the minerals as we fight. We need people who are smart. We have people that don't get it.
Look at the deal we have with Iran. It is going to lead to an arms race the likes of which there has never been. Countries are going to line up for nukes. You will see things you have never seen take place. We never asked for our prisoners. But we should have doubled and tripled up the sanctions and negotiated from strength. Kerry is 73 years old and he is in a bicycle race. I will never enter a bicycle race if I am president. He is in a bicycle race and he falls and breaks a leg. And they look at him and say, "What a schmuck." We didn't get the prisoners. We didn't ask for them. We didn't want to make the deal too complicated. They are fighting us in Yemen.
We are going to give them $150 billion-plus. Even if the deal isn't approved, they will get that regardless. I'd put up a deposit and I pay them when the deal closes. Yet we pay them even if the deal doesn't happen. Persians are great negotiators. It's so crazy, they get $150 billion even if the deal is voted down.
We have to spiritize the country. We have to create jobs, we have to do a tremendous amount of work but it can be done quickly. If the right person is not elected next year I don't know if it can brought back no matter how competent or capable that person is. It's going to be too far down the line. It's going to be too far down the line.
The American dream is to a large extent in trouble. But we are going to make it bigger and better and stronger than before. We are going to get the greatest smartest toughest people to represent us against the world.
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