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The Question Trump Can’t Answer

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Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump reacts near the end of the debate   in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

In the GOP debate, Donald Trump said he couldn’t commit to support the ultimate nominee, and refused to rule out a third party run, but he never faced the obvious follow-up question. If he really cares about the conservative principles he now espouses, why wouldn’t he promise to support the Republican nominee?

Does he think that there is any chance that Hillary Clinton would come closer to representing a conservative agenda than any conceivable GOP candidate?

Trump’s position on this issue exposes the limitations of his presidential campaign: it’s entirely about one man and his brash personality, and has nothing to do with needed conservative reforms. Yes, Trump talks a lot about immigration but offers no solutions beyond building a “big wall.” His plan for the economy is nothing more than “I’m a great negotiator and can bring back jobs.” The presidency isn’t a dictatorship, and focusing on personality more than principle is a dangerous indulgence.

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  1. Jim Bird  •  Aug 10, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    In your first hour today you stated “……America wants a President who can unite both sides of the aisle.” Obama has done amazingly well with support from McConnell and Boehner OR WITHOUT THEM. “Working across the aisle” is political speak for the GOP’ers telling lies to their electorate again.
    Most Republicans DO NOT like Trump at all. They hate, we literally hate the Old Guard GOP more than Trump. We at least have a voice, FOR ONCE, He will lose to Hillary BUT THE GOP AND ITS APOLOGISTS WILL DESERVE WHAT IT GETS, AS IF THEY GIVE DAMN. How many more times do we have to be stabbed in the back?

    • Joe  •  Aug 13, 2015 at 4:02 pm

      Mark Levin properly states that both Boehner and McConnell should resign. John McCain actively works in AZ to insure no Tea party Republican gets elected. Trump is the anti Country Republican, even though he owns several country clubs. America needs someone who will actually legislate for America and not the super rich, big banks, Pharma etc. The only Republican candidate that is not bought and paid for is Trump. I will vote for him even if he goes independent because the Republican candidate will legislate very similar to Hillary/ Obama.

      • John King  •  Aug 15, 2015 at 4:27 pm

        Joe, you are acting like a petulant child. You are willing to cut off your nose to spite your face. The ONLY hope we have as true conservatives, and not merely ideologues, is to defeat the left by getting a strong Republican president. Mr Trump has been all over the map with his politics. And while (like Obama) he makes great speeches he lacks the the thought out methods by which he would accomplish his wonderful ideas. He simply comes across as bluster and hot air. This is exactly what Obama did when first elected. He made all sorts of promises that he had idea about how to accomplish them, and look what we got.

        I also liken him to our “Governator” here in California. He was much the same as Trump. A popular charismatic actor who was going to solve all our problems after we ousted Gray Davis. He made great speeches with no idea about how to back them up and turned out to be a true disaster for the state. We should have elected Tom McClintock, who DID know what to do and would have done it, given the chance.

        Please clear your head and think a little more rationally about what would happen if Trump were our candidate, or worse, ran as a third party candidate. Third party candidates have never won and never will in our system. Stick with the only true hope of improvement by electing the best conservative candidate the party can come up with, and don’t just stick out your lower lip, stomp your foot, pound your fist and give the election to the Democrats AGAIN!!

        John King

  2. greg  •  Aug 10, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    thats what the debate is for; not asking gotcha questions,where were the policy questions for the candicates?Idon’t know of one candidate who got a policy question. really ? stop being the waterbor for the establishment.michael you were a democrat at one time.also if I look back you and the establishment put down Pres.Reagen.
    Boehnor and mcchonnel refused to use the power of the purse that is part of any negotiaion especially when you have the house and senate.Pres. Bush exapanded cost like a democrate

  3. Nani  •  Aug 11, 2015 at 1:02 am

    Trump has managed to bring out the truth about the so called base. They are Libertarians pretending to be Republicans (the TRUE Republicans In Name Only). They will gladly kill the GOP because they believe that Republicans will have no choice but to vote for Libertarians. The sad part is that we will have to PAY for that belief with another 4 years of Obama ala Hillary.

    Trump has said many times that he is NOT a conservative, from boasting to buying politicians to ignoring the constitution because “everyone does it”. He doesn’t care about the values of conservatives. His contributions to Clinton and her foundation is proof of that. His anti-female remarks will be the poster boy of Hillary’s claim that Republicans have a war on women. There is so many reasons why this man should be dumped for anyone who really has had enough of 8 years of Obama.

    But the truth is that Libertarians hate Republicans more than they do Democrats. They hate Republicans so much they will sacrifice America to see the GOP die.

  4. Jim Bird  •  Aug 11, 2015 at 2:25 am

    There are about 20% to 30% of Republicans who are furious with the GOP leadership. Many of this group don’t vote at all any longer because of the lies election cycle after election cycle. That group is made up by a lot more than just Libertarians Nani and we know your frustration and pain. If Trump runs third party or even gets the nomination, Hillary wins even if she’s in prison. McConnell and Boehner would cave to Liberals abuse of power with 100% majorities in the House and Senate I’m convinced – I truly believe this because of their mind-numbing decisions on Amnesty, Obamacare, shutting down Govt. for a day and their utter silence of giving nukes to Iran. Obama is a lunatic and GOP PRETENDS HE’S NOT BY BEING COMPLICIT WITH HIS DESTRUCTION OF THE COUNTRY. So who’s worse, the thug or the cowards? They are both stunningly wrong in this bizarre place that Michael still calls the greatest …… You know the rest.

  5. David  •  Aug 11, 2015 at 10:38 am

    I hope this doesn’t happen but my hunch is Trump wins the primary and looses to Hillary unless he puts Carson, Palin, or someone like that who can energize the base. It’s similar to the 2008 Republican primaries when the base was split between Huckabee and Romney; John McCain, the Populist who appealed to the center right republicans had the other half of the votes and won. The base is split again but this time among too many people (Walker, Bush, Rubio, Carson, etc.). I strongly appeal to my fellow Republicans to think who can best beat Hillary. I’m thinking Rubio might to better than Romney did appealing to the minority vote….let’s think who will beat Trump in the primary and Hillary in the general election….thinking Rubio or Walker but we all need to stand behind one man or Trump and ultimately Hilary are going to continue to divide and conquer!

  6. Lynne Polelle  •  Aug 11, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Trump supporters are not responding to a wonderful future, but to the seductiveness of a personality cult.

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Sep 5, 2015 at 6:06 pm

      Wee said, Lynne.

  7. Lee  •  Aug 12, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    Lynne, I dont think you get what is causing the excitement. I believe that Trump represents what we all hoped would happen when we sent a Republican majority to congress in 2014. What we got instead was a spineless majority that will not stand up to anybody an is more interested in political correctness. I personally do not think Trump can actually make it the the White House, but I’m still looking for someone that I can believe that will not take any guff from a small segment of the country. Progressive Socialism….please give me a break. If you are so interested in socialism them please advise me when you have last lived under socialism. I spent 2.5 years going in and out of Moscow (on business) and I have seen the results of 90 years of socialism/communism.

  8. Carolyn Kutt  •  Aug 12, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Michael is right about Trump. Trump has said that he will not agree to not run as a third party candidate because he doesn’t want to give up his leverage. In business, leverage is a bargaining tool. What does Trump want if he doesn’t win the nomination? I am not certain that it has anything to do with the welfare of our country.

    There are a lot of very good candidates to choose from and it would be a shame to lose this election because of the Trump candidacy.

  9. Jim Bird  •  Aug 13, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Who gives a damn about a question Trump supposedly can’t answer. Obama lies on a daily basis and no one cares. Hillary should be in prison now but she will be the next President. So many pundits and politicians are pathetic panders of propaganda. Finally we get one guy who is so pissed off with the direction of our country and who echoes what every normal citizen is thinking and discussing, that he becomes THE target for the thugs and cowards in DC and the head scratching, chin pulling, talking head media morons. Americans know the economy is decimated and will never come back. But keep on chuckling pundits, keep on kissing BO’s ass.

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Sep 5, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Sorry, I think you are hopeless Jim.

  10. jguy  •  Aug 13, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    Trump says what he will “do” in general terms – unlike sitting Republican teaparty
    members of congress who gridlocked much of the political system for years because
    they are at major odds with the ELECTED president. I am not a Trump enthusiast
    but I do believe much of his appeal is that he has agreed with the left before he
    became more seasoned…. and can be pliable when issues are ever changing.
    He seems like he will take positions that will get things accomplished because
    as a businessman he has had to be flexible whereas the teapartiers are too

  11. S johnson  •  Aug 14, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    What is a waste of time is Micheal is the old guard establishment and will not listen to what we the true base has been saying all these years.i am sick of being told you have to vote for who ever the selection is and this person is not nominated. The old guard picks who they want another professional politician who won’t work for us.then we all loose again,how many times will we put up with the illusion and how many of you who read this comment will just blow it off.have you taken any time to look into the fact that we think we are voting for someone other than a hand picked selection from a private party paid for that will not be for us.what happened to for the people by the people?are you going to be fooled again are you the definition of insanity. I say those who continue on this road are the ones throwing your so called vote away.status quo.

    • Mr. Derp  •  Aug 20, 2015 at 3:43 am

      I totally agree. Medved and many other “conservatives” are wrong and pick losers like Romney, McConnell and Boehner.

    • John Philby  •  Aug 24, 2015 at 4:10 pm

      Agree! Well said.

  12. mark  •  Aug 14, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Trump worries me because he has in the past been very supportive of Hillary Clinton, even to the point of inviting her to his latest wedding. I know this probably belongs on Conspiracy Day, but is it possible that Trump is really in Hillarys camp and is a Trojan Horse Republican? If he gets enough support from the disaffected Republicans, as Perot did, then Trump with a third party run could take away enough Republicans to help Hillary win. Even if it is not conspiratorial on his part, the result will be the same if he goes third party. A Clinton win. Very easy to see that possibility when one looks back at how Bill Clinton won the Presidency with only 43% of the popular vote thanks to Perot and his 19%. Little of which came from Democrats.

  13. Mike Neuman  •  Aug 15, 2015 at 3:10 am

    Trump is really scary…not because he is anti-establishment but because he might have chance of taking the whole thing…Think about it…

    His response to any criticism has always been to lash out at the offender with a whole bunch of insults questioning the persons intellect and talent. Now if the party isn’t nice to him…he will take his ball home and runs as a third party candidate…obviously giving the Presidency to the Liberals…but his supporters say…that’s OK because the GOP deserves it…unbelievable!!!

    But when is he ever nice to anyone else… More importantly, ego and petulance aren’t characteristics that come to mind when dealing with diplomacy. What will a President Trump do when Putin pokes a finger in his eye in front of the whole world…Will he hold a press conference to denounce Putin as an overrated, no talent, loser who is suffering from PMS.

    And what about Mexico…one of the few specifics is Trump will make Mexico pay $100,000 for every illegal alien that comes over the border. You can hear Mexico laughing right now…
    His supporters don’t care…he is a TRUTH TELLER…

    Yep, he is a truth teller which is exactly what the country needs…Only problem is he IS NOT a real truth teller…Yeah…he blurts out whatever pops into his mind…but you know what that is self-indulgence, not political courage…In the language of politics…a “truth teller” is someone with a core set of beliefs or he is willing to articulate honestly no matter the political costs. It’s certainly accurate that this quality is a rarity in politics today… But actually this is not what Trump does. He probably couldn’t if he wanted to…because he doesn’t seem to have any…

    Trump has changed his position over the years on health care (wants single payer), taxes (wants to raise them),trade (opposed Free Trade), and abortion (was “extremely Pro Choice), to name just a few…to suit his needs at the particular time…That Trump fans (fanatics) is not “truth telling”…that is political expedience…unfortunately, most of the Trump supporters can’t tell the difference…

    One thing Trump is consistent about is: He always been in it for himself…

    Think about it…

    • John Philby  •  Aug 24, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Mike: There is nothing Trump can do worse than what the lying and thieving Republican political class have already done, and are still doing. Like they aren’t in it for themselves as well? Hello? What have you been smoking lately?

      John Philby

  14. D. Kipp  •  Aug 17, 2015 at 2:14 pm

    Bottom line is that we need someone who will defeat the Democrat nominee. That person is not Trump for the reasons stated by previous posts. My choice, right now, is Rubio and Carly who will appeal to a broad spectrum of voters and are articulate, atractive, with a good grasp of the issues.

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Sep 5, 2015 at 6:15 pm

      Yours is a voice of reason among a whole bunch of knuckleheads.

  15. Carl Lind  •  Aug 17, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    “If he really cares about the conservative principles he now espouses, why wouldn’t he promise to support the Republican nominee?”
    Because his own principles include: Never give away your bargaining chips, even those of questionable value.
    He’s the author of the best selling book, “The Art of the Deal,” for Chris’ sake!
    (Did you not hear him refer to the value of “leverage” during the debate?)

  16. Ken  •  Aug 18, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    Annie effectively walked circles around you in her defense of Donald Trump on your radio show today.

  17. Mr. Derp  •  Aug 20, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Medved, Hewitt and many other “conservatives” are wrong about Trump and are scared that he will end the cabal that is the Washington machine. Medved and his ilk have now been exposed as part of the problem.

    • Ustad  •  Aug 21, 2015 at 9:49 pm

      Kudos to you sir, for such an insightful comment … another nail in the coffin or the Republican hopes to ever get into White House … sorry, Mr. Medved, any time you talk reason, you will have to face this garbage!

  18. John C. Hill  •  Aug 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    Medved is another rino. We can stop illegals even if they use anchor babies, (yes I’m tired of P.C., and the term is accurate). They endagered their babies lives trying to enter illegally. DHS has taken children from parents for a lot less. Take the children from them and put them up for adoption. Send the mothers back wgere they came from. after awhile the woird will get around.

    • Ustad  •  Aug 21, 2015 at 9:46 pm

      Do you even know which race has the most ‘illegals’ in our country or who has the maximum number of babies born here to get them the citizenship status? And which social and economic strata they belong to? None of them entered our country ‘illegally’ … they mostly come on Legal visas and then overstay … or just have the baby and go back. It is Asians, as in the country responsible for today’s Wall Street collapse! Pl look up the info before buying into the hateful rhetoric you hear on Faux News. Will wait for your reply after you do some research … and some soul searching!

    • Brian Harmon, Retired Econ Professor  •  Sep 5, 2015 at 6:17 pm

      Medved, a RINO? That is crazy talk.

  19. Raphael  •  Aug 25, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    I’m sorry for saying this, but people seem not to be very smart. But analyze well Mr. Medved’s comment. He is totally right! No shadow of doubt here, no logical fault can be found. People should listen to Mr. Medved, he knows the stuff of this country and the politics, but beyond that, he understand the deep meaning of things.

  20. Vince  •  Aug 27, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I’m a registered voting centrist democrat and I’m voting for Trump. I’m tired of my parties lies and I’m not satisfied with the political polish of Republicans. Trump tells it straight, something we’ve lost in this country.

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