I am very distressed by Allen West’s giving even the slightest bit of consideration to Donald Trump as a serious candidate, much less a serious Republican candidate. West recently said that he’d consider being Donald Trump’s running mate if it were offered, and Trump and West shared the stage at a South Florida Tax Day Tea Party rally. This is both puzzling and disturbing.
From my friend Stephen Maloney, just learned of Poll Insider’s little refresher on the man who, for reasons not yet fully known (is he really running for president or is this just a publicity ploy?) has transformed himself from Obama lover to Tea Party advocate. While some conservatives rhapsodize over what feels like an endless media blitz over Obama’s birth certificate, others like Poll Insiderare actually pointing out some inconvenient truths about The Donald.
On Abortion: Donald Trump Then: “I support a woman’s right to choose, but I am uncomfortable with the procedures. When Tim Russert asked me on Meet the Press if I would ban partial-birth abortion, my pro-choice instincts led me to say no. After the show, I consulted two doctors I respect and, upon learning more about this procedure, I have concluded that I would support a ban.” From his 2000 book. “I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors” – When he last considered running for President in 2009. Donald Trump Now: “As you know, I’m pro-life… I’m forming an opinion, I’m forming a very strong opinion but I’ll let you know in about three or four weeks if I decided to.” That’s comforting, he will let us know in 3 or 4 weeks what his reformed views on abortion are.
On Healthcare: “I’m a conservative on most issues but a liberal on health. It is an unacceptable but accurate fact that the number of uninsured Americans has risen to 42 million. Working out detailed plans will take time. But the goal should be clear: Our people are our greatest asset. We must take care of our own. We must have universal healthcare. Our objective [should be] to make reforms for the moment and, longer term, to find an equivalent of the single-payer plan that is affordable, well-administered, and provides freedom of choice. Possible? The good news is, yes. There is already a system in place-the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program-that can act as a guide for all healthcare reform. It operates through a centralized agency that offers considerable range of choice. While this is a government program, it is also very much market-based. It allows 620 private insurance companies to compete for this market. Once a year participants can choose from plans which vary in benefits and costs.”
On Taxation: Forget raising taxes, Trump wanted to tax, at 14.25% the net wealth of “the evil rich.” Money that was already taxed. Of course, he played the “I’m raising taxes on myself” card to prove his selflessness. (Ironic given his inability to settle his own debts…) His 1999 plan:
- Raise $5.7 trillion to erase the nation’s debt and save $200 billion in annual interest payments
- Use the savings to save Social Security and slash taxes for the middle class
- Increase his personal tax bill by at least $725 million.
Political Donations (and no, I don’t accept the “he did it for business reasons” excuse. Has George Soros ever donated to a conservative politician in the interest of business and against his dearly held lefty ideology?):
Charlie Rangel (D-NY): 2006 – $10,000 Yes, he of corruption, tax evasion, and mass liberalism
Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) $12,000 Total, $2,000 in 2006
Re-election Harry Reid: Donated $4,800 in 2010 to Reid to defeat Sharon Angle. $10,400 to Reid overall
Chuck Schumer: Donated $4,000 during 2010 Election Cycle
Kirsten Gillibrand: $5,800 over past 2 cycles
Ted Kennedy: $7,000
John Kerry $5,500 ($2,000 in 2004 Pres race, which he also gave Bush $2,000. How bi-partisan!)
Democratic Senatorial Committee: $116,000 (versus $30K to GOP equivalent)
My question for conservatives — especially those who’ve declared Sarah Palin unelectable: Do we no longer care about a candidate’s past record, associations, donations to lefty candidates and stance on important issues? Or are you so thrilled by his constant drum-beating over Obama’s birth certificate you are willing to overlook everything else? By the way, here’s what he had to say about Obama in 2008:
Update 2: 2008 Trump Blasts Bush, Praises Obama, Says he Can Save the World: “I think he has a chance to go down as a great president. Now, if he’s not a great president, this country is in serious trouble,” said Trump. “I think [Obama’s] going to lead through consensus,” continued Trump. “It’s not going to be just a bull run like Bush did. He just did whatever the hell he wanted. He’d go into a country, attack Iraq, which had nothing to do with the World Trade Center and just do it because he wanted to do it.”
My own issues with President Bush aside, I’m not taking a gamble (so to speak) on Donald Trump. The more I learn, the more I want to recant my statement about voting for him if it comes down to Trump vs. a GOP Establishment type. Let the voter beware. UPDATE: Since one of the comments in the thread accuses me of being unfair in not stating that Trump has also donated to Republicans (he has), here’s an addendum from Open Secrets.org:
In all, Trump has contributed to 96 candidates running for federal political office since the 1990 election cycle, the Center finds. Only 48 of the recipients — exactly half — were Republicans at the time they received their contribution, including ex-Gov. Charlie Crist (I-Fla.) and ex-Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), who both of whom received their Trump contributions as Republicans.
Since the 1990 election cycle, the top 10 recipients of Trump’s political contributions number six Democrats and four Republicans. Embattled Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), who was censured last year by his U.S. House colleagues, has received the most Trump money, totaling $24,750. The most recent contribution from Trump to Rangel was a $10,000 gift during the 2006 election cycle.
In the most recent election cycle, Trump doled out $22,500 to political candidates, of which $16,200 benefited Democrats.
The top Republican recipient of Trump’s money is Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) who has collected $13,600 from the billionaire magnate, the second most of any politician. Trump did not contribute to McCain during the 2010 election cycle, during which the former presidential candidate was facing re-election.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is the recipient of $12,000 in Trump contributions, including $10,000 for his 2006 re-election campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has received the fourth-largest amount of Trump’s contributions, including $4,800 in the successful 2010 campaign against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle. In total Trump has contributed $10,400 to Reid.
In 2010, Trump also contributed $4,000 to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who easily won re-election. Schumer has received $8,900 from Trump since the 1996 election cycle. Trump has also been generous to New York’s other Democratic U.S. senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, who’s received $5,850 in Trump money.
After McCain, the Republican with the largest amount of Trump’s contributions is former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who left office in disgrace in 2006 when his online solicitation of male House pages became known. Trump contributed $9,500 to Foley between the 1996 and 2006 election cycles.
Trump has also supported other notable politicians, including:
• $7,000 to former Sen. Ted Kennedy
(D-Mass.), the “liberal lion of the Senate”
• $5,500 to Sen. John Kerry
(D-Mass.) including $2,000 during his 2004 presidential run
• $4,000 to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle
Like most conservatives who happen to be registered Republicans, I know all too well that “Republican” does not equal “Tea Party conservative”. Therefore, I take no comfort in his donations to RINOs like Charlie Crist, whom the NRSC rushed to endorse a year-and-a-half before the primary in their zeal to take out Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio. As for Trump’s support of Harry “This war is lost!” Reid, John “Reporting for Duty” Kerry, Teddy “Chappaquiddick” Kennedy and all of the other progressive Dems on the list…well, that’s just a little too much for this voter to ignore. So yes, I did my homework — and once again, the hyperlinks to my sources are embedded in the post. Everyone is free to support whomever they’d like; I am simply expressing my opinion backed up with facts as to why I will not support Donald Trump.
I would only add to Conservative Diva’s comments my own fears that Trump is doing and is likely to do three things:
1. Expose Republicans to ridicule by pounding away on the birth certificate issue.
2. Distract attention from serious, legitimate Republican candidates; and maybe fracture the party.
3. Lose the GOP nomination, run as an Independent, and draw away enough GOP votes to hand the election to Obama. (Which may be the real agenda all along.)
Maybe Allen West knows something we don’t know — but at this point in time, it looks to me like poor judgment on West’s part. I think the number one quality a chief executive needs — other than the obvious ones such as integrity, intelligence and a good work ethic — is the ability to pick good people. No executive can do his or her job without advisers and department heads, so good judgment of character is absolutely crucial. Let’s just say I have my doubts.
Rather than President, I’m leaning toward West as VP, Secretary of Defense or National Security Adviser. I think he’d be magnificent in any of these positions — for someone other than Trump!