At long last, Donald Trump realizes that his mission to alienate the majority of the Republican party has had some undesirable consequences. He’s reached the conclusion, along with everyone else, that he is unlikely to reach 1,237 before the convention, and that he will need to actually convince GOP leaders that he won’t get destroyed in November in order to get the nomination.
Also, he can read the polls as well as anyone, and he knows good and well that he is in deep trouble against Hillary even if he does get the nomination. #NeverTrump is a real thing, its members are dedicated, and Trump knows that he has to do something to stop the bleed of potential Republican voters in November.
So he held a meeting with Republican leaders yesterday, and the basic message he carried was that he’s been lying to his supporters all along:
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Donald Trump’s chief lieutenants told skeptical Republican leaders Thursday that the GOP front-runner has been “projecting an image” so far in the 2016 primary season and “the part that he’s been playing is now evolving” in a way that will improve his standing among general election voters.
The message, delivered behind closed doors in a private briefing, is part of the campaign’s intensifying effort to convince party leaders Trump will moderate his tone in the coming months to help deliver big electoral gains this fall, despite his contentious ways.
Look, this will definitely not hurt Trump with his supporters, who have long ago proved that they don’t care about being lied to by Donald Trump (assuming they believe that Trump is even capable of lying). But it is definitely a case of “too little, too late.”
Trump seems to not understand that neither the Internet nor the Hillary Clinton campaign ever forgets. All the ridiculous things he’s said, tweeted, and done are a matter of public record and will provide endless fodder for attack ads. And I do mean endless – if Hillary Clinton had to run against Donald Trump for another four solid years, she could cut a new attack ad using Trump’s own words every week, just based on the material he has already provided.
Moreover, nothing Trump has done or said shows any indication that he is actually capable of changing. He’s said a billion times on the campaign trail already words to the effect of “I can be Presidential, believe me.” Well, Donald, we don’t believe you. Because we’ve never seen it happen at all. How about instead of saying you can be Presidential, you could actually be Presidential?
But even if Trump were capable of flipping that switch, which he is not, the anti-Trump forces are not like the pro-Trump forces: we have memories. We remember the things Trump has said and done. And to the extent that he says things that directly contradict what he was saying two months ago, or last week, or yesterday, we actually view that as further evidence that he is untrustworthy and would say anything to get elected.
Trump can come to us and say he’s been lying to his supporters all along, but it won’t really change the fact that we’ve seen that the man is completely unfit for the Presidency. The Donald Trump of the last nine months is who Donald Trump really is. And he’s a man who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the White House.
Note: the original title had quotes around “I’ve been lying to my supporters.” To make it perfectly clear that this is a paraphrase and not a direct quote, I have removed them.