Donald Trump, it seems, has mastered the art of the flip-flop.
The GOP presidential frontrunner's strategy seems to be: Make a statement in an interview, see if it sticks and, if the backlash is swift, release a statement saying that you never really meant what you said and instead agree with whatever is currently the more popular opinion on the matter.
Yesterday, Trump changed his stance on North Carolina’s anti-LGBT law in less than 24 hours, offering one opinion on “Today” in the morning and another on “Hannity” that night.
The shift, which came after Trump faced criticism from his leading GOP rival, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, and conservative activists, was far from the first time Trump has made such an abrupt change in a policy position. Here are just five instances where the GOP presidential frontrunner has made similarly swift reversals:
Trump has made a big deal out of the fact that he, like Ronald Reagan, was once adamantly pro-choice but is now an opponent of abortion rights. When asked at a MSNBC town hall event if he believes women should be punished for having abortions if he is successful in outlawing the procedure, Trump meandered before eventually concluding that “there has to be some form of punishment.”
In a statement released hours later, Trump said that it should be left to the states to determine what, if any, punishment women should face for having an illegal abortion. His campaign then sent out yet another statement saying that Trump would only seek to punish abortion providers rather than the women who have abortions, stating that the woman is, in fact, “a victim.”
The next day, following his reversal, Trump defended his initial answer, saying that he “didn’t see any big deal” about his original remarks about punishing women and boasting that “a lot of people thought my answer was excellent.”
One day after that, Trump switched his view on choice yet again, saying wouldn’t want to see abortion outlawed after all: “The laws are set and I think we have to leave it that way.” Naturally, his campaign backtracked within hours, saying that Trump only meant that he wouldn’t personally seek to change abortion laws but that “he will change the law through his judicial appointments.”
2) Nuclear proliferation
On March 26, Trump said that nuclear proliferation is the “biggest” problem he sees in the world.
“It’s a very scary nuclear world,” he told the New York Times. “Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation.”
In the very same interview, Trump floated the idea of letting Japan acquire nuclear weapons because he is tired of the U.S. having to defend its ally.
On March 29, when Anderson Cooper asked him to clarify his remarks, Trump said that he wanted not only Japan but also South Korea and Saudi Arabia to acquire nuclear weapons so the U.S. could save money on military assistance and because “it’s going to happen, anyway.” In the same conversation, Trump also told Cooper that he would oppose nuclear proliferation and doesn’t want to see nations like Saudi Arabia have nuclear weapons.
3) War crimes
The morning after Trump declared at a presidential debate in Detroit that he would order members of the military to commit war crimes and use illegal torture techniques — “If I say do it, they’re going to do it” — his campaign released a statement quoting the candidate as saying that he acknowledges “that the United States is bound by laws and treaties and I will not order our military or other officials to violate those laws.”
But just hours after that statement came out, Trump bragged at a Michigan rally about his support for torture, later explaining that he seeks to expand and broaden the rules on torture to compete with ISIS.
4) Guest workers
At the Detroit debate, Trump said that despite what his official website says about guest workers, he would approve of an expansion of the guest worker visa program. “I’m changing. I’m changing. We need highly skilled people in this country,” he said, remarks that surprised many, considering that he is running on a strict anti-immigrant platform.
Of course, Trump's campaign later put out a statement saying that the candidate was in fact sticking with his original opposition to guest worker visas.
Then-rival Marco Rubio said in a response to the flip-flop-flip: “Tonight, Donald Trump finally took an actual position. But as soon as the debate was over, his handlers made him reverse himself. The Republican nominee cannot be somebody who is totally clueless on so many issues, including his signature issue.”
It took just one day for Trump to reverse his stance on the resettlement of Syrian refugees.
On September 8, he told Fox News host Bill O’Reilly that “on a humanitarian basis, with what’s happening you have to” take in some refugees. “They’re living in hell, and something has to be done,” he said.
On September 9, he told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he would oppose any resettlement of refugees from the conflict. Eventually, Trump declared that he would deport Syrian refugees already settled in the U.S.
While not a complete flip, Trump has also tried to change his tune on his proposed ban on Muslims from entering the country. On the same day that he released a statement stating that he wants “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims from entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” he told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren that certain Muslims, such as those serving in the military and those he is personally friends with, would be allowed to come in. He later clarified again that his sweeping ban would not apply to the “very rich Muslims” that he knows.
Pat Boone: The Government Should Outlaw Blasphemy And Punish Saturday Night Live If It Blasphemes Again
Conservative musician and activist Pat Boone has been on the warpath against Saturday Night Live ever since the program aired a sketch parodying the right-wing’s persecution complex, criticizing the show’s cast members as Satanic and bound for hell.
In an interview last night with Alan Colmes, Boone said that “there should be regulations that prohibit blasphemy” and that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should punish networks that air such blasphemous programming.
When Colmes asked if he would “like the FCC to declare that a show like Saturday Night Live or any other show can’t do that kind of humor,” Boone agreed: “You cannot do blasphemy, yes.”
Boone, insisting that “at least 90 percent of the American public” wants this kind of censorship, specifically said that SNL or any program that calls “God by some profane name” would be in violation of such a blasphemy restriction, and that those who commit the offense should lose their license.
He said that he personally asked Donald Trump why he doesn’t talk about the president’s birth certificate as much as he did in the past and “he said, ‘Look, I’ve taken a lot of heat for this and I don’t want to deal with it anymore.’”
Now, Boone lamented, no one wants to address the “legitimate questions” about the birth certificate “because nobody wants to face the ridicule.”
On his radio program yesterday, Bryan Fischer declared that officials who refuse to accept marriage equality or transgender rights will one day be recognized as heroes, just like Harriet Tubman.
Responding to the news that Tubman will replacing Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, Fischer noted that she is hailed as a hero today for breaking an unjust law in favor of obeying a "higher law."
"Because everybody recognizes that morally her cause was right, she's a hero," Fischer stated. "And I'm suggesting the same thing when it comes to the homosexual agenda."
Fischer said that elected or school officials who defy court rulings on gay marriage or laws allowing transgender individuals to use the facilities that match their gender identity will be seen as American heroes.
"The heroes," he predicted, "are going to be those elected officials, those school board officials, those principals that say, 'No, that's not going to happen on my watch.'"
Fischer has previously said that there should be an "Underground Railroad to deliver innocent children from same-sex households."
Horowitz stated that Black Lives Matter is a “racist movement” but that Republicans don’t criticize it because they’re “afraid of being called racist.”
As Sen. Ted Cruz began emerging as the favorite of establishment Republicans looking to stop Donald Trump from winning the party's presidential nomination, there was a brief period in which Cruz unconvincingly attempted to portray himself as more mainstream than he actually is. The maneuvering didn’t last long, as Cruz is now attacking Trump from the right for not being anti-LGBT enough.
Cruz released an online ad along with a blistering statement yesterday attacking the GOP presidential frontrunner for criticizing a radical new anti-LGBT law in North Carolina, which he claimed would allow "grown men" to "use little girls' public restrooms":
"Donald Trump is no different from politically correct leftist elites. Today, he joined them in calling for grown men to be allowed to use little girls’ public restrooms. As the dad of young daughters, I dread what this will mean for our daughters - and for our sisters and our wives. It is a reckless policy that will endanger our loved ones.
"Yet Donald stands up for this irresponsible policy while at the same time caving in on defending individual freedoms and religious liberty. He has succumbed to the Left's agenda, which is to force Americans to leave God out of public life while paying lip service to false tolerance.
"This is not real tolerance. The Left wants to force its belief system onto Americans across the country and silence people of faith in the public square. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump is all too eager to join them. This simply confirms that the same man who favored partial-birth abortion and still supports public funding for Planned Parenthood will sacrifice principle on the altar of political correctness. Trump will not defeat political correctness. Today he bowed to it."
Along with being patently bigoted, the allegation that transgender people and others are using nondiscrimination laws to assault and molest children is without factual basis.
Indeed, Cruz has made false and derogatory claims against the LGBT community throughout his political career and his presidential campaign.
Back in 2014, Cruz said that there was “a real risk” that pastors would soon be hauled off to jail and face hate crime charges if they opposed same-sex marriage or declined to officiate at a gay couple’s wedding. The previous year, he had claimed that the prosecution of pastors was “the next step” in the marriage equality movement.
Before the Supreme Court's landmark marriage equality ruling, Cruz argued that the legal challenges to gay marriage bans were not only “heartbreaking” but also a “real threat” to “our liberties.” Earlier this year, he alleged that the “disastrous” and “fundamentally illegitimate” ruling has led to the “persecution” of Christians. He told one conservative radio host in 2014 that anti-gay civil disobedience may be necessary in the face of what he recently described as LGBT advocates’ “jihad” against “people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”
Following the Obergefell ruling, Cruz told a group of radical anti-gay activists that in a Cruz administration, “we will not use the federal government to enforce this lawless decision that is a usurpation of the authority of we the people in this country.”
Cruz told the same group that he also opposes advances in LGBT rights in the military, criticizing President Obama for being “more interested in promoting homosexuality in the military than he is in defeating our enemy” and making the military “promote transgendered [sic] soldiers.” “The role of the military is not to be some left-wing social experiment,” he continued, pledging that as president he would “stop the shameless politicizing of our military to push a left-wing agenda that is contrary to the values and contrary to who we are as an American people and a nation founded on Judeo-Christian values.”
Cruz even signed a National Organization for Marriage pledge in which he vowed not only to overturn Obergefell but also to “prevent the promotion of a redefined version of marriage in public schools and other government entities,” sign a bill legalizing anti-gay discrimination and order the Justice Department to investigate the supposed persecution of gay rights opponents.
The group later endorsed Cruz, which shouldn’t be surprising since he surrounds himself with all sorts of anti-gay extremists, and at one point courted the support of a preacher who believes in the death penalty for homosexuality.
Endorsers embraced by Cruz's campaign, as we’ve reported in the past, “have included North Carolina activists who have referred to gay people as Satan’s minions; a North Carolina pastor who has likened gay people to 'maggots' and linked them to Ebola; an Oklahoma preacher who warns that homosexuality is part of a demonic communist conspiracy to bring down America; a Virginia radio host who has blamed gays for everything from terrorism to train derailments; and a Virginia lawmaker who has sponsored an assortment of bizarre anti-gay bills.”
Two of Cruz's most vocal endorsers, Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, have defended a Ugandan measure that would have punished gay people with death or lengthy prison terms. He has repeatedly boasted of the endorsement he received from “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson, who told a Cruz rally that Americans should “rid the earth” of gay marriage advocates.
With a record like this, Cruz’s disparaging attack on transgender people should leave no one surprised.
Glenn Beck Is Going To Write A Contemporary History Book About How America Was Lost ... By Not Electing Ted Cruz
Glenn Beck spent most of his radio program yesterday freaking out about criticism of anti-LGBT laws in states like North Carolina and Mississippi, as well as the supposed rise of Satanism in America, which prompted him to warn yet again that this nation is engaged in Moloch worship.
At one point, Beck declared that he is going to bring together a group of historians to help him write a contemporary history book so that when America is lost forever should we fail to elect Ted Cruz as president, there will be a true record of how this country imploded.
"I'm going to find some history professors," Beck said, and "we're going to write a history book of the last, probably, 50 or 60 years. Because, I'm telling you, the history of the last 20 years will all be gone; it's going to be written by the winners and I got news for you gang, this election is showing us — honestly, if Ted Cruz doesn't win, progressivism is the way forward and the country will be lost as we know it. We'll still be the United States of America, just not the way know it. We're going to have a different world and everything that happened will be distorted, capitalism will begin to look [like] it never worked, freedom never worked. Somebody has to document this and really document it well and put it on the shelves of every home."
- Brian Tashman @ The Huffington Post: Donald Trump’s Pyramid Scheme for America.
- Zack Ford @ Think Progress: North Carolina Conservatives Backtrack On Lawmaker ‘Loyalty Pledge’ To Discriminate.
- Travis Gettys @ Raw Story: Trump’s foreign policy advisor thinks Turkey is conspiring with Native Americans to build nukes.
- Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Glenn Beck Throws So Much Shade at Joe Scarborough in Open Letter to Megyn Kelly.
- Timothy Johnson @ Media Matters: NRA Commentator: People Who Hate Guns Should Own Body Armor As A “Passive Way To Protect Yourself From Being Shot”.
- The American Family Association is now "calling for a boycott of Target after the retail giant said it would allow men to use the women's restrooms and dressing rooms in their stores."
- Steve Deace fumes that Donald Trump "bows to the Rainbow Jihad on the Today Show and says he's fine with creepy dudes ogling and assaulting our daughters in the ladies restroom."
- Ex-gay activist Christopher Doyle says "the LGBT lobby is like a kid in a candy store with unlimited credit. The kid is high on sugar and bouncing off the walls while demanding more, all the while disturbing the other customers. The North Carolina Legislature and Governor are the brave candy store owners by saying no, and now the kid is out of control and will stop at nothing to get his way."
- David Kupelian declares that "by rolling over for the opposition to these ‘transgender bathroom laws’ and the perverse, bizarre worldview underlying it, we are in the process of corrupting and morally confusing an entire generation of Americans into believing delusion is truth and that commonsense decency and discernment amount to ‘discrimination’ and ‘hate.'"
- Finally, FRC continues to pray that anti-LGBT laws will be passed in every state: "Lord, show those who see this as trivial that every assault on religious liberty is an assault to the foundation of all liberty. If the government can coerce us to abandon our core biblical faith and practice as it pertains to marriage, it can force us to believe and do anything. Shake your people to pray, to speak out, and to take action. May pastors and churches lead the battle to pass common sense laws in every state. May those who live in anti-religious liberty states fight to restore religious liberty, flee to a free state, or be prepared to stand in the fiery trial that will soon come to every jurisdiction in America."
Anti-choice groups have made no secret of the fact that they are pressuring Senate Republicans to continue their blockade of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, in the hope that a Republican-nominated justice will vote to undo Roe v. Wade.
Americans United for Life, the group that shapes the anti-choice movement’s legal strategy, made this argument explicitly in an email today asking members to pressure their senators to keep up the blockade of Garland.
Clarke Forsythe, the group’s acting president, claims in the email that the “only reason abortion advocates are pushing this nomination is to roll back the pro-life gains in courts and legislatures across the country” and promises that “the right Supreme Court” will roll back Roe.
AUL is one of a number of anti-choice groups, including the Susan B. Anthony List, Concerned Women for America, the Family Research Council, Priests for Life, the clinic protest group Pro-Life Action League and David Daleiden’s attorneys at Life Legal Defense Foundation, who have launched a website targeting Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, urging them to continue to stall Garland’s nomination.
Forsythe writes, under the subject line “You Have the Power to Help Roll Back Roe v. Wade”:
Do you believe Roe v. Wade can be rolled back? At Americans United for Life, we know that the answer is YES … with the right Supreme Court.
For more than 40 years, we pro-life Americans have been working to overturn the destructiveness of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, the twin cases that brought incredible devastation to mothers and their unborn children, making both vulnerable to the profiteering of a greedy abortion industry. With the death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court hangs in the balance today, making it vital that NO appointment to the high court occur until after the voters weigh in on Election Day. You can help make that happen.
Please click here to contact your U.S. Senators, telling them to wait until after the election to deal with the opening on the Supreme Court.
All that AUL has been working for since 1971 is at stake in President Obama’s attempt to put a fifth pro-abortion justice on the Supreme Court. Don't let them crush democracy on the abortion issue for another two or three decades. No president has been more firmly committed to the abortion industry than Barack Obama, making his pick for the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland, the wrong choice to be added to the fragile balance in a fractured court.
Please click here to contact your U.S. Senators now.
Judge Garland is President Obama’s pro-abortion pick to tempt some Republicans to act now to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. But it’s important to remember that President Obama, Vice President Biden and even Sen. Chuck Schumer, all urged the Senate to hold the line against Supreme Court picks late in a president’s term. The only reason abortion advocates are pushing this nomination is to roll back the pro-life gains in courts and legislatures across the country.
Please contact your Senators today, asking them to let Americans have a voice in deciding the future of the Supreme Court, through their choice of leadership. Click here to contact them now, and please forward this to friends and family so that we all can have a voice in whether all people are welcomed in life and protected in law.
With so many Justices on the Supreme Court nearing retirement, the time is now to let your Senators know that it matters to you who sits on the nation’s Supreme Court.
Thank you for standing with Americans United for Life at this important time. We can make a difference.
Acting President & Senior Counsel
Americans United for Life
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