Does he stand for anything?
Scott Olson / Getty Images
As Republican front runner Donald Trump has rooted his campaign in anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric, the question has been raised: Does Trump mean this? Is he articulating the wishes, as his campaign signage says, of Nixon's "silent majority"? Or is he just saying whatever it takes to get attention and support?
Even as his repeated shifts and flips on all kinds of positions have been covered extensively this year, Trump has been portrayed by supporters as a straight-talker who says the thing others are too afraid to say.
A detailed review of old interviews over the last decade — which you can see below — shows Trump has at other moments donned an anti-racist mantle, however.
In fact, Trump once cast himself as a champion of "Jews, blacks, gays, and Mexicans" against a populist Republican presidential candidate, Pat Buchanan. His tough new rhetoric is the latest in a series of evolutions that has shown him go from Reform Party populist to Bush critic to Obama fan to conspiracy theorist to nativist Republican frontrunner.
Can the nativists even trust Trump?
"Republicans didn't have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians," the billionaire developer says.
"The Democrats didn't have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren't mean-spirited about it," Trump says. "They didn't know what the policy was, but what they were is they were kind."
Romney's solution of "self deportation" for illegal aliens made no sense and suggested that Republicans do not care about Hispanics in general, Trump says.
"He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal," Trump says. "It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote," Trump notes. "He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country."
The GOP has to develop a comprehensive policy "to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country," Trump says.
Or what Trump said to The Advocate in 1999 about Pat Buchanan when he was flirting with a Reform Party presidential run.
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