Following Donald Trump’s heavily anticipated immigration speech, media figures have finally concluded that there will be no so-called “pivot” from the Republican presidential nominee. They are urging people to never “speak of Donald Trump pivoting ever, ever again” and claiming that talk of a Trump pivot needs to “be put in a lockbox.”
Trump Delivers Hard-Line Immigration Speech
NY Times: Trump Gives “Tough, Uncompromising” Immigration Speech. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called for an end to sanctuary cities, creation of a deportation task force, and “zero tolerance for criminal aliens” during his August 31 immigration speech in Arizona, going back to “the tough, uncompromising talk on the issue that has powered his appeal to his strongest supporters,” according to The New York Times’ September 1 report:
With calls to end so-called sanctuary cities, create a deportation task force and maintain “zero tolerance for criminal aliens,” Donald J. Trump laid out a 10-point immigration plan on Wednesday in Phoenix that reverted to the tough, uncompromising talk on the issue that has powered his appeal to his strongest supporters. While he is no longer talking about immediately deporting the estimated 11 million people in the United States illegally, he also distanced himself from any notion that they could gain legal status anytime soon.
“There will be no amnesty,” Mr. Trump said with renewed determination. [The New York Times, 9/1/16]
CNN’s Gloria Borger: The Term “Pivot” Should “Be Put In A Lock Box” When Talking About Trump. CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger said that the term “pivot” should be “put in a lock box when discussing Donald Trump,” adding that “there was no softening here” in regard to Trump’s immigration policy. From the August 31 edition of CNN Tonight:
GLORIA BORGER: I think during this whole campaign, people have been waiting for a different Trump to show up. He's had different people running his campaign, as you know, Corey [Lewandowski], and people keep saying, “Oh, Trump's going to change, he's going to be different, he's going to so-called pivot,” which I think that ought to be put in a lock box, that word, because Trump was tough tonight. This -- we were talking about whether he was going to soften on immigration, what his policy would be on mass deportation. There's a little bit of confusion here to me and we can talk about that later, but I do think that he made it very clear that those who are today illegally, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and only one route: to return home and apply for re-entry. There was a little bit of confusion later on in the speech to me, but I do believe that this was tough, it was build the wall, it was Mexico's paying for it, and there was no softening here that I could see. [CNN, CNN Tonight, 8/31/16]
MSNBC’s Willie Geist: “There's No Pivot. There's Not Going To Be A Pivot. I'll Say It Again. There's No Pivot.” The morning after Trump’s immigration speech, Morning Joe co-anchor Willie Geist said, “There's no pivot. There's not going to be a pivot. I'll say it again. There's no pivot.” Geist added that while Trump “could have a moment where he looks” more subdued, he always “comes back to what he did last night.” From the September 1 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
WILLIE GEIST (HOST): You'd think everyone would’ve learned by now, though, one speech does not change a candidate, does not make a man. There's no pivot. There's not going to be a pivot. I'll say it again. There's no pivot.
NICOLLE WALLACE: It's who he is.
GEIST: He could have a moment where he looks the way he looked in Mexico City for a minute, but then he comes back to what he did last night. [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 9/1/16]
Vox’s Matthew Yglesias: “The Republican Nominee Reminded Us … That Donald Trump Is Donald Trump — And That’s Not Going To Change.” Vox’s Matthew Yglesias wrote that “after a weeks-long flirtation with ‘softening’ his position on immigration,” the Republican nominee reminded us that “Donald Trump is Donald Trump.” Yglesias stated, “There is no Trump pivot,” adding, “The pivot, or softening, whatever you want to call it is just part and parcel of … wishful thinking.” From the September 1 Vox article:
There is no Trump pivot
After a weeks-long flirtation with “softening” his position on immigration that culminated with a surprisingly banal joint press conference with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the Republican nominee reminded us on Wednesday night that Donald Trump is Donald Trump — and that’s not going to change.
The pivot, or softening, whatever you want to call it is just part and parcel of that same wishful thinking. That’s the moral of Wednesday night’s speech. There are no hidden depths to Trump. There’s just fear and demagoguery and nonsense. David Duke loved it.
But it’s long past time to stop expecting someone to pull off the Trump mask and find some kind of earnest, responsible politician lurking underneath. The Trump we saw Wednesday night is the Trump who accepted the Republican nomination six weeks ago is the Trump who descended the Trump Tower escalators in Manhattan a year ago. [Vox, 9/1/16]
Chicago Tribune: “Let No One Speak Of Donald Trump Pivoting Ever, Ever Again.” In an article titled “The Trump pivot is dead, in its place was a hate speech,” Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke declared, “Let no one speak of Donald Trump pivoting ever, ever again” after Trump “took the pivot some were predicting and ripped it to shreds, delivering a speech lavishly praised by white supremacists like David Duke and by wretched far-right opportunists like Ann Coulter.” From the September 1 column:
Let no one speak of Donald Trump pivoting ever, ever again.
He took the pivot some were predicting and ripped it to shreds, delivering a speech lavishly praised by white supremacists like David Duke and by wretched far-right opportunists like Ann Coulter.
It was a hate speech. That will prompt many of Trump’s supporters and alt-right fan boys to call me a PC liberal vermin or a “cuck” or whatever inane
That wasn’t a speech on immigration policy, as the campaign had promised. That was Donald Trump thumbing his nose at the establishment and at all the pundits who suggested he was “softening” his stance on immigration. [Chicago Tribune, 9/1/16]
Wash. Post’s The Fix Blog: Trump's Speech “Serves As A Stark Reminder That There Is No ‘New’ Donald Trump. There Is No Pivot.” The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza wrote that Trump’s speech showed that “there is no ‘new’ Trump. There is no pivot, no new leaf, no 2.0. Trump, at age 70 and coming off one of the most successful and surprising primary campaigns in political history, is not going to change in any meaningful way.” Cillizza added that Trump’s speech “will be remembered primarily for killing off any notion that there is a ‘new’ Trump waiting to be unveiled.” From the September 1 article:
The day, and, in particular, Trump's speech, serves as a stark reminder that there is no “new” Trump. There is no pivot, no new leaf, no 2.0. Trump, at age 70 and coming off one of the most successful and surprising primary campaigns in political history, is not going to change in any meaningful way. He can change his campaign leadership — as he has now done twice. His surrogates — led by Conway — can insist that the “real” Trump is now starting to come out. But, ultimately, the candidate needs to want to — or be able to — change. And it has been clear to anyone paying attention to this campaign that Trump isn't all that interested in doing things differently.
Sure, Trump is now reading off teleprompters at rallies. (He did so Wednesday night.) And, yes, his visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was surprisingly statesmanlike. But, these are moments. And they simply aren't sustained. At root, Trump is an entertainer, a showman. He feeds off crowds and how they react to him. And, when he got up in front of that Phoenix crowd Wednesday night, he gave them exactly what they wanted: Chunk after chunk of rhetorical red meat that they cheered lustily for.
So, yes, we will remember Aug. 31 and Trump's immigration speech — just as he promised the crowd. But, it will be remembered primarily for killing off any notion that there is a “new” Trump waiting to be unveiled for the stretch run of the 2016 campaign. There just isn't. [The Washington Post, 9/1/16]