Media Highlight Trump’s Flip-Flops On The Minimum Wage And Taxes

Media are pointing out Donald Trump’s reversals on his tax and minimum wage policy stances, calling the pivots “a big change” from his positions in the Republican primary election.

Media Explain Trump’s Call To Raise Taxes On The Wealthy And Openness To Raising The Minimum Wage “Would Be A Big Change” From The Primary

NBC’s Chuck Todd: Trump Called For “Lowering Taxes On Everybody” And Was “Opposed To Raising The Minimum Wage,” But Has Now Changed His Position. NBC's Chuck Todd noted that “During the primaries, Trump put out a plan lowering taxes on everybody, including the wealthy,” but now Trump “says he's open to raising taxes for the wealthiest Americans.” Todd also pointed out that “During the primaries, Trump said he was opposed to raising the minimum wage, now he says he's open to raising it.” From the May 8 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press:

CHUCK TODD (HOST): This may well be this generation's defining moment in American politics, particularly for Republicans. The Republican Party splitting apart as it turns its back on its new presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. What we're witnessing is nothing short of what you might call tissue rejection. Conservatives who warned that Trump would ultimately prove he's not one of them are having their own I-told-you-so-moment. During the primaries, Trump said he was opposed to raising the minimum wage, now he says he's open to raising it. During the primaries, Trump put out a plan lowering taxes on everybody, including the wealthy, now he says he's open to raising taxes for the wealthiest Americans. [NBC, Meet the Press, 5/8/16]

ABC’s Stephanopoulos: Trump’s Calls To Raise Taxes And Openness To Raising The Minimum Wage Are “A Big Change” From The Primary. In an interview with Donald Trump, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos pointed out that while Trump said that he believes “in raising taxes on the wealthy,” his tax plan “gives a major tax cut to the wealthy.” Stephanopoulos also said that Trump’s call to raise taxes on the rich “would be a big change from” his plan. From the May 8 edition of ABC’s This Week:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): You say fixing the economy is your number one priority as president. And your tax plan is your most substantive and specific proposal out there. You said recently again that you believe in raising taxes on the wealthy, including yourself. But your plan gives a massive tax cut to the wealthy. How do you square that?

DONALD TRUMP: Well it gives a massive tax cut to everybody. If you look at Larry Kudlow, he said it's a great plan. He loves the plan.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But more to the wealthy than everyone else.

TRUMP: George, and I'll say this to people. I've said it many times. I make deals. I negotiate. I put in a plan that has a massive, massive -- bigger than any other candidate. We have to negotiate with Congress. You know, I'm not going to be able to say, like President Obama, let's do an executive order, OK. It would be wonderful. It would be a lot easier, but you just can't do it. Or you're not supposed to do it, he may do something. And what he's done will, probably much of it will be overturned by the courts. What I'm doing is I'm putting in a plan, and that's my maximum plan. That's what I want.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But bottom line, do you want taxes on the wealthy to go up or down?

TRUMP: They will go up a little bit. And they may go up, you know --

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they're going down in your plan.


STEPHANOPOULOS: On the taxes on the wealthy. You say you're willing to pay more?

TRUMP: I am willing to pay more. And you know what? The wealthy are willing to pay more. We've had a very good run. You know, we hear all about Obama, we hear all about. We've had a very good run.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So that would be a big change from your plan.


Minimum wage, all through the primaries, you were against an increase. Now you're saying you’re looking at it. So what’s your bottom line position?

DONALD TRUMP: Well, I am looking at it and I haven’t decided in terms of numbers. But I think people have to get more.


STEPHANOPOULOS: That's a change from where you were during the primaries.

TRUMP: I'm allowed to change. You need flexibility, George. Whether it's a tax plan, where you know you're going to negotiate. But we're going to come up with something. But my real minimum wage is going to be, I’m going to bring companies back into this country and they’re going to make more than the $15, even. [ABC, This Week with George Stephanopoulos, 5/8/16]

NBC’s Chuck Todd Asks Trump “What Changed” On His Openness To Raising The Minimum Wage. In an interview with Donald Trump, NBC’s Chuck Todd asked “What changed” from his previous opposition to raising the minimum wage to now when he said he is “open to it.” From the May 8 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press:

CHUCK TODD (HOST): Minimum wage, at a debate you know you remember what you said. You thought you didn't want to touch it. Now you're open to it. What changed?

DONALD TRUMP: Let me just tell you, I've been traveling the country for many months, since June 16. I’m all over. Today I'm in the state of Washington, where the arena right behind me you probably hear is packed with thousands and thousands of people. I'm doing that after I finish you. I will, I have seen what's going on. And I don't know how people make it on $7.25 an hour. Now with that being said, I would like to see an increase of some magnitude, but I’d rather leave it to the states. Let the states decide. Because don't forget, the states have to compete with each other.

TODD: Right, but should the federal government set a floor and then you let the states?

TRUMP: No, I‘d rather have the states go out and do what they have to do. And the states compete with each other, not only other countries, but they compete with each other, Chuck. So I like the idea of let the states decide. But I think people should get more. I think they’re out there, they’re working. It is a very low number. You know, with what's happened to the economy, with what's happened to the cost, it’s just, I don't know you live on $7.25 an hour. But I would say let the states decide. [NBC, Meet the Press, 5/8/16]

WSJ’s Kimberley Strassel: Trump “Disavowed” His Tax Plan And “Turned Around” On The Minimum Wage. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel noted that Trump “disavowed” his tax plan and “said he wasn’t a big fan of it” and “turned around” to his previous opposition to increasing the minimum wage. From the May 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Look, when we talk about a non-perfect candidate, I keep hearing everyone talk about Trump's agenda. Paul Manafort was on saying his agenda and he articulated it so well. What part of that agenda are we talking about? When he put out his tax plan, or when he disavowed it this week and said he wasn't a big fan of his own tax plan? When he said we cannot raise the minimum wage, and then he turned around this week and said, well, yeah, we probably can do that after all? [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 5/8/16]

Fox’s Steve Hayes: Trump Has Been “Doubting His Own Tax Plan” And “On Both Sides Of Minimum Wage.” Fox News contributor Steve Hayes highlight how Trump has been “doubting his own tax plan” and “been on both sides of the minimum wage” over the last week. From the May 8 edition of Fox News’ MediaBuzz:

HOWARD KURTZ (HOST): Is your opposition more ideological or more about Trump's personal style?

STEVE HAYES: You know, that's a good question. I think it's a mixture for me, personally it's a mixture. I don't believe he's philosophically conservative, he's been basically a progressive for most of his life, he doesn't know from one day to the next know what his positions on issues are. I mean, he was, late last week, doubting his own tax plan. He's been on both sides of minimum wage, on both sides of ground troops against ISIS, on both sides of single payer, on both sides of the healthcare mandate. On, and on, and on. And, look, I think it's important to have somebody as a conservative who shares conservative principles if he's going to lead the conservative party.

KURTZ: So on the issues where he says he has evolved, you are skeptical of his conversion, at least on some issues.

HAYES: Yeah, I mean, sometimes his conversions literally don't last a day. [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 5/8/16]