Tom Brokaw: Trump Promotes A “Pretty Divisive Message,” “There Was No Attempt To Really Pull The Country Together”

Brokaw: Trump's Message Is “Kind Of Separating One Against The Other”

From the July 18 edition of NBC's Republican National Convention:

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LESTER HOLT (HOST): We're joined now by Tom Brokaw, Tom, good to see you. The theme tonight is “Keep America Safe,” we heard a lot of speakers before we came on prime time, you know, talking on issues of national security, Benghazi. How important is that in terms of how people glom onto Donald Trump and his candidacy?

TOM BROKAW: Well, I think a couple of things that are quite obvious. First of all, a lot of establishment Republicans have been waiting for him to pivot, so to speak, change his style, change his message. It's clear that Donald Trump is going to stay where he has been successful, with just this.

He met with a group of Republican senate leaders recently, and they got around to issues, and he said, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. It's not about issues, people show up because I put on a show.” And what we're seeing here tonight is an extension of what he did during the campaign so successfully. Now, have the rules changed so profoundly that this will work going into the campaign as well? That we don't know yet. But I do think that it is to his credit that he knows what works for him and how he can be successful with it.

The fact of the matter is, however, as you look at this audience and as you look at the message, even with Mrs. Trump saying what she said, it's a pretty divisive message. There was no attempt to really pull the country together, it's kind of separating one against the other, which has also worked so successfully for him.

You know, all the pollsters say, they go on and talk to groups, and they talk about some of the outrageous things that he's said and the way he's challenged people even in his own party. They don't care. They like him for who he is, which is taking on the conventional way we do business. Can that extend once they leave Cleveland? I think that's a very big question, when you look at the two pages of Republican office holders across this country who are not here tonight, including the governor of Ohio that you talked to earlier today, who said “I won't have anything to do with him until he changes.” I don't think he's going to change.


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