Trump, April 15, 2009: ‘I Don’t March with the Tea Party’

by Jim Geraghty

Today’s Morning Jolt looks at the rumors surrounding Trump’s “major announcement and special guest.” 

If you consider Ted Cruz the conservative ideal or near-ideal in terms of philosophical grounding, legal perspective, and ideological rigor – and the case for that seems pretty self-evident – then watching Tea Party leaders flock to Trump over him is pretty damn disappointing.

April 15, 2009 is largely seen as the birth date of the Tea Party movement. Here’s what Trump was saying that day about President Obama:

TRUMP: Well, I think he’s sort of a guy that just has a wonderful personality, a good speaker, somebody that people trust. And I also think that the comparison with his predecessor is so different — it’s so huge that it really has made a great impact on people.

I think that he’s really doing a nice job in terms of representation of this country. And he represents such a large part of the country.

I mean, to think that a black man was going to be elected president — I watched television for years where the great political analysts were saying maybe in 50, maybe in 100 years.

Here’s a man that not only got elected, I think he’s doing a really good job.

Now, the sad part is that he can’t just do a good job. He’s got to do a great job. Because if he does a good job, that’s not good enough for this country. That’s how bad the country has become.

KING: Do you assess him as a champion?

TRUMP: Oh, yes, he’s a champion. I mean, he won against all odds. If you would have looked — when he first announced, people were giving him virtually no chance. And he’s just done something that’s amazing.

KING: More on Donald Trump…

TRUMP: He’s totally a champion.

Later in that interview:

KING: You’re not going to march with the tea party?

TRUMP: I don’t march with the tea party. But I’ll tell you what, they have a good point, because when you see the kind of money that this country is — to use a horrible expression, Larry, I know you’ve never heard this — but that this country is pissing away, I can understand where they’re coming from.

Trump went on to defend the TARP bailouts: “If they didn’t stuff the banks with money, we’d be in depression number two right now, Larry. I mean, we would be strongly in depression number two. So they did the right thing in putting money into the banks.”

Trump, the guy who hosted two fundraisers for Charlie Crist in 2009. He donated to Harry Reid over Sharron Angle in 2010.

Trump, the guy who donated $50,000 to make Rahm Emanuel the mayor of Chicago.

In the founding days of the Tea Party, Donald Trump was exactly what they were fighting against… and now some of those adherents have embraced him fully. 

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