Donald Trump apparently intends to make Hillary Clinton “feel the Bern.”
In a phone-in interview this morning with Morning Joe Scarborough on MSNBC, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee remarked that he might be repurposing Bernie Sanders’ speeches in the fall campaign against Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ rival who is expected to get the nod from the Democrats.
Earlier this month, a Democrat strategist claimed that at least 40 percent of Bernie voters would vote for Donald Trump in the general election come November.
Trump won primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island in a blowout yesterday, given him additional momentum going into next Tuesday’s Indiana primary.
Much to the consternation of the GOP establishment, the first-time candidate now has 987 delegates in his corner, with 1,237 needed to officially secure his party’s nomination at the upcoming Republican convention in Cleveland this summer.
On the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton won four of those states, with Vermont Senator Sanders prevailing in Rhode Island.
Sanders has vowed to continue his quest for the Democrat presidential nomination through the California Primary in June despite the long odds against him as things stand now, with Clinton way ahead (with the help of so-called super delegates) in the convention delegate hunt.
Republican (and former Democrat and Independent) Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who is a socialist running for president as a Democrat, share certain populist views such as condemning the Iraq War and opposing bipartisan international trade treaties and dealmaking that send U.S. jobs overseas. Both also favor raising taxes on the super rich, such as Wall Street hedge fund managers.
Trump has also promised to put forth a plan addressing skyrocketing college tuition debt, one of Sanders’ big issues.
Commenting on the Sanders-Clinton rivalry, Trump told Scarborough and co-host Mika Brzezinski (see clip embedded below) that he likes the sound of what Bernie has been saying on the campaign trail.
“Bernie Sanders has a message that’s interesting. I’m going to be taking a lot of the things that Bernie said and using them. I can re-read some of his speeches, and I can get some very good material. He said, you know, in many ways she shouldn’t be there. He said some things about her that are actually surprising, you know, that essentially she has no right to even be running and she’s got bad judgment. When he said ‘bad judgement,’ I said ‘Sound bite!'”
Whether or not you consider that stealing, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, according to an old proverb.
Perhaps reflecting his own significant differences with GOP insiders and their convoluted rules that apparently allow Ted Cruz to poach convention delegates, a process that The Donald has called rigged and corrupt, Trump added that “Bernie has been treated very badly by the Democrats and Democratic Party. Frankly, he should run as an independent.”
The New York real estate mogul and first-time candidate seemed to acknowledge that he can adopt Bernie’s content unless Hillary Clinton is indicted over the email scandal as a result of the ongoing FBI investigation, a development that presumably would end her candidacy. As he has done many times previously, Trump pronounced her guilty in the controversy. He also chided the former Secretary of State for the way she shouts during her speeches.
According to Dilbert creator Scott Adams, who has has predicted a landslide victory for “master persuader” Donald Trump in the general election, “Trump could win Sanders supporters (young people) by coming out in favor of legal weed and inexpensive or free college. Add some support for universal healthcare (better than Obamacare), some job promises, and you’re almost there.”
Unlike his usual unscripted, freewheeling style on the campaign trail, Donald Trump delivered a prepared speech today in Washington on foreign policy with the overriding theme of “America first” in which, among other things, he pronounced the Obama/Clinton record in foreign affairs “a complete and utter disaster.”
In his political journey to “make America great again,” do you think it’s okay for Donald Trump, as it were, to copy Bernie Sanders’ homework?
[Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]