The big story on Monday was that Donald Trump was expected to give a big speech on Thursday in Denver, Colo. further detailing his plans for immigration, where he was expected to reverse his original plans to deport 11 million people back to their homelands.
Problem is, that’s exactly the plan that made him so popular with the alt-right who got him elected in the GOP primary, but to anyone outside of his bubble of core supporters it’s one of the nominees more detestable plans that would rip families apart and tank state economies. Trump seems to be in quite the pickle.
The cancellation also signals that there may be disagreements between Trump and his political team on what the immigration speech could entail.
The Denver Post reported that the campaign decided not to go ahead with the immigration speech:
Donald Trump is attending a fundraiser in Colorado on Thursday but will not make a speech on immigration, his campaign now says, despite national media reports announcing the event.
Lydia Blaha, a spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign in Colorado, said he will not hold an event in coordination with the fundraising trip, as first reported by Univision and other media outlets. The campaign was exploring a Denver-area location for the event, but later reversed course. The campaign told supporters in an email ‘the speech (Trump) was planning on giving is still being modified.’
In an interview on Monday with “Fox & Friends,” Trump swore he wasn’t flip-flopping on his anti-immigration stance but his comments suggested otherwise. In the past the candidate has been unswerving on the immigration issue, promising to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, deport all 11 million illegal immigrants “humanely” back to their homelands, and increase security on the border. But Trump has started to sing a sweeter tune this week:
We have to be very firm. We have to be very, very strong when people come in illegally. We have a lot of people that want to come in through the legal process and it’s not fair for them. And we’re working with a lot of people in the Hispanic community to try and come up with an answer.
This would be the first time the GOP nominee has mentioned working with the Hispanic community to come to a more reasonable immigration plan. When asked if he would be reversing his original plans, Trump said:
I’m not flip-flopping. We want to come up with one a really fair, but firm answer. That’s — it has to be very firm. But we want to come up with something fair.
When Trump’s new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was asked if the nominee would be reversing his stance on deporting 11 million people, rather than deny it, she said, “To be determined.”
This is oddly familiar to the Trump campaign’s claims last week that Paul Manafort being taken down as campaign manager was “not a shake-up” when it absolutely was. Trump has not once claimed he wanted a fair reform for immigration. In the past he said:
They will go out. They will come back — some will come back, the best, through a process. They have to come back legally.
He’s always said he would deport immigrants “humanely” and then they could come back in legally — but they would have to pass Trump’s tough litmus test, first. Suddenly trying to come up with a “fair” plan would be a reversal from the stance that his voters supported — they loved the idea of putting millions out of their homes, jobs, and denying reentrance.
The Trump campaign is trying its best to present a detailed, policy-oriented presidential-like nominee. Instead, Trump is changing all his positions in the ninth hour of the campaign which makes him look deceptive, directionless, puppet-like and — gasp! — politically correct. His supporters liked him because he wasn’t a cookie cutter image of establishment Republicans — now he’s adopting all the policies of establishment Republicans? That’s not going to bode well.
But if he doesn’t flip-flop he’s never going to broaden his reach to bring new voters in. It’s a lose-lose situation for the campaign. And the fact that the hyped up speech was canceled after several media outlets announced he would flip-flop shows the campaign can’t figure out what the next best step to take is.
Featured image via Scott Olson/Getty Images