WASHINGTON – Ann Coulter is ecstatic. The establishment media and the GOP elite? Not so much.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s major speech on immigration Wednesday evening has left major media outlets outraged, some practically sputtering with rage and indignation.
Last week, Coulter was among the conservatives unhappy that Trump appeared to be signaling a potential softening of his long-held and strong stances against illegal immigration and amnesty.
The media largely pounced upon and praised what they described as Trump’s “pivot” to the middle.
When the speech lacked any such pivot, and, indeed, proved to be a reaffirmation of his strong stance, replete with clarifying details, much of the media howled. Some even expressed concern that Trump was ruining his election chances, maybe even the GOP’s future.
Conversely, Coulter was overjoyed with the speech, telling WND in an email, “Trump’s whole ‘softening’ routine on ‘Hannity’ last week seems to have been a brilliant ploy that accomplished three major objectives:
- “He tricked every cable news network into carrying an important Trump speech live – something they’ve been avoiding strenuously since the convention;
- “All those kitchen cabinet ‘advisers’ browbeating him to ‘soften’ his position on immigration got a trial balloon for their great idea – and the grassroots responded THUNDEROUSLY. Maybe they can shut up now;
- “He also helped promote my book! (‘In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!’) The only time the media remembers I exist is either when they think they can laugh at me, or when I have the slightest criticism of Trump. The alleged ‘softening’ gave them both.”
“THANK YOU, MR. TRUMP,” she added.
Indeed, the media went after Coulter with a vengeance last week when she sent a flurry of tweets expressing dismay that Trump might be considering softening his immigration stance, posting such scathing headlines as:
- Talking Points Memo: “Coulter goes to war with Trump and it is glorious”
- Slate: “Trump betrayal of Ann Coulter timed perfectly to release of Ann Coulter book about always trusting Trump”
- Huffington Post: “Donald Trump spoils Ann Coulter’s ‘In Trump We Trust’ book launch”
- New York Magazine: “To broaden his base of support, Donald Trump humiliates Ann Coulter”
- Business Insider: “Ann Coulter said there was one thing Trump could do to lose her support – and he just did it”
However, Coulter kept the faith and countered with an exclusive WND interview in which she insisted, “Unlike crazed, cult-like Hillary supporters (and Cruz supporters, FYI), I’ve provided helpful criticism to Trump in the past, e.g., over the Heidi Cruz retweet, over the H-1B sellout, and other things. THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M ABANDONING HIM.”
She added, “I know he wants to put Americans first and, in the end, he won’t be fooled by the amnesty fanatics and their legerdemain.”
And that faith was rewarded, because, not only did Trump stay the course on his strong opposition to illegal immigration, he seemed to completely embrace the advice Coulter gave to him in last week’s WND interview.
Here are the bullet points Coulter proposed, followed by the bullet points Trump gave in his speech.
Coulter to WND:
- First step: Build the wall.
- Second step: Let ICE do its job.
- Third step: Stop importing jihadists and welfare recipients.
- Fourth step: Enforce E-Verify to protect American jobs.
- Fifth step: Prosecute Social Security card/ID theft/voting fraud.
- No 1: We will build a wall along the southern border.
- No. 2: End catch-and-release.
- No. 3: Zero tolerance for criminal aliens.
- No. 4: Block funding for sanctuary cities.
- No. 5: Cancel unconstitutional executive orders and enforce all immigration laws.
- No. 6: We are going to suspend the issuance of visas to any place where adequate screening cannot occur.
- No 7: We will ensure that other countries take their people back when we order them deported.
- No. 8: We will finally complete the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system.
- No. 9: We will turn off the jobs and benefits magnet.
- No. 10: We will reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers
The reason the media leaped upon the notion of a potential softening of Trump’s stance was mostly because of his intimation of a possible pivot on his promise to deport the millions of illegal immigrants already in America.
Coulter had advice for Trump last week on that specific point, as well. She told WND, “[O]nce ALL the borders are secure, the criminals gone, our vote and jobs secure, and the Third World no longer pouring in – we’ll get to what to do with the illegals still here.”
Perhaps Trump read her words in WND, or maybe he read her mind, because he expressed the identical proposal in his speech:
“In several years, when we have accomplished all of our enforcement goals – and truly ended illegal immigration for good, including the construction of a great wall, and the establishment of our new lawful immigration system – then and only then will we be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those who remain. That discussion can only take place in an atmosphere in which illegal immigration is a memory of the past, allowing us to weigh the different options available based on the new circumstances at the time.”
So, no pivot and no softening.
It seemed all too much for the mainstream media.
A sample from Thursday:
Washington Post: “Donald Trump’s big immigration speech proves it: There is no ‘new’ Donald Trump. The pivot is dead”: “… an angry affirmation of the message that won him the Republican nomination … snarling and sarcastic … Trump isn’t all that interested in doing things differently … he gave them exactly what they wanted: Chunk after chunk of rhetorical red meat that they cheered lustily for … No one outside of Trump’s base will respond well to a speech that came across — for all of Trump’s policy proposals — as an angry rant against the other.”
CNN: “Trump on immigration: No amnesty, no pivot: That idea that Donald Trump is softening his immigration policy: Not going to happen. “…re-upped the harsh immigration rhetoric that electrified his primary campaign … recommitting his electoral fate in November to the white conservative base voters … rather than seeking to broaden his base to a wider coalition of Americans.”
New York Times: “Trailing Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump turns to political gymnastics“: “If winning over people who view him as a racially divisive or reckless candidate would seem to require a dizzying political reinvention, it is far from certain that Mr. Trump is prepared to transform himself so thoroughly. … briefly earning praise from Republicans and critics in the media, only to lapse soon after into old, unrestrained habits … any effort to run a cautious or conventional general-election campaign is clearly behind him … Trump’s brand of disruptive spectacle may increasingly come to define his candidacy.”
Huffington Post: “Donald Trump just cranked up the volume on immigration“: “Anyone hoping for a kinder, gentler GOP nominee can forget it. He’s getting worse. The Republican presidential nominee firmly shot down speculation on Wednesday that he may be open to legal status for undocumented immigrants. … He made clear on Wednesday that he wasn’t much concerned with how his policies would affect those undocumented immigrants.”
Los Angeles Times: “In immigration speech, Donald Trump spurns softened tone and threatens Republican future“: “… aggressively tough speech on immigration buried the notion that he planned to pivot away from the posture that got him the Republican nomination to a gentler position tailored for more moderate general election voters, Republicans included. It also may have buried his party’s strategy for long-term survival – the effort to appeal to the Latino and Asian voters who are replacing the waning numbers of white voters on whom the GOP has long depended. … Nothing in his speech served to expand his reach among minority Americans.”
Dallas Morning News: “Trump’s fiery immigration speech clarifies choice for angry whites and wary Hispanics“: “There will be no ‘pivot,’ no softening and no amnesty. There will be mass deportations. There is no going back. Trump’s fiery speech Wednesday night left no wiggle room. Trump has doubled down on appeal to the anxious white right. … An unavoidable byproduct will be the alienation of many others. Where he could have chosen to moderate, he decided to go strident. Trump seemed intent on placating conservatives like commentator Ann Coulter, who feared he was going soft on immigration.”
Politico: “Trump’s immigration rope-a-dope. After diplomatic turn in Mexico, a fiery immigration speech proves the GOP nominee’s moderation to be a ruse“: “… Donald Trump shed any pretense of a softer message or general election ‘pivot’ with a declaration of his fealty to the hard-line positions and inflammatory rhetoric that propelled him to the Republican nomination. … he’s unlikely to accomplish the only real imperative of any policy speech delivered 69 days before an election – winning over unconverted general election voters. And Trump’s amped-up nativism, and his proposal to curb even legal immigration are likely to only harden the two blocs of ardently pro-Trump and never-Trump monoliths on opposite poles of this election.”
NBC: “Trump recommits to mass deportation in fiery immigration speech“: “Surprise! Donald Trump’s self-declared ‘softening’ on immigration is gone, replaced by a recommitment to a hardline policy that could best be described as mass deportation. Shouting his remarks to a fired-up crowd in Arizona, which has been home to some of the most contentious immigration policy fights of the last decade, Trump pledged a maximal approach that would target every undocumented immigrant in the country without mercy.”
There was similar outrage from an apparent representative of the wing of the GOP that favors amnesty for illegal immigrants and the cheap labor they provide.
Republican Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, described as “a federation of small business owners in favor of immigration reform,” penned an article in CNN titled, “Trump’s dystopian immigration speech out of touch with reality.”
Jacoby said most of the speech was “a wild, dystopian rant: criminal aliens, foreign terrorists, runaway welfare use, immigrant-driven job loss and downward wage pressure.”
The media also jumped on a story line that the speech was causing Hispanics to abandon Trump.
Politico reported, “Several major Latino surrogates for Donald Trump are reconsidering their support for him following the Republican nominee’s hardline speech on immigration Wednesday night,” and “a member of Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council, quickly resigned after the speech.”
However, rather than alienating Hispanics, the strong anti-illegal immigration stance Trump adopted since launching his campaign more than a year ago has so far garnered him more support than the two previous GOP presidential candidates, who tried to placate voters on the issue.
John McCain only got 23 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008. Mitt Romney got 21 percent.
The L.A. Times/USC poll currently has Trump at 26.6.
Read the book many say launched the Trump campaign and provided his blueprint for stopping illegal immigration, Ann Coulter’s smash bestseller, “Adios, America! The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole.”
Another recurring theme expressed by the media was that Trump’s speech was made in a desperate bid to shore up his base support in what was portrayed as a faltering campaign.
CNN reported: “Trump appeared to be recommitting his electoral fate in November to the white conservative base voters who swept him to victory in the GOP primary rather than seeking to broaden his base to a wider coalition of Americans.”
The New York Times reported: Mr. Trump’s course adjustment emerged in an atmosphere of growing urgency and alarm within his campaign. Over the last week, close associates have told both Mr. Trump and members of his family that he is in real danger of losing the race, according to a half-dozen people close to the Trump campaign and briefed on its activities, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid angering the nominee.”
And, “[W]ith less than 10 weeks to go in the race and a darkening political landscape confronting him, Mr. Trump’s brand of disruptive spectacle may increasingly come to define his candidacy.”
“Darkening political landscape?”
The latest polls show not only that Trump has caught up with Clinton, he has passed her.
Rasmussen Reports latest weekly poll, issued Thursday, shows Trump with 40 percent to Clinton’s 39 percent.
The L.A. Times/USC daily tracking poll on Thursday showed Trump pulling away, leading Clinton 45 percent to 42.4 percent.