Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Donald Trump Refutes Donald Trump

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Donald Trump Refutes Donald Trump

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -How do you nail a blob of mercury to the wall? That's a problem the Democratic nominee - likely Hillary Clinton - will have to solve in running against Donald Trump, most of whose positions on major issues are, shall we say, elusive. I say "most" because Trump has been steadfast on three of his most nonsensical promises: banning Muslims from entering the country, forcing Mexico to pay for a border wall, and deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants. Many of his supporters surely know he could not possibly do any of those things if elected president. But some don't - and would feel betrayed if Trump suddenly dropped the whole xenophobia thing.

On other issues, however, trying to pin Trump down on what he believes or intends has been an exercise in futility. This is a problem not only for Clinton but for Republicans who would like to support Trump for the sake of unity but want some idea of where the party is being led.

Trump may figure that if he does enough flip-flopping and zigzagging and blowing of smoke, voters will become inured - a strategy of portraying inconstancy as a virtue, not a failing. Then again, this may just be the way Trump is. He may have few settled beliefs aside from an abiding faith in his own brilliance.

The presumptive Republican nominee has spent the last few days trying to explain what he thinks about several economic and financial questions. In theory, this should be a snap for a billionaire tycoon who graduated, as he always reminds us, from the University of Pennsylvania's renowned Wharton School. But the more Trump talked, the less he actually said.

On "Meet the Press," moderator Chuck Todd asked Trump about the contradiction between his tax plan, under which the very wealthy would pay less than they pay now, and his suggestion last week that he might be open to raising taxes on the rich. (I should note that I appeared on Sunday's show but did not participate in the Trump interview, which was pre-taped.)

Trump began by claiming that "nobody knows more about taxes than I do." Then he insisted that while businesses and the middle class definitely needed tax cuts, "for the wealthy, I think, frankly, it's going to go up. …

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