Trump on 60 Minutes: Many Promises, No Specifics

Trump on 60 Minutes: Many Promises, No Specifics

Trump on 60 Minutes: Many Promises, No Specifics

Donald Trump gave an extensive interview to Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes” last night. During the interview, he covered taxes, immigration, ISIS, and Obamacare.
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Pelley pressed Trump for specifics on each of these topics, and got very little in return.

When it came to taxes, Trump offered the tired “middle class tax cut” line that every single politician on both sides of the aisle uses. But beyond that, it was the same promise of “details later.”

Scott Pelley, the “60 Minutes” anchor who conducted the interview, pushed Trump on the particulars of his tax policy plan with little success.

“We’re talking about numbers — that will be announced over the next two days,” Trump said. “And they’ll be significant for the middle class.”

When pressed on which taxpayers could expect to pay less in taxes if he is elected, Trump responded: “I will say this: There will be a large segment of our country that will have a zero rate, a zero rate. And that’s something I haven’t told anybody.”

There’s already a large segment of the country that has a zero rate in taxes. As I recall, Mitt Romney got roasted for mentioning it. So, where exactly does Trump draw the line? We don’t know. Will we know in two days? No idea, since Trump has been promising policy details for a while now.

Immigration, where the media has already slammed Trump, was another topic in the interview.

Scott Pelley: Eleven, 12 million illegal immigrants–

Donald Trump: Or whatever the number is.

Scott Pelley: Still in the country, what do you do?

Donald Trump: If they’ve done well they’re going out and they’re coming back in legally. Because you said it—-

Scott Pelley: You’re rounding them all up?

Donald Trump: We’re rounding ’em up in a very humane way, in a very nice way. And they’re going to be happy because they want to be legalized. And, by the way, I know it doesn’t sound nice. But not everything is nice.

Whether you agree with Donald Trump on immigration or not, be prepared for every single other GOP candidate to be hammered with these quotes for the next week. And I have yet to see in history any kind of “round up” of a population where the people being “rounded up” are happy about it. This quote is red meat for Trump fans, and trouble for the rest of the GOP.

ISIS came next.

Scott Pelley: We’re at war with ISIS as we sit here. How do you end it?

Donald Trump: I would end ISIS forcefully. I think ISIS, what they did, was unbelievable what they did with James Foley and the cutting off of heads of everybody I mean these people are totally a disaster. Now, let me just say this, ISIS in Syria, Assad in Syria, Assad and ISIS are mortal enemies. We go in to fight ISIS. Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants? Why are we doing this? We’re fighting ISIS and Assad has to be saying to himself, “They have the nicest or dumbest people that I’ve ever imagined.”

Scott Pelley: Let me get this right, so we lay off ISIS for now?

Donald Trump: Excuse me, let —

Scott Pelley: Lay off in Syria, let them destroy Assad. And then we go in behind that?

Donald Trump: –that’s what I would say. Yes, that’s what I would say.

Or, he had another idea, leave it to an old adversary.

Donald Trump: If you look at Syria. Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let ’em get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?

Scott Pelley: OK, that’s Syria. What do you–do in Iraq–

Donald Trump: With that–

Scott Pelley: –with ISIS?

Donald Trump: Look with ISIS in Iraq, you gotta knock ’em out. You gotta knock ’em out. You gotta fight ’em. You gotta fight ’em. You have to stand–

Scott Pelley: On the ground?

Donald Trump: –if you need you’re going to have to do that, yes.

Scott Pelley: Troops on the ground.

Donald Trump: Yes.

In regards to Syria, how is Donald Trump’s policy any different than Barack Obama’s? It’s the same “hands off” idea that Obama ended up taking, even though he had promised a “red line.” Trump’s not even setting a red line. He’s setting up a fence and getting lawn chairs and popcorn to watch. Let’s not even think about the idea of Russia and ISIS taking each other on. Trump’s only other major foreign policy interview was a mess, and even without so-called “gotcha” questions, this wasn’t much better.

And then came Obamacare.

Scott Pelley: The uninsured person is going to be taken care of. How? How?

Donald Trump: They’re going to be taken care of. I would make a deal with existing hospitals to take care of people. And, you know what, if this is probably–

Scott Pelley: Make a deal? Who pays for it?

Donald Trump: –the government’s gonna pay for it. But we’re going to save so much money on the other side. But for the most it’s going to be a private plan and people are going to be able to go out and negotiate great plans with lots of different competition with lots of competitors with great companies and they can have their doctors, they can have plans, they can have everything.

As someone who has worked in health insurance, and now deals with it intensely at the consumer level due to my children’s special needs, the promise that people “can have everything” makes me physically ill. The short answer is no, people can’t have everything when it comes to health insurance and not end up in a single-payer system. And even in single-payer, you can’t have everything because there’s never enough of anything. If you want proof, just look at the VA scandal. These were people who WERE promised everything because of their service, and over 300,000 of them have died waiting for health care. And I know that Trump has spoken about how he would have dealt with the VA scandal. While I can agree with his sentiments, he offered no specifics after that. Health insurance is all about the fine print. Universal health care under Trump doesn’t promise to be any better than what we are stuck with now.

So, in a nutshell…

Near the end of the interview, Pelley pointed out what might be Trump’s biggest problem.

Scott Pelley: How are you going to get anything through Congress?

Donald Trump: When you say the party, the establishment doesn’t. For instance, I noticed that–

Scott Pelley: Well that’s who Congress is. How are you going to get anything–

Donald Trump: –that’s–oh, I’ll get along– I get– I’ve gotten along with politicians my whole life. I’ve made a fortune on politicians. Nobody knows politicians better than I do. I get along with politicians.

Scott Pelley: You’re not going to be able to buy them anymore.

Donald Trump: No, no, I’m not going to buy ’em. I’m not going to buy ’em. I’ll get along with ’em. You gotta get along and you gotta get people to do what you it’s called leadership. We don’t have any leadership right now.

Let it never be said that Donald Trump doesn’t believe in his own powers of persuasion. The problem is, this is not a season of “The Apprentice.” (Which I did watch a few seasons of, and found Trump’s management style strange yet effective, but still left me with the impression that he was not the kind of boss I would ever want to have.) He can’t fire Congress. They are not accountable to him, but to their constituents and donors. Just being Donald Trump is not going to be enough to get Congress to cooperate, let alone China or Russia or Iran. So Trump is either going to have to present very concrete specifics on how he would accomplish his goals, or this ride is going to come to an end. The American people have been fed platitudes and unicorns and rainbows for the past seven years. Now, we need facts and details.

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2 Comments
  • Jodi says:

    This hurts my head. If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I was reading an interview with Obama…or Hillary…or Biden…or God forbid, Fauxcohontas Warren.

    • Rick Caird says:

      LOL, Is Trump the first candidate, ever, to not go into great detail as to how he is going to do what he wants to do? I don’t think so. Wasn’t it McGovern who told us he was going to raise taxes? How did that work out for him. I forget.

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