Jim Geraghty dives down the memory hole to remind us what Donald Trump was saying just a few short years ago, in an interview with Larry King:
April 15, 2009 is largely seen as the birth date of the Tea Party movement. Here’s what Trump was saying that day about President Obama:
TRUMP: Well, I think he’s sort of a guy that just has a wonderful personality, a good speaker, somebody that people trust. And I also think that the comparison with his predecessor is so different — it’s so huge that it really has made a great impact on people.
I think that he’s really doing a nice job in terms of representation of this country. And he represents such a large part of the country. I mean, to think that a black man was going to be elected president — I watched television for years where the great political analysts were saying maybe in 50, maybe in 100 years. Here’s a man that not only got elected, I think he’s doing a really good job.
Now, the sad part is that he can’t just do a good job. He’s got to do a great job. Because if he does a good job, that’s not good enough for this country. That’s how bad the country has become.
KING: Do you assess him as a champion?
TRUMP: Oh, yes, he’s a champion. I mean, he won against all odds. If you would have looked — when he first announced, people were giving him virtually no chance. And he’s just done something that’s amazing.
KING: More on Donald Trump
TRUMP: He’s totally a champion.
So Trump was a big admirer of Barack Obama. The Tea Party? Not so much:
KING: You’re not going to march with the tea party?
TRUMP: I don’t march with the tea party. But I’ll tell you what, they have a good point, because when you see the kind of money that this country is — to use a horrible expression, Larry, I know you’ve never heard this — but that this country is pissing away, I can understand where they’re coming from.
When Trump referred to the country wasting money, what was he talking about? I don’t know, but not the massive bank bailouts of 2008 and 2009. He thought those were terrific:
Trump went on to defend the TARP bailouts: “If they didn’t stuff the banks with money, we’d be in depression number two right now, Larry. I mean, we would be strongly in depression number two. So they did the right thing in putting money into the banks.”
Donald Trump hosted two fundraisers for uber-establishment candidate Charlie Crist in 2009, as Crist tried unsuccessfully to fend off a challenge from conservative upstart Marco Rubio. Trump was all establishment, all the time, as he also donated to Harry Reid to help him defeat Tea Party insurgent Sharron Angle in 2010.
One more thing: Trump contributed $50,000 to help make Rahm Emanuel, the ultimate corrupt Democratic Party politico, the mayor of Chicago. That’s turned out well!
Donald Trump never met a well-heeled establishment politician he didn’t like, until around six months ago. Now, having done a 180, he is trying to portray himself as an anti-establishment upstart. Surely someone from the ranks of the Tea Party will call Trump on his brazen cynicism. Right?
Maybe not. Today Sarah Palin endorsed Trump, to the delight of the New York Times. Now they get to call Trump a conservative. I was a fan of Palin, until she succumbed to the siren song of celebrity, abandoned her post as Governor of Alaska and went Hollywood. One thing Palin and Trump have in common is that they are both stars of reality TV shows. Maybe someone needs to explain to both of them that reality television is not great preparation for dealing with reality.
Will Palin’s endorsement of Trump matter? I have no idea. The Iowa caucuses are, to put it bluntly, weird. Normally, one wouldn’t think that this would be a big plus. See how far you can make it through the video of Palin’s endorsement speech. I checked out at around the three minute mark. The funniest thing about the video is how uncomfortable Trump looks–evidence of sanity on his part:
A great deal of cynicism is on display here, most of it–but not all–by Donald Trump.