Wind up a Republican, ask him or her an uncomfortable question, and you'll get p. 17 of the GOP manual. And so it was that Eric Trump was asked on Fox and Friends by Brian Kilmeade "...two things happened after the last twenty-four hours, Jacob Monty and Alfonso Aguilar, two guys that are members of your Hispanic Council have said, 'I don't like the speech, I'm resigning.' What's the story there?"
Luckily for the Clinton campaign, young Mr. Trump opted for page 17 rather than burnish the Trump campaign's arguable credentials as populist and concerned about the working man, or at least the white working man. He responded
I think it took tremendous leadership to go down to Mexico and meet with the president, but when you saw the meeting, the president of Mexico even said it was a two-way-street. I was really proud of my father and I think they left it in a very good way... and then the leftist media obviously spins it, etc, etc., but it was clear from both leaders that a border is necessary for the protection of their own country.
The most memorable quote from Donald Grump's Phoenix speech was "And Mexico will pay for the wall. One hundred percent. They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay for it." It is what he began his primary campaign with, what he emphasized during the primary season, and the one thing he cannot drop without losing a significant chunk of his base. And as something the moderate right realizes will never happen, it's relatively cost-free.
Yet, on Wednesday Trump did invoke the word "jobs" thirteen times, as in
But if we're going to make our immigration system work, then we have to be prepared to talk honestly and without fear about these important and very sensitive issues. For instance, we have to listen to the concerns that working people, our forgotten working people, have over the record pace of immigration and it's impact on their jobs, wages, housing, schools, tax bills and general living conditions.
This was a smart move, however much it may have confounded Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway, movement conservative turned pollster turned co-campaign manager. The classic right, fond of the downward effect immigration reform may have on jobs and wages, is wary of immigration instead because it brings into the country potential Democrats, including individuals who may want to avail themselves of the social safety net.
And so a confused Crooks and Liars blogger recognizes that Eric Trump is wrong, that Jacob Monty and Alfonso Aguilar left Trump's Hispanic Council not "because they watched Rachel Maddow or read NY Times article after Donald's horrific speech, it was because they listened to what he said." Unfortunately, he added "Drugs, guns, and borders wasn't what angered them, but his father's refusal to be more humane. It's about the David Duke style ideas that have colored Trump's immigration plans."
Certainly Monty appears unmoved by proliferation of drugs and guns. Neither, however, is he appalled by Trump's "refusal to be more humane." Rather, in a Facebook post (emphasis his) he remarked in part
I gave Donald TRUMP a plan that would improve border security, remove hardened criminals, and most importantly give work authority to the millions of honest, hardworking immigrants in the U.S.
Monty feels wounded because Trump ignored much of his advice- and especially that he did not offer a road to legalization without citizenship, a chance for illegal immigrants to work for businessmen at substandard wages with few if any benefits. If not convinced, consider that he comlained to Ari Melber Thursday evening on Hardball without Chris Matthews
And what did he give us? Just more populist propaganda that wasn`t even written by his campaign, but was copied from FAIR and Numbers USA.
So, yes, I was disappointed, because I had the – I guess the naivete to believe that this guy was a businessman, that this guy was a Republican. And we didn`t hear a Republican last night. We heard a populist propaganda con artist. And I`m done with it.
If Hillary Clinton has any luck, Donald Trump will blame the media as son Eric suggests and chuck his quasi-populist message, reverting rhetorically to the pro-business, anti-worker message we've come to know and expect from Republican presidential candidates. Maybe he can keep the likes of Conway and Monty happy and throw in a thing or two about 47% of the American people being lazy.