Is Trump Really A Democrat? GOP Consultant discusses

Apr 27, 2011

Donald Trump may be setting himself up for the Republican nomination in the 2012 Presidential race. But just how Republican is he? GOP consultant and former Capitol Hill aide Ron Bonjean talked about Trump's political leanings, donations, and strategies.

Hi everyone!  Thanks for joining me for this chat today.  I can't wait to answer your questions.

So if Trump's candidacy gains traction, do you think this is the line of attack, Trump as a RINO? What about his viability as a third party candidate? While he probably wouldn't succeed as such, many still believe H. Ross Perot syphoned votes from GHW Bush and handed Bill Clinton the presidency. If you buy that line of reasoning, could Trump play spoiler? (BTW How do you pronounce your last name?)

Donald Trump’s political contributions will make it difficult for him to explain to Republican primary voters.   He’ll likely say he did it in the best interests of his business, but there are politicians he has given money that run against core GOP social and economic issues.    It shows he has a loyalty problem.   Not sure if he could gain enough support for a 3rd party candidacy at this point.   He really needs to get to the details of how he could improve the country.

In a recent interview, Trump said he would release his tax returns when Obama released his birth certificate. Now that the White House has released President Obama's Birth Certificate, should Trump be taken at his word and will he release his tax returns immediately or was this merely more showmanship by the real estate developer and salesman extraordinaire?

Since Trump challenged the President to release his birth certificate, it does seem appropriate for him to release his tax returns.   I don’t think anyone expected President Obama to cave in to Trump’s demands  today.   This will be truly a test to see if he can back up his directness with action.   If he doesn’t do so, he will get placed in the category of someone who is only interested in media  showmanship and not really backing up the tough talk.

Do you think the media will give as much space to this story as it did the birther silliness? Trump (on Good Morning America): "Maybe I'm going to [release] the tax returns when Obama does his birth certificate ... I'd love to give my tax returns. I may tie my tax returns into Obama's birth certificate." Think we'll see those "long form" of those returns any time soon?

The lack of enthusiasm around current GOP candidates has created a void for Trump to take advantage of right now.    If it becomes real and Trump becomes a candidate, it is possible that his candidacy could fold like a house of cards.   Without a true vision, comprehensive details and an organized well run campaign, it is likely that he could fall flat. 

Isn't Trump fundamentally a salesman, generating revenue for himself? Has any decision he's ever made, apart from the decisions to get divorced twice, been about anything else? There's clearly tens of millions of dollars to be made on the right fringe of the country (see Beck, Glenn). The Donald is just looking for some of that action...

Chris Rock said that if Trump were to become President, he might leave us for a younger, prettier country.    He is truly a remarkable showman who has created a wonderful narrative for the media to follow.

Is the donald savy enough to come out and say the most insane things possible to try to hurt the party he doesn't generally support, or is this more of him just believing his own inflated ego?

Donald Trump looks like he is about Donald Trump at this point.   He has a plan and is following it to the tee.   What is end goal is anyone’s guess.   The Apprentice is a pretty good show.   Maybe he wants to launch a Donald Trump News Network? :)   

Is Trump's spending time and money on investigators on the ground in Hawaii to check on if President Obama's Birth Certificate is authentic -- obviously a needless exercise -- an example of how he'd spend Tax payers' money?

Trump definitely opens himself up to criticism that he is chasing issues that aren’t important to the country.   All of us want better solutions on gas prices, the skyrocketing debt and growing jobs.   The birther issue will definitely boomerang on him if he becomes a candidate. 

I have to go now, but thanks for all the great questions.  I wish I could have responded to all of them.  

In This Chat
Ron Bonjean
Ron Bonjean has served in leadership offices in the U.S. House and Senate as well as the U.S. Department of Commerce. Before leaving Capitol Hill to start Singer Bonjean Strategies, Ron was chief of staff to the Senate Republican Conference under Senator Jon Kyl.

Bonjean was a top strategist and adviser for House Republicans as director of communications to then-Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. He also served as press secretary to Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and director of public affairs under U.S. Secretaries of Commerce Don Evans and Carlos Gutierrez. Of note, Bonjean is the first person to serve as the lead spokesman in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
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