COMMENTARY | Unless you’ve been shipwrecked on a desert island somewhere in the south Pacific for the past few weeks, you’ve no doubt heard all of the speculation on whether or not Donald Trump will seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012. There is a lot of question as to whether Trump is serious or just brand building in that famous Trump way.
He has quite a fan following these days, that’s true. With his highly rated show “Celebrity Apprentice” and his highly visible persona, it definitely makes for great discussion on all of the cable news opinion shows, but could he actually win the nomination?
Here are the top 3 reasons why Donald Trump will not make the Republican ticket:
1. Party Crashing. In 1999, The Don announced he was leaving the Republican Party and forming an exploratory committee to run for president on the Reform party ticket. The run never materialized, and, according to an article in the N.Y. Daily Press, two years later Trump became a registered Democrat. His conversion back to the Republican Party didn’t happen until 2009.
Whether Trump’s re-conversion is sincere or not, his opponents will surely cry “opportunist!,” making the case that it was his desire to use his current popularity for a presidential bid, along with a sitting, first-term Democratic president, that prompted his recent homecoming.
2. To Choose or Not To Choose? Trump stunned the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference Feb. 10, 2011, when he claimed to be “pro-life.” The next day, he repeated the claim to Greta Van Susteren of Fox News: “I believe strongly in just about all conservative principles, I’m pro-life. I think that’s a big social issue.”
According to a National Journal Report, in 1999 Trump told reporters “I want to see the abortion issue removed from politics, I believe it is a personal decision that should be left to the women and their doctors.”
These kinds of flip-flops may work on issues such as tax policy or immigration, but they are unlikely to sit well with religious pro-life groups who want to believe that their candidate will actually attempt change in some way.
3. Playing the Birth Card. Earlier this week, Glen Beck and Fox News announced the coming end of Beck’s show amid declining viewership and sponsor boycotts. Americans are growing tired of the kind of lowbrow politics and conspiracy fodder that they saw peak during the 2008 presidential election.
For whatever reason, Trump has chosen to jump on the “birther” bandwagon: the ridiculous theory that President Obama is somehow part of some Muslim “Manchurian Candidate” conspiracy and that he is not actually a United States citizen. It is the kind of political mud slinging that is born out of hate and ignorance. But it’s the kind that just won’t go away.
In a CNN Public Opinion Research Poll conducted March 11-13, 43 percent of Republicans and 23 percent of Independents believe the president either “definitely wasn’t”or “probably wasn’t” born in the United States. This despite the White House producing a birth certificate and despite statements by U.S. citizens who remember his birth and childhood. Although these gutter politics may play well with entrenched party loyalists, they do not sit well with moderates and independents; without them, Trump will not prove himself a viable enough candidate to clinch the nomination.