I lead with my mistakes.
I recently retweeted a tweet from Donald Trump that indicated he voted for Barack Obama. This tweet was a hoax, and I apologized to Donald for reposting it.
What makes it worse, is that when I clicked “send” I was in the middle of arduous and honorable charity work. Apparently, if I just forwarded a chain letter to 100 friends, Bill Gates would give $1 million to an orphanage that treats children without eyelids. Not to mention, I would get a free iPad! (I’m not sure why Bill Gates is giving away iPads.)
Trump has answered the charges aggressively, and that makes a lot of sense. Obviously, if people thought he voted for Barack Obama it would heavily damage his campaign. In fact, we can all probably agree that a vote for Obama should disqualify him from the republican nomination in the mind of almost every primary voter. If you couldn’t figure out that Barack Obama was going to be bad for this country, you probably shouldn’t be leading the opposition party.
As we talked about on the radio show Friday, no one except Donald knows for sure what he did when he was alone in the voting booth. This is why the tweet seemed so incredible to me. It was an additional piece of evidence that seemingly proved a strong circumstantial case. (That’s still no excuse for reposting it.)
But, while the tweet appeared to be new evidence, it wasn’t part of my reasoning when I said it on radio and television. As I pointed out on Fox, I was referring to the 2008 election, not 2012. Here is why I believe Donald Trump did, in fact, vote for Barack Obama in 2008:
1. He was a registered democrat when he cast the vote. Trump had been a registered democrat for 7 years by the time the 2008 election came around.
2. This doesn’t guarantee that Trump voted for Obama of course. However, registered democrats in New York voted for Obama by a 91% to 8% margin. So, if Trump was in that 8%, he was quite the outlier.
3. He remained in the democratic party for almost another year after casting the vote.
4. In the decade leading up to the vote, he was a dedicated Democrat, with the only exception being his flirtation with the Independence (Reform) Party in 1999-2000. Incidentally, in this period, large parts of his platform were considerably to the left of Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama. In fact, I don’t believe even Bernie Sanders has ever proposed a wealth tax on what is in your bank account.
5. In the year leading up to the vote, he spoke favorably about Hillary Clinton, telling Wolf Blitzer “I think Hillary would do a good job." Obviously, it is theoretically possible for someone that thinks Hillary would be a good president to vote against Obama. But to paraphrase Donald: “Not a lot of Republican votes come out of blue state democrats that support Hillary Clinton.”
6. He was among the fiercest critics of the Bush administration. Yes, now it’s hard to believe that he would have voted for Obama, but in 2008 he had spent several years speaking just as negatively about Bush. He called him “a terrible president, perhaps the worst president in the history of this country.”
7. It’s not just that he called Bush a “disaster” many times. It’s why he called him a disaster: Iraq. He called the invasion of Iraq “one of the worst decisions ever made” saying it would have been a “wonderful thing” if he had been impeached because of the war. In fact, he was arguing for the war related impeachment of Bush just two weeks before he cast his presidential vote.
8. Given his opinion on Iraq, consider Trump’s available choices as he looked back: one candidate on record opposing the war, one candidate on record passionately supporting “one of the worst decisions ever made.” Why wouldn’t he vote for Obama?
9. Similarly, given his opinion on Iraq, consider Trump’s available choices as he looked forward: one candidate on record saying he would end the war, the other on record saying he would escalate it. Why wouldn’t he vote for Obama?
10. He continued to praise Obama after the election telling Larry King “Here's a man that not only got elected, I think he's doing a really good job.”
11. He gushed about Obama in his 2009 book: “His comments have led me to believe that he understands how the economy works on a comprehensive level. He has also surrounded himself with very competent people, and that’s the mark of a strong leader.”
12. He supported Obama’s first main policy push, the stimulus, saying it was “what we need” while praising Obama’s for “building infrastructure, building great projects, putting people to work in that sense.”
13. He supported Obama’s efforts to fix the banks including to potentially “nationalize” them. “I do agree with what they're doing with the banks. Whether they fund them or nationalize them, it doesn't matter.”
14. Looking back at this period, he described himself as Obama’s "biggest cheerleader."
15. Trump’s argument is that he raised money for McCain, so obviously he supported him. Is this really a standard Donald feels comfortable with? Does that mean he also supported John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer?
16. Immediately following the passage of Obamacare, while even moderate republicans coalesced around its repeal, Donald Trump made a maximum donation to the campaign of Harry Reid. Reid was one of the few vulnerable democrats able to hold on to power in the Tea Party wave election of 2010.
17. Speaking of the Tea Party wave, put yourself in that moment again. Hope for constitutional preferences was renewed. Hundreds of thousands of people were gathering all across the country and in Washington DC for Restoring Honor. Conservatives celebrated the biggest wave in a century. One month after that election, Donald Trump gave $50,000 to Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel.
Do I believe Donald Trump voted for Barack Obama in 2008? Yes. Yes, I do.
I could go on, but I’m in the middle of intense financial negotiations with an ousted Nigerian prince.
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Featured Image: Screenshot from The Glenn Beck Program