HomeElectionsExclusive interview with Donald J. Trump

Exclusive interview with Donald J. Trump

Palm Beach, Florida-Sea Lake Manor is surprisingly quiet. Hurricane shutters still cover many windows, and turf is waiting to be planted on the main driveway in preparation for the official opening of the club on November 1. A receptionist led me into the official lobby: a spacious room with high ceilings and a magnificent view of the club’s western lawn. It’s magnificent, gilded, and flashy-this is the proper expression of Donald Trump’s ubiquitous brand.

After a short wait, a Trump press assistant escorted me into a small room with a fireplace, a wooden bar, and a single round table with four chairs. After a while, 45day The President of the United States came in, shook hands with me, and sat down. A waiter seemed to show Trump everywhere—what else? — A can of Diet Coke and a glass of ice.

With this, we started a 90-minute free-form conversation on topics ranging from China, the war in Afghanistan, and COVID-19 to the latest works by General Mark Milley, George W. Bush, and Bob Woodward.

Part 1 of RealClearPolitics’ three-part series of interviews with Trump discusses why Trump exceeded Hispanic voters’ expectations in 2020.


“Our borders are so perfect,” Donald Trump exclaimed. Our interview at Mar-a-Lago has just started a few minutes, and he has already directed the discussion to one of his favorite topics.

“Look at the border. Countries are emptying their prisons. We are like a garbage dump,” Trump said. “In my opinion, this country has changed so much in eight months, more than any change in its history.”

Trump called Joe Biden’s handling of the border issue “the most incompetent thing I have ever seen,” and then added, “until I saw the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.”

If Trump’s remarks sound familiar, it is because it is. When he boarded the Trump Tower escalator on June 16, 2015 to announce his candidacy for president, he immediately criticized the incumbent leaders of the two parties for failing to protect U.S. interests in trade and immigration.

“We are the dumping ground for other people’s problems,” Trump says Before continuing his now infamous story about Mexico not sending the “best” people across the border:

“The people they sent have a lot of problems, and they brought these problems to us. They bring drugs, they bring crimes, they are rapists, and I guess some people are good people.”

Trump’s harsh language on illegal immigration shocked not only liberals and reporters, but also the establishment of the Republican Party, which carried out “Autopsy“In the 2012 election, part of the reason was to explain Mitt Romney’s dismal performance among minority voters, especially Hispanic voters. Export polls showed that Romney only won 27% of Hispanic voters. Yes, this is the worst performance of a Republican presidential candidate since Bob Dole in 1996.

The solution proposed by the party establishment is a more inclusive way of discussing the issue of illegal immigration, and collectively supports Washington’s “comprehensive immigration reform.” After Trump chose the opposite approach, the traditional view in 2016 was that his tough stance and vulgar language would doom his fate in the general election. It doesn’t.

On the contrary, Trump won a higher percentage of Hispanic votes than Romney, while reducing the Democratic Party’s overall advantage in this population by 8 percentage points. Four years later, according to export polls, Trump increased his share of Hispanic votes to 32%, but even so underestimated his strength. According to a verified voter survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the 2020 election, Trump won 38% of Hispanic votes, an increase of 10 percentage points from 2016.

Why, I asked Trump, are you doing better with Hispanics in 2020?

“I think they know that I love them. I respect them very much. They are very entrepreneurial people. Very smart and energetic people, they see me doing the right thing,” he said. “They also know that I am strict with borders and I am also strict with immigration. They know the importance of borders better than anyone. Many people think that my strong position on the border will hurt Hispanics. No, they don’t want people to come in. Take their jobs, take their houses.”

Trump’s remarkable progress in most Hispanic counties on the Texas border is jaw-dropping. He increased his vote share by an average of 26.8% in 17 counties in southern Texas, with an average Hispanic population of 88.8%. Trump recalled learning about his performance in Border County during a call from Governor Greg Abbott: “He said,’We can’t believe it; the number you get is the highest since the reconstruction. The most we have seen since the Civil War Good number.'”

Trump said that Hispanic voters “know better than anyone that I did the right thing in their lives, crimes, and work.” He also made huge gains among Hispanic voters in Florida, especially In Miami-Dade County, the traditional Democratic base camp.

“Democrats can’t believe the Hispanic figure; they never thought they would see this,” Trump said. “If you look at the results in Miami: Cubans, Venezuelans, you look at the numbers in Miami—they are through the roof. The Republicans lost miserably in Miami, I almost won Miami, and then the rest of the state is mine. NS.”

He is right. Trump won 45% of Hispanics in Florida, including 58% of Cuban Americans. In 2016, he lost to Hillary Clinton by 30 percentage points. Four years later, he defeated Joe Biden by three points statewide, and lost to the county by only seven points.

Given his success with Hispanic voters, I asked Trump what the Republican Party should do to maintain his achievements in the Republican Party’s outlook for the middle of next year and beyond. In our entire 90-minute interview, he gave the most concise answer: “They must insist on Donald Trump.”

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