During a presidential campaign, candidates are known to promise everything under the sun to win. You name it, someone has promised it to voters, and more. It’s a trade-off we’re all come to accept and expect. But every candidate, buried under the avalanche of campaign BS, does have a few core things they really will work to accomplish. With Donald Trump, one of those things, perhaps THE thing, was a wall on our southern border to stop the illegal alien invasion. Now, that wall is looking a lot more like “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” than something that will actually happen.
This is not just me talking. On my podcast yesterday, I spoke with Ann Coulter, who was an early, eager, and vocal supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy – even writing the book, “In Trump We Trust.” It doesn’t seem like she trusts President Trump as much anymore.
The border wall was the priority of Coulter, whose book “Adios, America,” helped inform the Trump campaign’s immigration policy. So when the President was unequivocal about this demand for $5 billion to build some of the wall last week with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi or he’d allow the government to shut down, those of us concerned with our country’s sovereignty saw it as a line in the sand we could get behind.
It was refreshing to hear a politician speak plainly, to say they want to fulfill a campaign promise and are willing to go to great lengths to do it.
Then this Tuesday happened.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, in an interview with Fox News, started to walk back that rhetoric, to blur the line. She seemed to indicate that the White House would be willing to forego a straight $5 billion in exchange for avoiding a shutdown and a willingness from Democrats to work to find a way to shift money around from elsewhere to pay for construction.
We’ve heard this song before – Democrats get what they want now (avoiding a shutdown without having to take a tough vote) and Republicans get a promise of some future action on their priorities. It’s the “Wimpy Rule” – I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Only Tuesday never comes.
Coulter was not buying it. Without a wall, she told me she would not vote for Donald Trump’s reelection in 2020. “No. Nor will, I think, most of his supporters. Why would you? To make sure, I don’t know, Ivanka and Jared could make money? That seems to be the main point of the presidency at this point,” she said.
Without a wall, “Trump will just have been a joke presidency who scammed the American people, amused the populists for a while, but he’ll have no legacy whatsoever,” she said.
That coming from Donald Trump’s biggest cheerleader in 2016 should serve as a wake-up call for the White House.
We all expect politicians to break their promises, it’s what they do. And even though the Trump wasn’t a politician before being elected, it’s tough to make the case that the President of the United States is not a politician. So when the tax cuts weren’t as large as promised, it was fine – that’s part of the negotiating process. But we did get tax cuts. The economy is booming, unemployment is at near-record lows. Promise kept. But to truly get “tired of winning,” there needs to be a victory on THE promise of his campaign, and we don't see it.
The threat of a shutdown was the only leverage the White House had to force Democrats to go on record opposing what the American people want and voted for. Yet, it seems like they gave it away without a fight. Getting creative with the accounting and pledging to look into freeing up money elsewhere to accomplish your goal later is not the same as $5 billion earmarked for the express purpose of building a wall.
We’re 2 years into the Trump administration and the economy is rolling, but not one brick has been laid on the President’s signature campaign promise. Now we’re watching the clock tick down to Democrats retaking control of the House, which means there is zero chance for any money in the near future. It’s now or never. If the White House doesn’t make this not only a priority but THE priority, it simply will not happen. And if Ann is right, Donald Trump won’t get a second bite at this apple.