Call him the comeback kid. Donald Trump may have suffered one of the worst stretches of his Presidential campaign a couple weeks back, but you’d hardly know it these days. Surging in the polls, Trump is once again neck and neck with rival Hillary Clinton. That said, the candidate is still butting heads with his party leaders and the major groups that bankroll Republican politics.
After reviewing Trump’s trade policy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce harshly criticized the plan. Not surprising, really. Even less surprising, Trump didn’t take their attack on the chin. He fought back, hard, pulling one of his best “look behind the curtain” stump speeches at a campaign even.
Trump said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is “controlled totally by various groups of people who don’t care about you whatsoever”… It absolutely does not get more populist than that.
Trump Panders to the Constituents
This was yet another instance where, when challenged by the big backers and interest groups that typically control the politics of the right, Trump took his case directly to his constituents. He’s not interested in the criticism of groups he feels add to the morass of the status quo, and he’s not afraid to tell anyone and everyone exactly that.
And, really, it’s tough to blame Trump for his reaction. The Chamber categorized his trade ideas as “dangerous” plans that would lead the U.S. into another recession.
To that accusation, Trump responded with one of his most common lines: “We’re already losing the trade war…we lost the war…nothing can happen worse than is happening now.”
Trump’s Trade Plan
In speeches later in the week, Trump continued to push his trade plan, which calls for doing away with NAFTA and the TPP. He called the former a job killer and said the latter should not be funded. These positions also run contrary to conventional “wisdom” at the U.S. Chamber.
But are Trump’s policies out of step with voters or with the groups that typically prop up politicians? That’s the question that might answer “Who wins the White House?”
Trump, for his part, has doubled down on his answer. He hates the status quo and disapproves of the deals and decision makers that got us here. Whether or not the rest of the country agrees with him will be decided in November…but the trends favor the bold at this point in the game.
Elie Hirschfeld is NY real estate developer.