Donald Trump's Closing Statement Wasn't About The Economy Or Anything Relevant At All
Just before the fourth Republican presidential debate, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was leading among the contenders in the most recent ABC News / Washington Post poll, with 71 percent of support, while Donald Trump fell behind him, with 69 percent. Trump was tasked with moving away from his exaggerated reality-TV-like antics and back to policy in order to get those points back, but he didn't do it. Trump's closing statement focused on making the country greater, but he totally missed saying exactly how his economic plan could do that.
Trump has received a lot of attention and support for his views on immigration, which include deporting all undocumented immigrants and forcing Mexico to pay for the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The fourth GOP debate was focused on the economy, so Trump needed to show how his policy on immigration would actually help business.
But when you put immigration aside, CNN Money points out that many Trump supporters don't actually know where he stands on important economic issues, even though 44 percent of Americans said the economy is one of their top concerns in a recent poll. Trump's closing didn't help clear up just what his goal will be for the U.S. economy:
Over the years, I've created tens of thousands of jobs, and it's a company I'm very proud of — some of the most iconic assets anywhere in the world. And, I can tell you, I don't have to give you a website, because I'm self funding my campaign. I'm putting up my own money. I want to do something really special. I want to make our country greater than it's ever been. I think we have that potential. We cannot lose this election. We cannot let Hillary Clinton, who is the worse secretary of state in the history of our country, win this election. We will fight, we will win, and we truly will make this even more special. We have to make it better than ever before, and I will tell you, the United States can actually be better than ever before.
Trump has previously said that he wants to be the "jobs president" if elected. And many have said that this debate should have played to his strengths because of his business background. Key features of Trump's economic plan included keeping — but not increasing — the minimum wage, forcing Mexico and China to pay high tariffs on imports to the U.S., implementing a one-time tax on the wealthy, hiring a hedge fund manager as secretary of the Treasury, and shutting down Obamacare.
Trump's closing statement made it pretty clear that making the country better was the most important thing to him. But he didn't focus at all on the substance of his proposed policies. Which was a poor choice, given how substantive this debate was supposed to be.