- - Thursday, August 27, 2015

It’s all on the line for Donald Trump. Although he has flirted with running for president five times he is finally in the race and putting his foot in his mouth every step of the way. Interestingly enough, it has paid off. Why? Because many Americans feel that he speaks to their issues, which in some cases have been ignored by the mainstream. Americans care about traditional marriage, but if they say so publicly they may be considered a bigot by mainstream society. Many Americans feel that there is an immigration problem that our government should address head on to stop the flow of illegal immigration. Some support building a wall or gate but they won’t say so publicly out of fear of being called racist or heartless. Donald Trump feels their pain and said in his presidential campaign announcement, “When Mexico sends its people, and they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Although his words are often inarticulately stated, many Americans agree with his core message and felt he had the right to say what he said. What came next was something not many people expected — The Donald has been losing business deal after business deal and has not backed down after his immigration comments. In fact, he is doubling down. This is something I can say as a Republican strategist we never see in politics. Usually, when the press targets a candidate and the public comes out against those comments, the candidate capitulates to the pressure and changes the message. Factoring in the stifling loss of business deals, which could be estimated in the tens of millions, people have a chance to see how Mr. Trump reacts under pressure. After the Republican base and the American public heard what he said, his poll numbers shot up. For once, voters believed that they had a candidate that would do what he said in spite of enormous societal pressure. The question is how long The Donald will be able to keep this up especially since he is known to speak his mind without filter. How long before he offends the core of his base like he did with the John McCain comment. In July, The Donald made a comment about war hero Sen. John McCain of Arizona, which upset many members of the Republican base including veterans. “He’s not a war hero, he was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” Mr. Trump said. In my opinion, when Mr. McCain was offered release as a prisoner of war because of his father’s standing in the military and he declined because he wanted his fellow brothers in arms released as well he cemented his standing as a war hero. No one should attempt to take that away from him or any of our veterans. Comments like these by Mr. Trump not only make him look un-presidential but also uncouth. The Donald’s biggest problem is not policy positions he never clearly states, his biggest problem is being Donald Trump, lambasting and not worthy of being leader of the free world.

Gianno Caldwell is a Republican strategist and owner of Caldwell Strategic Consulting. Find him on Twitter @GiannoCaldwell.

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