- The Washington Times - Monday, July 27, 2015

Over the course of the past three decades or so, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has registered as a Republican several times, as a Democrat and Independence Party member once, and has also declined to identify with a party as his Republican opponents press him on his evolving politics.

According to documents obtained by The Smoking Gun, Mr. Trump registered as a Republican in 1987 before registering with the Independence Party in 1999, as a Democrat in 2001, then as a Republican again in September 2009. In December 2011, he declined to state a party affiliation before registering again as a Republican in April 2012 and later endorsing 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Mr. Trump said recently he identifies with some things as a Democrat, but that his past political associations have less to do with partisan politics than business.

“I’ll tell you what. First, over the years as a businessman, I’ve always helped everybody. Helped everybody,” he said recently on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked why he’s running for president as a Republican.

He said, though, that’s part of the problem with the system in that others who don’t have his considerable means can be bought.

“I identify with some things as a Democrat but generally speaking — and if you look at what happened, I was never a [George W.] Bush fan. I will tell you,” he said. “In fact, I just say about this one, the last thing we need is another Bush. When the economy crashed so horribly under George Bush because of mistakes they made having to do with banking and lots of other things, I don’t think the Democrats would have done that.” 

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, one of the GOP contenders who’s gone after Mr. Trump, said recently on Fox News he thinks Mr. Trump would be more comfortable with 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton than he is running with the Republicans.

But Mr. Trump has said repeatedly he wants to run and win as a Republican. On MSNBC, he said that in fairness to 2008 GOP presidential nominee John McCain, Abraham Lincoln could have run against President Obama in 2008 and still couldn’t have won.

“So I have seen things over the years done by Republicans that I totally disagree [with],” he said. “I’m a Republican. I’m actually quite conservative, to put it mildly. But I have seen things done by Republicans that are not good.”

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