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Karl Rove in West Michigan, suggests Trump “act like a president”

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Karl Rove, former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, visited Grand Rapids and sat down at the J.W. Marriott with former deputy chief of staff to President Obama, Jim Messina, at the Michigan Political Leadership Program hosted by Michigan State University.

FOX 17 asked each political strategist for their take on Thursday night's Republican debate the included Donald Trump, senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Both strategists noted an apparent lack of decorum at the debate.

"I do think it probably made it more difficult for Donald Trump to unify the party," Rove said.

"I think you have seen Donald Trump run a very unconventional campaign, and I think he'll continue doing that because it's working for him," Messina said.

"Look, I've awoken everyday for the past 6 months, and I've prayed to God that the Republicans nominate Donald Trump," Messina said, "and it looks like they may grant my wish here."

The jabs have escalated from debate to debate. The March 3 debate was full of name-calling. Trump addressed Sen. Cruz as "Lying Ted” and Sen. Rubio as “Little Marco.”

Rove said if you're the front-runner, there comes a time when you have to start acting presidential. "Because the things that the pundits have been harping on were sort of borne out by (Trump's) own conduct in the debate last night, he started to equivocate on immigration," Rove said. "He refused to say when he would release his income tax."

"He got caught up in a controversy over releasing a tape of his interview with the New York Times," Rove said, "of which he supposedly steps back from his immigration stances. But probably the most devastating of all was when Chris Wallace asked, 'You say you're going to cut $300 billion by getting rid of the Department of Education and the EPA, and your numbers don't add up.'"

"And it led to a whole dialogue in which was clear Trump had no idea how he was going to achieve the kind of spending reductions he was talking about," Rove reasoned.

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  • Gerald VanAtter

    What he means is that Trump should act like *an establishment* president. “Fall in line”.
    When is the GOP going to recognize that it is they who need to fall in line? When are they going to realize that American Republicans are fed up with the wishy-washy capitulation and political game-playing that has allowed this country to decay so badly? When will they realize that Republicans are not blaming Democrats, but are blaming establisment GOP leaders like Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, McCain, etc. for allowing the sell-off of our Constitution? Maybe they will not realize it until it is too late for them. Maybe they are squirming so badly because they realize that it is already too late for them!

    Maybe Trump will be elected and maybe he won’t. But one thing is certain: Republicans are voting the establishment out from now on, and taking back their country from the usurpers who claim to be leaders. The Republican party establishment politicians (including neocon posers like Justin Amash!) need to recognize that their time has passed. If Democrats were to do the same, and they will have to if Trump does get elected, this country could be made great again. Imagine: both democrats and republicans working together again for a UNITED purpose rather than working against eachother for personal power and money!

    • Andrew

      I love the screen caption “Difficult for Trump to Unify the Party”.
      That shows the same backwards mindset. It isn’t Trump’s job to unify the party. It is the party’s job to unify itself behind the candidate that the people choose! This is exactly the behavior which has caused Republicans to flock to Trump in the first place. The party is supposed to do what the people tell it to do, and reflect the values that the people hold. They are not supposed to be dictating that or resisting it if they don’t agree with it, they are supposed to be representing it. Reflecting it. Their continuous refusal to do so is what has caused the party to be rebelled against by the Republican voters, and why they are so adamantly rejecting the establishment candidates.

      I think you are right, btw, regarding the Dems following suit. That would really be something positive for the country! To get someone in there who recognizes that we don’t have to agree in order to work together positively and productively. Unfortunately, I think they will have a harder time of that sort of reform because by and large Dems hold a much more broad spectrum of principles than Republicans. Still, it is well within their power to go outside the establishment as Republicans have if for no other reason than to let the establishment know that they can. After all, you only know if you really do still have a right or a freedom if you exercise it. The only way to know if the people still run this country is if they use the vote to change it. I am very encouraged to see Republican voters doing that by voting for Trump.

  • Andrew

    “And it led to a whole dialogue in which was clear Trump had no idea how he was going to achieve the kind of spending reductions he was talking about,” Rove reasoned.

    What is worse, someone not knowing how to do something or someone claiming that they will do one thing and then doing another? Because that is what we are faced with. Personally, I’ll take the guy who doesn’t know how to do something. A clever person will be able to figure out how to do it along the way. Even if he doesn’t, at least he will be working on what he said he would try to do. The other option is to elect yet another liar who will work on their own personal agenda (or the agenda of corporate and foreign interests) despite what they told you they would be doing.

  • Dennis Nelson

    You know who should really be paying close attention to this? Congress. If the American people can do this in a presidential election, they sure can do it when it comes time to elect members of Congress! Time to start pulling people out of the rank and file instead of simply bumping up establishment politicians! Time to put regular folks back in the seats in DC! Nominate and vote for your neighbors, not for career path politicians!