Global Independent Analytics

Donald Trump goes full-on general election mode, even opposing North Carolina’s ‘bathroom bill’

Donald Trump is campaigning as a general election candidate at this point, trying to please all and everyone

Callum Borchers for The Washington Post reports: Continuing a pivot that began with an uncharacteristically dignified news conference after Tuesday’s New York primary victory, the GOP front-runner was clearly going for broad appeal during a town hall event Thursday on the “Today” show. He downplayed his earlier, more strident rhetoric as the work of an "entertainer," suggested a currency compromise that would allow Andrew Jackson to remain on the $20 bill while putting Harriet Tubman on a new denomination, and talked about raising taxes on the wealthy while making sure to say that most bankers are good people.

Last, but not the least, he, unlike his Republican fellows, addressed the controversial North Carolina’s bathroom law that requires transgender men and women to use public restrooms that match the physical anatomies with which they were born, rather than the genders with which they identify.

"North Carolina did something that was very strong, and they're paying a big price, and there's a lot of problems," he said in response to a question that had been submitted by a voter on Twitter. "One of the best answers I heard was from a commentator yesterday, saying, 'Leave it the way it is right now.' There have been very few problems. Leave it the way it is. North Carolina, what they're going through with all of the business that's leaving, all of the strife — and it's on both sides — you leave it the way it is. There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate. There has been so little trouble. And the problem with North Carolina has been the strife and the economic punishment that they're taking."

Moments later, "Today" show host Matt Lauer posed a follow-up question: "So if Caitlyn Jenner were to walk into Trump Tower and want to use the bathroom, you would be fine with her using any bathroom she chooses?" "That is correct," Trump said.

Regarding Tuesday’s announcement of Harriett Tubman’s placement on $20 bill, he said: "Well Andrew Jackson had a great history, and I think it's very rough when you take somebody off the bill," and suggested inventing a new denomination for Tubman to appear on.

What about all those nasty things Trump has said about women, Muslims and Mexicans?, Lauer asked. "You can’t unsay those things," the host said. "I’ve said some things in fun," Trump replied. "I’ve said it as an entertainer, doing the 'Apprentice.'"

In order to get a nomination, the business mogul has evolved into Trump, version 2.0, a world-class businessman" who "got along with everybody."

“Trump and his new team of advisers have clearly calculated that he needs to make himself appear more electable in the general election -- both because he may soon get there and because he needs to win over skeptical delegates if the convention is contested. Making himself appear more electable is clearly in Trump's interest. And he's trying,” concludes Borchers.

 

By Stefan Paraber for GIA.

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