Billionaire real estate magnate Donald J. Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee for President of the United States, told Breitbart News in his latest exclusive interview that to run the country a president needs “heart.”
The comments, which come in response to a question about the differences and similarities between managing the Trump Organization and managing the United States of America, offers an insight into how Trump will position himself to voters across the country. Trump has already labeled his Democratic opponent, former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, as “Heartless Hillary”–his second nickname for her, in addition to “Crooked Hillary.” Now, as he presents himself to general election voters as America’s “champion”—as he said in his final primary election night speech on Tuesday—Trump will aim to show Americans that unlike Clinton, he has “heart.” Trump said:
I think it will be great. I’ve always been a great manager, but the difference is you’re going to have to manage with heart. When you run a country, you have to have more heart than when you manage a company. You have people that need help. You have people that are sick. You have people that need medical help and medical care. You have elderly. So it would be different in that way, whereas in a company you could be tougher in a certain area although the beautiful thing about the country is that there’s so much waste, fraud, abuse and fat.
Trump noted that since he is an effective manager—he argues that winning the GOP presidential primary with less than 100 staffers months ahead of Clinton winning the Democratic nomination with hundreds more staffers—he can rein in the size and scope of government. He added:
So when you manage a company—and I’ll give you a good example I think. I had 73 people on my campaign. Hillary Clinton had 873 people. So she had 800 people more than I have. Some of the media thought that was great that she had 800 people more. But the smart people said ‘wow, Trump had 800 people less and he won the nomination before she did.’ I had 17 people to beat, all she had was one. So I had 73 people, she had 873 people. I won the nomination before she did and I had to beat 17 people and she had to beat one.
Trump did add, however, that he is “starting to expand” his team for the general election.
“She’s got a massive office building and floors in an office building in Brooklyn,” Trump said. “And I have a much better location, that’s for sure, but I have a floor in New York. I’m starting to expand that. Now I’m starting to expand that.”
The argument that he has a heart and Hillary Clinton does not, is one that is likely to be extraordinarily effective in winning over undecided voters over the next few months. According to exit polls from the 2012 presidential election, 21 percent of voters made their decision based on whom to vote for between President Barack Obama and failed GOP nominee Mitt Romney based upon this point: whether the candidate “cares about people like me.” Of that 21 percent of the electorate, 81 percent went to Obama, while only 18 percent went for Romney.
The other three deciding factors, the exit polling found, include whether the candidate “shares my values,” the candidate “is a strong leader,” or the candidate “has a vision for the future.” Romney won each of those categories. Voters who said they decided based on whether the candidate “shares my values” made up 27 percent of the electorate, of which Romney won 55 percent and Obama won just 42 percent. Voters who considered whether the candidate “is a strong leader,” made up 18 percent of the electorate of which Romney won 61 percent and Obama just 38 percent. And voters who thought the most important attribute in a candidate was whether that candidate “has a vision for the future” made up 29 percent of the electorate, 54 percent of which went for Romney and 45 percent for Obama.
So, if Romney had convinced the electorate that he ‘cares about people like” them, he probably would have won in 2012. But he failed, in large part thanks to the “47 percent” comments he made behind closed doors.
Trump, who has blown away Romney’s vote totals in the GOP presidential primaries on his way to the nomination, is directly challenging the notion that Republicans—in particular, himself—don’t care about ordinary people. In fact, it’s a central theme of his campaign. And now Trump is positioning himself as the candidate with “heart” up against “heartless Hillary.”
Meanwhile, as Democrats continue with their overt campaign to taint Trump as a racist, xenophobe, sexist pig, it remains to be seen who will win the hearts–and votes–of the general election public.