Krauthammer: Trump’s Immigration Speech ‘Definite Softening,’ He’s ‘Going To Do What Everybody Else In the Party Generally Does’

On Thursday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Special Report,” Charles Krauthammer argued that the substance of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech on immigration on Wednesday “was a definite softening” and Trump is “going to do what everybody else in the party generally does, which is to say enforcement first, and then we kick the can down the road.”

Krauthammer said, “I think the bombast and the energy, and the sort of the style, sort of semi-angry, semi-shouting at the speech last night covered the fact that the substance was a softening. I think that was missed. Because the other part of what Trump said is that, for those that decide to remain, in other words, the illegals who decide not to seek legalization, but just stay in place, the non-criminals criminals, the ones who just are living their lives quietly, for them, there’s no more threat of deportation. They are subject to, but he’s not going to go out looking for them. And what he said was, we are not going to dispose with them and decide what to do with them, until after enforcement. And he said that’s years away. In other words, he’s going to do what everybody else in the party generally does, which is to say enforcement first, and then we kick the can down the road. We’re not going to even talk about legalization. That is a definite softening of what he had said, the mass deportation, and I think that was largely overlooked because of the style, and as you say, the bombast.”

He added, “It’s really hard to believe that you can spend a year, you start by calling Mexican immigrants rapists, people who bring in drugs and crime, and you excoriate them month after month. You win the nomination, essentially by calling your opponents, which is the Bushes, Jeb Bush, Rubios and others, who want a kind of accommodation, you call them weak-kneed and people who don’t want to preserve the nation, want to lose the country by opening the borders. And then all of a sudden, you go soft, or you go reasonable on them. I’m not sure it’s believable. I think the strategy is probably the one he needs to take, because as you saw in the polls that we saw yesterday, 77, I think it was, percent of Americans support a path to legalization. A very small number, relatively speaking, want the mass deportation, which he had advocated again and again for the year. So he’s on the right side of public opinion, but the question in the end is, is it credible?”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett