From the NY Times comes this interview with Donald Trump and when I read the words to his answers, it’s comical in its lack of substance or content. I know many politicians evade answering questions, but they usually go to a substantive point they want to make, but not Donald.
Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, had two telephone interviews with Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger of The New York Times. Here are some excerpts:
On whether he would be willing for the United States to be the first to use nuclear weapons in a confrontation with adversaries:
“An absolute last step. … I personally think it’s biggest problem the world has, nuclear capability … And the first one to use them, I think that would be a very bad thing. And I will tell you, I would very much not want to be the first one to use them, that I can say.”
What!?! Nuclear capability is the biggest problem the world has? I think he means, countries with nuclear capabilities. And, uh, no shit, the first one to use them would be a very bad thing.
On whether the United States should spy on its allies, and whether President Obama was right to stop the listening in on Angela Merkel’s cellphone:
“You know, I’d rather not say that. I would like to see what they’re doing. Because you know, many countries, I can’t say Germany, but many countries are spying on us. I think that was a great disservice done by Edward Snowden. That I can tell you.”
So, he would like to continue spying on our allies to see what they’re doing?, but he’d rather not say that?
On his standards for using American troops abroad, such as for homeland protection, for humanitarian intervention, or to aid allies:
“It sounds nice to say, ‘I have a blanket standard; here’s what it is.’ No. 1 is the protection of our country, O.K.? That’s always going to be No. 1, by far. That’s by a factor of 100… After that it depends on the country, the region, how friendly they’ve been toward us. You have countries that haven’t been friendly to us that we’re protecting. So it’s how good they’ve been toward us, etc., etc.”
I guess it’s nice that he speaks at the 5th grade level, so that everyone can understand what little substance he says, but these phrases like: “number 1 by far by a factor of 100”.
On recent American engagement in the Middle East:
“If you would go back 15 years ago, and I’m not saying it was only Obama, it was Obama’s getting out, it was other people’s getting in, but you go back 15 years ago, and I say this: If our presidents would have just gone to the beach and enjoyed the ocean and the sun, we would’ve been much better off in the Middle East, than all of this tremendous death, destruction, and you know, monetary loss.”
On his recent comments questioning the effectiveness of NATO and its ability to combat terrorism:
“I’ll tell you the problems I have with NATO. No. 1, we pay far too much. … NATO is unfair. … Because it really helps them more so than the United States, and we pay a disproportionate share. Now, I’m a person that – you notice I talk about economics quite a bit, in these military situations, because it is about economics, because we don’t have money anymore because we’ve been taking care of so many people in so many different forms that we don’t have money. … So NATO is something that at the time was excellent. Today, it has to be changed. It has to be changed to include terror. It has to be changed from the standpoint of cost because the United States bears far too much of the cost of NATO.”
I know I may be nitpicking, but the sentences and grammar – ugh: so NATO has to be changed to include terror. What does that mean?
On whether Russia will end up dominating Ukraine:
“Well, unless, unless there is, you know, somewhat of a resurgence frankly from people that are around it. Or they would ask us for help. But they don’t ask us for help. They’re not even asking us for help. They’re literally not even talking about it, and these are the countries that border the Ukraine.”