Donald Trump may have committed a fatal error in his campaign for the presidency.
Many consider Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump’s position on minimum wage his greatest mistake during this week’s debate. Not only that, he doubled down on those comments the following day, telling MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski that “Our taxes are too high, our wages are too high, everything is too high. […] What’s going to happen is now people are going to start firing people because it’s the same old story and it’s happened a hundred times and it’s always happened.”
Vox reports that “Donald Trump, a literal billionaire, just said on national TV that wages are too high,” adding that: “Within minutes of the Fox Business Republican presidential debate starting, frontrunner Donald Trump committed a classic Kinsley gaffe: accidentally saying what he actually meant.”
The Hill reports that: “the idea that America’s wages are too high likely won’t play well with the working-class, who make up a large coalition of Trump voters. While hourly wages have steadily increased over the past 50 years, the purchasing power that comes with it has stayed largely stagnant during that time period, gaining about $1.50 in adjusted 2014 dollars over that time period, according to Pew Research.”
As National Journal reports: “Trump’s political base is dominated by working-class voters who have been devastated by the recession and subsequent slow recovery. Many of them are drawn to Trump because they believe his tough persona and negotiating prowess will reverse America’s economic decline—and with it, raise their own wages. Trump is running against the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party, but with his affinity for low corporate wages, he pitted himself against many of the populists he’s wooing.”
“If you find somebody who can move the Trump image, from billionaire mogul with swagger and morph him into a heartless CEO jerk, this is a different race,” said Republican media consultant Rick Wilson.
While it’s possible that this latest gaffe by Trump won’t hurt him any more than previous ones, as National Journal reports: “what makes this line different is it goes against his own supporters’ interests. They may not care if Trump is rude to Megyn Kelly, or mocks John McCain’s military service, but when his comments directly impact their own bottom line, the reaction could be different.”
One defining feature of the Republican presidential primary so far is that many Republicans have been hesitant to go after Trump, fearing the backlash they’ll inevitably get by taking on a candidate who lashes out against anyone who goes after him. But he just gifted a sound bite for an enterprising Republican challenger to use against him—and cut into his overwhelming support among blue-collar voters.
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