‘Chastened’ Trump says the ‘M-word’ in softer side NY Times interview

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review. 

In a telling interview with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd on Saturday, Donald Trump opened up in a way we haven’t often seen this election, dialing down the bombast and showing us some of the human behind the brash billionaire turned politician.

The interview is an interesting read and covers Trump’s candid take on several of the most recent controversies, but by far the most significant part was Trump’s admission that he made a mistake by tweeting a glamour shot of his wife, Melania, next to an unflattering picture of Heidi Cruz. “If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t have sent it,” Trump told Dowd after she told him about how he lost her sister’s vote after that tweet.

Dowd noted how hard it seemed for Trump to say the words, and even after he said them he still found himself falling into the kind of schoolyard “he did it first” excuse routine. But still, for a man who has made a living this campaign by rarely apologizing or admitting a mistake, this at least  shows Trump’s willingness to come to grips with the mistakes he has made and how those mistakes shape the perception of the people whose votes he is asking for, particularly women.

And it’s women who he is struggling to reach the most, ironically in a campaign where, if he wins the nomination, he will face a woman for the right to sit in the Oval Office. Right now, if you go with the poll Dowd cited to Trump, he sits at a 73 percent disapproval rating. When confronted with this statistic, Trump chose a poll that rated him at a slightly better 68 percent disapproval – as if that was supposed to put him in a better light.

When asked if he missed a chance to be less belligerent, Trump gives us some insight into why he has chosen the path he has chosen, “I guess because of the fact that I immediately went to No. 1 and I said, why don’t I just keep the same thing going? I’ve come this far in life. I’ve had great success. I’ve done it my way.”

Trump insists he can be “so presidential” and Dowd ends the column with a call for him to “start.” As a Trump supporter since the beginning, I echo that call. The issues are too important, the stakes too big, for the Republican front-runner to be making these kinds of mistakes. Hopefully, Trump is beginning to realize that while his base may forgive him for almost anything, winning a general election is an entirely different, and much bigger, game.

For all our sakes, it’s high time for Donald Trump up HIS game in a very significant way.

Read the interview here.

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Scott Morefield

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