Donald Trump in Iowa over the weekend promised to start rounding up and deporting "criminal illegal immigrants" within one hour of taking office if elected.
"We are going to get rid of the criminals and it's going to happen within one hour after I take office, we start, okay?" Trump said according to a report from the Washington Post. "In this task, we will always err on the side of protecting the American people. We will use immigration law to prevent crimes."
Trump's statement came after several flip flops this week. Last weekend it was reported that Trump told hispanic leaders at a private meeting that he would consider giving immigrants in the country illegally a path to legalization. That position was contrary to the mass deportation plan he had run on in the Republican primary. Then later in the week, Trump said that individuals would have to return to their home countries before being allowed back in adding to confusion.
On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that Trump did say he would strengthen the country's E-verify system as well as put forth other plans to track immigrants coming in and out of the country. His plan for what to do with the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the country remains unclear.
Trump will say whatever at this point in order to get elected. No wonder the smart money is already on his campaign being out of time.
The Republican nominee — three months after clinching the nomination — has begun frantically trying to reposition himself in the last week, installing a new campaign manager and controversial CEO to help him escape the straitjacket that his 14 months of incendiary comments and hard-edged policy positions have him in.
His task, GOP insiders readily concede, seems close to impossible. In an interview Wednesday night, Trump’s new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, recognized how long it may take to improve the public’s negative perceptions of the GOP nominee, likening her turnaround project to turning a tanker.
Trump may not have that kind of time. Early voting begins in 28 days in Minnesota and in 32 other states soon after that. And already as summer inches to its end, 90 percent of Americans say they’ve decided. For all the televised daily drama this race has provided, the final outcome itself is shaping up to be less dramatic than any presidential election since 1984.
“Kellyanne is good at this, but she’s got a very damaged candidate and it’s very late in the game,” said Tony Fratto, a GOP operative in Washington and former deputy press secretary to President George W. Bush. “I think it’s too late, in fact. I don’t believe he can change. All of this is trying to trick voters into thinking there is a better Donald Trump out there. There is no better Donald Trump.”
The Republican big money donors are now turning to save Congress and are refusing to give Trump another dime.
Several leading Republican donors and groups that spent large sums in the 2012 presidential campaign are either wavering or opting outright not to back Donald Trump this year. Instead, they are spending tens of millions of dollars on congressional races as fears mount that the candidate’s poor poll numbers and incendiary gaffes are placing majorities in the House and Senate in danger.
“I believe there’s an emerging consensus in the party that Trump isn’t going to win,” Vin Weber, a former Minnesota representative turned lobbyist who helps raise money for House candidates, told the Guardian. “We need to shift resources as much as we can to help down-ticket candidates including members of Congress.”
Should Hillary Clinton defeat Trump, Democrats would need only four more Senate seats to take control through the vote wielded by the Senate president, Clinton vice-president Tim Kaine. The Republicans’ House majority is stronger, but not safe.
The Guardian can reveal that the casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who is said by well-placed sources to be worried about losing control of Congress, met Trump in New York last week.
The donor, who one friend said has been “irked by a lot of things”, had already met Trump privately at least twice this year. He has pushed for the candidate to visit Israel, which has not happened, and supported former House speaker Newt Gingrich for vice-president. Trump chose the governor of Indiana, Mike Pence.
Earlier this summer, Adelson endorsed Trump, reportedly signaling that he was willing to spend up to $100m on the presidential contest. To date, however, he has not given money to any Super Pac. Three fundraising sources with good ties to Adelson said he is focused on trying to keep control of Congress, though he could donate to Trump if his gaffes are eliminated and his poll numbers improve.
Which will not happen. Trump's close to done, and everyone knows it.