A Different Man than We’ve Seen Thus Far
Wednesday, February 24th, school founder and Chancellor, Pat Robertson, hosted a live, Q&A discussion with Donald Trump as part of a series of live interviews with Presidential candidates.
Donald Trump is a man known for his outspoken and boisterous attitude. As one of the most controversial participants in the 2016 Presidential race, he has not shied away from bold remarks and putting himself in the stage light of media and drawing both support and criticism from citizens. As David Brody, CBN News political journalist event moderator stated, “he is no stranger to the limelight.”
The campus was bustling with activity and visitors. Attendees ranged from high school students, to Faculty and experienced professionals, all wanting to hear and see Trump in person.
Initially, he seemed somewhat softer spoken; his usual sharp tone and harsh edge were suppressed and muted. Some may assume that he took on a different disposition because his audience was largely evangelical Christians opposed to harsh and angry orations. However, whether or not this was the case, it was obvious that the campaign trail has taken its’ toll on the man.
Trump began by talking about the race and his success thus far. However, his tone soon changed and he talked about how important his family has been to him. He even brought two of his sons, Eric and Donald Jr. onto stage. They spoke highly of their father and how much he loves them and their families, and how people don’t get to see the loving family man they said he is.
After they left the stage, Trump even reflected that “A lot of times people asked me to speak of success… The really successful people aren’t the ones with great wealth but with family.”
He then moved on and began to discuss issues with China, Mexico, the problem of border security and the infiltration of drugs into our country. He emphasized that “If we don’t have borders, we don’t have a country.”
A few minutes into his address, he welcomed Pat Robertson on stage. After the exchanging of pleasantries, the heavily anticipated interview commenced.
The discussion began with Robertson asking Trump about how he would deal with current issues like the executive orders Obama has passed, and how he would go about handling the financial crisis and national deficit.
Trump fired shots at President Obama over the executive orders he has enacted thus far and talked about his own success in business. He stated that his knowledge in this area could be used to help solve problems, like the excess of executive orders, and other matters conservatives are worried about. He added that he believes there’s too much division between politicians in Washington, a common sentiment among many Americans.
Trump brought up the issue with China financially dominating over the United States. He expressed his belief that we can still maintain trade with them while at the same time regaining the upper hand in our relations with the Asian superpower. Trump held that America can do still business with them, but come out on the better end of our dealings with them. He cited his own experience.
“I’ll bring jobs back our country has been stripped… I’m not upset with China…. I sell millions of dollars of condominiums to the Chinese.”
This idea of America being outdone in trade with China is something Trump is known to feel strongly about. In his address, he continually talked about it, and even went so far to claim that China has maintained their dominance in an unfair way. He stated that “China has manipulated numbers… they have no fear, no respect for us anymore… We have a lot of power over China, we just don’t know it… What they’ve done is the greatest robbery in the history of the world.”
The Issue of Employment
When the discussion consequentially turned to the problem of unemployment and jobs, Trump adamantly held that he would create jobs for Americans.
As the interview progressed, Robertson’s questions then changed from those of an economic manner, to ones focused more on the court system. Trump held that the installation of Justice Roberts to office was a mistake, lashing out against Senator Ted Cruz as a delegate that “endorsed him [Roberts]… [and was] the one that pushed [promoted] him harder than anyone.”
When Robertson asked what criteria he would use in selecting a replacement for Scalia, Trump said that he would ideally choose someone “pro-life.” He also referenced Justice Scalia as “perfect.”
The Audience Participates
At this point, previously mentioned moderator, David Brody, announced that the time for audience questions, sent in via text and email, would be asked.
The questions included inquiries into whether or not Trump would keep Israel as an ally, what type of characteristics he’d look for in a possible Vice President, and whether or not he’d adhere to constitutional values.
Trump held that he would indeed cling to traditional, constitutional and conservative values, and that he would keep Israel as an ally. Additionally, he stated that an ideal Vice President would be someone skilled in passing and dealing with legislation.
For many who believed that Trump would possibly choose fellow candidate and retired neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, this particular answer doused such hopes. However, it simultaneously gave individuals the idea that he isn’t afraid to look for help. This may have given some a little more trust in the New York businessman who has been notorious for bragging that he can get things done on his own.
However, possibly the most important question asked was about Trump’s history of switching his political views and whether or not “voters [can] be sure you’ll hold republican values?”
This is something Trump has taken fire over and something that could hamper him from winning votes from conservative evangelical Christian groups. Many concerned citizens have raised questions over him being as conservative as we think.
Shortly after this, the event ended. The feelings and sentiment shown by many attendees towards the New York businessman were mixed. I asked a few people how they felt.
“[There was a] lack of substance. Everything he relates to is [through] China and the Iran deal,” said Daniel Powers, a freshman majoring in Government. Powers also added that he believed Trump discussed these topics because he was most familiar, and hence most comfortable talking about them.
Aren Woods, a senior in Cinema Television, said “I agreed with there being division, especially when so many issues are shared. Nothing [is]… being done… Obviously [he] knows what he’s doing as a business man.”
“I agree to a lot… [He has] insight into business… although I don’t know a lot about foreign affairs” said Tim Parsons, a local high school student attending Atlantic Shores Christian Academy.
Thus far in the race, it seems that the views of many Americans are split over Trump. Some trust him as an effective business man and loving father he seemingly attempted to portray himself to be. Others refuse to put credence in him as a legitimate candidate for Presidency. Regardless, one must wonder that if nominated, would Trump hold to the stances and policies he spoke of at Regent University? Though he can run a business effectively with a sharp and bold attitude, would running a country in the same way be what America really needs right now?
Philip Reynolds is a Staff Writer for the Daily Runner.