Donald Trump won the Republican primary election in New Hampshire on Tuesday night — and one of the reasons for that win is that many GOP voters view Trump as authentic.
But is Trump really that authentic?
Before the January 28 Republican debate — which Trump skipped — Stephen Colbert hosted what he called an “all-Trump debate.” What followed was really a supercut of Trump flip-flopping and contradicting himself. Here are the highlights:
- On Ted Cruz: In January 2016, Trump said, “I don’t think Ted Cruz has a great chance, to be honest with you. … He’s a nasty guy. Nobody likes him. Nobody in Congress likes him. Nobody likes him anywhere once they get to know him.” In December 2015, “I really do. I like Ted Cruz a lot.”
- On Iowans: In January 2016, Trump said, “I love Iowa. We’ve done really well here.” In November 2015, “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”
- On Hillary Clinton: In July 2015, Trump said, “Hillary Clinton was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States.” In March 2012, “Hillary Clinton, I think, is a terrific woman. I mean, I’m a little biased, because I’ve known her for years. … I think she really works hard, and I think she does a good job. And I like her.”
- On Megan Kelly: In December 2011, asked by Fox News host Megan Kelly if he’d be a better moderator than her, Trump responded, “No, I could never beat you. That wouldn’t even be close. There would be no contest. You have done a great job, by the way. I mean it.” In January 2016, Trump said, “I have zero respect for Megan Kelly. I don’t think she’s really good at what she does. I think she’s highly overrated.”
The fourth example was particularly damning, because Trump’s stated reason for not going to the January 28 debate was that Kelly is a bad, biased moderator — because Trump believes she was unfair to him in the first Republican debate last summer. Yet Trump seemingly held a very different view just a few years ago, perhaps because it was more convenient for him back then.
Ultimately, that’s what Colbert’s segment shows: Trump has consistently changed his opinions over the years when it suits him. That’s not exactly abnormal for a politician, but it certainly disputes the tell-it-like-it-is style that Trump is supposed to champion.