Does Donald Trump have a heart? His most vocal detractors will laugh at the idea. They think of Trump as a cartoon capitalist, a modern day Scrooge.
So what will they make of Trump’s latest prescription for how to fix America? His remarks may surprise even some of his biggest supporters — is the real estate tycoon a “compassionate conservative” in disguise?
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart, Trump said:
I’ve always been a great manager, but the difference is you’re going to have to manage with heart. When you run a country, you have to have more heart than when you manage a company. You have people that need help. You have people that are sick. You have people that need medical help and medical care. You have elderly.
As Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle goes on to note:
The argument that he has a heart and Hillary Clinton does not, is one that is likely to be extraordinarily effective in winning over undecided voters over the next few months. According to exit polls from the 2012 presidential election, 21 percent of voters made their decision based on whom to vote for between President Barack Obama and failed GOP nominee Mitt Romney based upon this point: whether the candidate “cares about people like me.” Of that 21 percent of the electorate, 81 percent went to Obama, while only 18 percent went for Romney. (…)
So, if Romney had convinced the electorate that he ‘cares about people like” them, he probably would have won in 2012. But he failed, in large part thanks to the “47 percent” comments he made behind closed doors.
Trump, who has blown away Romney’s vote totals in the GOP presidential primaries on his way to the nomination, is directly challenging the notion that Republicans—in particular, himself—don’t care about ordinary people. In fact, it’s a central theme of his campaign. And now Trump is positioning himself as the candidate with “heart” up against “heartless Hillary.”
The question is: Will this work?
So far, Trump’s nicknames for his opponents, Democrats and Republicans alike, have stuck. But do Americans really want a president “with heart” — or one who will run the country like an efficient manager who cares about the bottom line?
His fans admire Trump’s toughness. He’ll have to walk a fine line to avoid alienating those voters by suddenly sounding too “soft.”