Sunday’s “Meet the Press” featured a heated debate between two Republican candidates with radically different worldviews – Donald Trump and Donald Trump.
While Trump has gained headlines and polling support by taking a hard right-wing stance on immigration, in his past flirtations with a political run, the real-estate mogul garnered attention for borderline socialist positions on health care and taxation.
“One of the reasons Trump is breaking through this year … is people feel they know where he stands. But do they?” host Chuck Todd asked, before showing a montage of Trump’s many flip-flops.
Here’s a rundown of the disagreements between the Donald Trumps of the past and present.
Trump, 2015: “I think Hillary would be a terrible president. She was the worst secretary of state in the history of our nation. Why would she be a good president?”
Trump, 2012: ”Hillary Clinton, I think, is a terrific woman … I just like her. I like her, and I like her husband.”
Trump, 2015: ”Some people would say he’s incompetent. I would not say that. Eh, yes, I would.”
Trump, 2010: ”I think [Obama-appointed Secretary of the Treasury] Tim Geithner has done a good job. I think that the whole group has really done a good job. When you look at what’s happened, at least we have an economy. You wouldn’t have had an economy had they not come up with some very drastic steps two years ago.”
On health care
Trump, 2015: “I’m almost more disappointed with the Republicans … They have to toughen up on Obamacare, which is a total lie, and which is a total and complete disaster.”
Trump, 1999: “I’m a liberal on health care. We have to take care of people that are sick … I like universal. We have to take care. There’s nothing else. What’s the country all about if we’re not going to take care of our sick?”
Trump, 2015: “Let me tell you, everybody wants to pay as little as possible — including Warren Buffett, by the way, just by what he says. And somebody said, ‘What’s your tax rate?’ I don’t know. I pay as little as possible.”
Trump, 1999: “I would tax people of wealth — of great wealth, people over $10 million — by 14.25%.”
Note: Trump was not talking about taxing income – he wanted to literally re-distribute 14.25% of all the wealth held by people with over $10 million, a tax hike of roughly $5.7 trillion. (For perspective, left-wing French economist Thomas Pikkety outraged conservatives worldwide in 2014 by proposing a global wealth tax of 2%.)
Trump, 2015: ”I’m very pro-life, and feel strongly about it.”
Trump, 1999: ”I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject. But, still, I just believe in choice.”
In the past, Trump has also called for the legalization of all drugs, banning assault weapons, and a less interventionist foreign policy. Those positions don’t seem like they’d play well with most GOP primary voters, nor do they sound like the kind of positions that would appeal to the party’s current presidential front runner— Donald Trump, 2015.