Trump Backs Away From Major Pledges

Gingrich says wall promise was 'campaign device'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2016 10:49 AM CST
Trump Backs Away From Major Pledges
President-elect Donald Trump speaks during his meeting with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Donald Trump has only been president-elect of the United States for a few days but some of his biggest campaign promises are already looking shaky—including his promise to repeal ObamaCare. Failure to deliver on pledges like the border wall could alienate some of his "most fervent supporters," though Trump has previously backed away from hardline positions only to return to them later, the Washington Post reports. A round-up of coverage:

  • Prominent Trump aide Newt Gingrich told reporters Thursday Trump's promise to have Mexico pay for a border wall may have been just a "campaign talk." "He'll spend a lot of time controlling the border," said Gingrich, who is expected to have a senior role in Trump's White House. "He may not spend very much time trying to get Mexico to pay for it, but it was a great campaign device."

  • Trump, whose supporters chanted "Lock her up" at campaign rallies, has softened his tone on Hillary Clinton considerably, the Guardian reports. In a 60 Minutes interview that will air Sunday, he described his former rival as a "very strong and very smart" woman who conceded in a "lovely" phone call. "She couldn’t have been nicer. She just said 'congratulations Donald, well done,'" said Trump. He said Bill Clinton also called, and he "couldn't have been more gracious." In a Wall Street Journal interview, Trump said he hadn't given a lot of thought to his promise to have a special prosecutor investigate Hillary Clinton.
  • The Times of Israel reports that Trump foreign policy adviser Walid Phares cast doubt on several Trump policies in an interview with BBC radio, saying that Trump might not move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem without "consensus," and that "ripping it up" might be too strong a term for what Trump plans to do with the Iran nuclear deal. He "will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore a few issues or change a few issues, and there will be a discussion," Phares said.
  • Politico looks at the Trump team's efforts to vet Cabinet nominees and plan for his first 100 days, and finds that the man who pledged to "drain the swamp" is assembling a team full of GOP insiders, lobbyists, and people with close ties to Wall Street. Some top members of the Trump transition team served in both Bush administrations.
  • CNN notes that Trump's suggestion that he will keep parts of ObamaCare goes against his pledge to immediately repeal and replace the law, but much earlier in the campaign, he expressed support for keeping popular parts of the law—and even suggested he would be open to universal health care. "Everybody's got to be covered. This is an un-Republican thing for me to say," he told CBS last year. "I am going to take care of everybody. I don't care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now."
  • Trump hasn't provided many concrete policy details since his win, but he's still promising great things. "This will prove to be a great time in the lives of ALL Americans. We will unite and we will win, win, win!" he tweeted Saturday.
(Chris Christie has been ousted as chief of Trump's transition team.)

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