Charlie Sykes On Trump: There Is No There There

donald-trump-caricature-flickr-cc.jpg January 6, 2016
donald-trump-caricature-flickr-cc.jpg January 6, 2016
January 6, 2016

During an interview with NPR’s Steve Inskeep, Milwaukee’s WTMJ-AM Conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes said the key to understanding Donald Trump is that there is no there there:


And I think that you saw that in some of the questions that he got later in the week, including about abortion.

On most of these issues, I don’t think that Donald Trump believes much of anything. I think that in some of these questions I don’t think he’s devoted more than five seconds of thought to whether, you know, how he feels about abortion, how he feels about nuclear weapons.

I think that this is a man who basically will say certain things that he thinks he needs to do to seal the deal. In this particular case, the product he’s selling is Donald Trump for president. I don’t think that he is a Liberal. I don’t think that he is a Conservative. I think that he is basically a narcissist and – well, he’s also, you know, very much an authoritarian, but he’s definitely, definitely not a Conservative.

Sykes also summed it up even more succinctly saying that Trump is a fraud when he claims to be a Conservative.

This week we also saw the result of Trump’s “five seconds of thought” on a multitude of issues from nuclear proliferation to abortion.

Inskeep also played a short soundbite from the infamous interview when Trump called into Sykes’ radio show, apparently unaware that Sykes is a member of the #NeverTrump movement, and was destroyed by Sykes:


SYKES: What would happen to Wisconsin – because many of our jobs here are involved in import-export – what would happen to the price of goods if in fact a President Donald Trump were to impose a 45 percent tariff on goods coming in from China?

TRUMP: Well, it’ll never happen. But what – it’ll never happen. Wisconsin would end up doing much, much better than it’s doing right now. That would never happen. But you have to have the threat out there because what they’re doing is currency manipulation. They’re devaluing their currencies and they’re making it virtually impossible for our…

SYKES: Well, you’re a much better negotiator than I am, but you just said it will never happen, so you’ve basically given away that your negotiating ploy is a bluff.

And that seems to be the key to Trump’s great negotiating skills, his art of the deal — it’s all bluff. Just like when Trump keep threatening bluffing by saying time and time again that he might sue Cruz because of Trump’s now thoroughly debunked claim that Cruz is not eligible to be president because he was born in Canada.

When asked about Trump being the front runner for the GOP presidential nomination Sykes admitted that’s disconcerting and went on to say that better informed voters like those in Wisconsin may make a difference:


I think that if you look at what’s happening in Wisconsin, we actually have a very informed, engaged, energetic electorate. We’ve been through a lot. You know, we got Paul Ryan, you know, as speaker of the House of Representatives. We got a governor that ran for president. We had the fight over collective bargaining. So our voters, I think, are much savvier – at least I’m hoping they are.

And over the last six months on a pretty regular basis, we talk about Donald Trump, what Donald Trump has said, the way he behaves when he misstates facts. And I think that what you’re seeing reflected in Wisconsin right now is what happens when you actually have an electorate who on a daily basis do learn these things and do – you know, are provided this information about Donald Trump.

The Real Clear Politics average for Wisconsin Republican Presidential Primary shows Cruz leading by seven points suggesting Sykes is right.


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