Donald Trump surrogates (including vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence) flooded the Sunday morning shows to say words to the effect that Trump has been "consistent" on immigration but also continued to make no sense.
On “Meet the Press,” Pence said “there will be no path to legalization, no path to citizenship unless people leave the country.” He also insisted Trump’s immigration policies “have been absolutely consistent.”
On “Good Morning America,” Trump ally Chris Christie said “this is a guy who has been very consistent” on no amnesty, no legalization, for folks who have come into the country illegally, and that’s always been the underpinning of his policy, along with the building of the wall on the United States Mexican border.”
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway gave the most incoherent answer on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Conway insisted Trump has been “pretty consistent” and there will be “no amnesty.” But then she said that Trump wants to deal with the 11 million undocumented immigrants “humanely and fairly.”
Let’s review what’s been happening: Trump launched his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants “criminals” and “rapists” and said they would deport all 11 million and build a super-wall or something to block undocumented immigrants from arriving. In August 2015, he kicked Jorge Ramos out of a press conference for saying it’s impossible to deport 11 million people. Then Trump misread a Fusion article as evidence that “somebody’s doing the raping” for people fleeing El Salvador.
Those are just some examples of Trump’s rampant tirades against immigrants (we haven’t even gotten into the infamous “taco bowl” tweet, but we don’t have all day here). But last week, an RNC spokesperson told Univision that Trump is “seeking a fair immigration reform.” Ok, sure, that sounds consistent with what he had been saying!
But things got pretty bonkers from there. A campaign speech that was supposed to deal with immigration policy was canceled, and Trump had a Hannity town hall and crowd-sourced whether he would change his immigration policy.
Trump himself spoke at a Iowa “Roast and Ride” on Saturday and insisted he still supports cracking down on undocumented immigrants. He had the family of Sarah Root, an Iowa woman killed in car crash by an undocumented immigrant, join him on stage, according to NPR.
Is it possible that the Trump campaign is dealing with the uncomfortable reality that their ugly rhetoric on immigration is not even possible, so they are instead just saying words with no meaning? What do words mean, anyway?