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Trump Can Win, Says Columnist Gerson

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Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:17 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Nationally syndicated columnist Michael Gerson, by far one of Donald Trump’s most vehement enemies in the media, said Monday night he now believes the presumptive Republican nominee can defeat Hillary Clinton.

The former Bush White House speechwriter spoke to me at the National Press Club in Washington shortly after speaking at an event.

“I’m certainly not changing my opinion of Trump and I have serious questions about his fitness to be president,” Gerson told me, “But do I think he can be elected? Definitely. You saw those polls that came out?”

Gerson was referring to two polls that came out earlier Monday showing the presidential race in a virtual tie. The latest Washington Post, ABC News poll showed that among likely voters, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a margin of 46 to 44 percent nationwide.

These results were almost echoed by The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which gave Clinton a lead of 46 to 43 percent—the first time this year in polling by the Journal and NBC in which Clinton was below 50 percent of the vote.

Gerson specifically cited the figures in many recent polls showing Trump leading Clinton among voters who earn $30,000 to $100,000 a year.

“In a year when voters are increasingly rejecting ‘establishment’ politicians, Hillary Clinton’s associations and resume are precisely what middle-income voters do not like,” he said.

As for his own vote, Gerson told me, “I won’t vote for Donald Trump—not under any circumstances—but I just can’t bring myself to voting for Hillary Clinton.”

For more than a year, in both his twice-a-week column in the “Washington Post” and appearances on television news programs such as “The News Hour” on PBS, Gerson has been one of the most vigorous opponents of Trump and his bid for the White House. The day before he spoke to me, Gerson’s latest column cited the near-certain GOP nominee’s call for ending all U.S. medical flights to Ebola-infected countries “or the plague will start and spread inside our borders. Act fast!”

Coupled with Trump’s past questions about President Obama’s citizenship, Gerson wrote, his rhetoric “is not just flirting with the fringes; it is French-kissing them.”

Beginning his remarks at the Trinity Forum, Gerson said the name “Donald Trump” and promised he would not repeat it because “my wife made me promise her $20 every time I said it.” But he did break his self-imposed ban once during his talk to recall how when he was part of a group meeting the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader “repeatedly told us ‘I am not God’— something Donald Trump would never say.” 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.



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Nationally syndicated columnist Michael Gerson, by far one of Donald Trump’s most vehement enemies in the media, said Monday night he now believes the presumptive Republican nominee can defeat Hillary Clinton.
clinton, gerson, trump, polls
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2016-17-24
Tuesday, 24 May 2016 11:17 AM
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