Good news for fans of the current GOP frontrunner in the presidential polls and for armchair critics of political theatre — Donald Trump is coming to Texas tomorrow. Specifically, he’s crossing our borders and heading to Laredo. What can we predict about this visit? Plenty, considering what Trump has had to say lately about people who may be entering the country without legal documentation.
The Huffington Post has even moved information on his campaign to the entertainment section. And corporations and networks are dropping business relations with him like he’s a hot tamale. And now, Trump has almost won a medal of mockery for his proposed border ‘policy’. But as Washington Post reporter Jerry Markon notes, it’s not like the U.S. already has a physical fence-like barrier along more than 600 (and growing) miles of the southern border… oh wait.
The Standard’s David Brown talks with Markon about Trump’s wall and the personal phone call he got from Trump himself.
On the difference between a fence and a wall:
“A wall is very different from a fence, partly for the psychological reasons…. It conveys images of trapping citizens inside the Berlin Wall, etc. Plus as my story pointed out, an actual wall would be way more expensive.”
On whether Trump’s influence in Washington has changed anyone’s mind about building a wall of this scale:
“I talked to some very neutral people and also some people who you would think might be sympathetic people from the Bush administration, who built the fencing that’s there [along the border]. The overwhelming consensus is that [building a wall up to Trump’s standards is] not doable and it’s never going to happen. What he’s saying isn’t going to change anybody’s mind. Although, I will give him credit for being out there and talking about it.”
On Markon’s personal chat with Trump after one of his articles ran :
“He had the gumption to call me back and discuss [the wall] with me personally. He called my cell phone. How many politicians would do that? I think that explains a lot about his appeal. Could you imagine Hillary Clinton calling my cell phone to talk about a border wall? I don’t think so. He was very nice; charming in a way. But also one might say egocentric in the way that Donald Trump is. He just flat out said ‘I don’t care what the deniers say, they’re stupid. No one else can do it but me. I’m the one who can do this because I know what I’m doing better than anybody. I’m a great builder. Everybody agrees on that.’”
On Trump’s border wall:
“He actually said the project wouldn’t be that difficult, which is really the opposite of what everyone else told me. He didn’t have very many specifics. He hasn’t really studied how he would do a border wall, how much it might cost. He was dismissive of the notion of cost because he claims Mexico would pay for it which is a whole other issue.”