Is Trump a Moderate?

Josh Barro argues that “when you strip away the bluster and the outrageous commentary that have defined his campaign to find his occasional, substantive statements about public policy, a surprising fact emerges: Mr. Trump is a moderate Republican.”

Trump: “When you’re dealing, and that’s what I am, I’m a dealer, you don’t go in with plans. You go in with a certain flexibility. And you sort of wheel and deal.”

Trump “notes that policy choices are circumstance-specific. For example, he’s not a priori opposed to single-payer health care … Mr. Trump’s policy flexibility extends even to the core Republican issue of taxes. He has not proposed a tantalizingly low top income tax rate, like Rand Paul’s 14.5 percent or Ben Carson’s 10 percent. In fact, his vague tax position almost exactly copies Jeb Bush’s.”

“The main way Mr. Trump stands out from the field on economic policy is leftward: While most Republicans favor free trade, Mr. Trump has called for much higher tariffs on imported goods to protect American industries from competition. He has also criticized his opponents for proposing cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.”

“Mr. Trump is offering an unusual combination of extreme language, moderate policy and rudeness, and so far it’s connecting with Republican voters.”

“The core idea of the Trump campaign … does not necessarily imply that government should be smaller. It implies that somebody smart, ideally Mr. Trump, should run the government.”

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