Donald Trump appeared on CBS’s "Face the Nation" Sunday morning in rather typical Trump fashion: by phoning in. When asked to define conservatism by host John Dickerson, the Republican frontrunner gave an atypical response, which is, again, typical of Trump.
Trump went for the technical answer, stating that conservatism is “a person that wants to conserve, a person that wants to, in a financial sense, balance budgets.” (Trump inter-monologue: “Nailed it.”)
The billionaire added that “it’s a person that doesn’t want to take risks” before making it a point to assert that he was defining conservatism “in terms of government.”
“[A conservative is] a person that feels strongly about the military,” Trump continued. The billionaire then explained his position against the Iraq War, which was a position that was “better than normal conservatism” and contrary to most conservatives who were “gung-ho” on the war.
Transcript via Breitbart (emphasis added):
DICKERSON: “What is your definition of conservative?”
TRUMP: “Well, I think it’s a person that doesn’t want to take risks. I think that’s a good thing. A person that wants to in terms of government I’m talking about. Person that wants to conserve, a person that wants to in financial sense balance budgets. A person that feels strongly about the military and I feel very strong low about the military. And you have some of these Amy they don’t even want to focus on the military. Our military is falling apart I feel very — I have always felt very strongly about the military. By the way, if you look at vision, the word vision, I was the one that said, take the oil, I’ve been saying that for years, take the oil, let’s take the oil. Nobody would listen then all of a sudden after Paris they started saying maybe that’s right we’ll take the oil. They still don’t take the proper way. I was — which is a little bit different than Normal conservative. But I was very much opposed to the war in Iraq. Lot of these guys were all for the war in Iraq look what’s that has got it. Spent $2 trillion, now handing Iraq over, just handing over to Iran. Iran is going to take over Iraq I said that was going to happen. I said that years ago. In 2003 that Iran will take over Iraq was largest oil reserves in the world that’s not a conservative position. When I was saying, don’t go into Iraq I’m a very militaristic person, I’m very much into the military, will build our military better and stronger, that’s the — opposed to what we have now. I was opposed to the war in Iraq. Most conservatives, let’s go gung-ho. Everyone of them wanted the war in Iraq. Look where it got us.”
Many conservatives are completely sold on Trump, whether they believe he is a conservative or not. The candidate is undeniably a force; he controls the media, he's a slap in the face to political correctness, he draws "yuge" crowds and most importantly, he is willing to unapologetically get down in the mud and attack Hillary Clinton.
But for those who are weary of the billionaire with “New York values,” the question bubbling to the top of conversation is whether or not Trump is truly conservative. This is especially true when the other man, in what has narrowed down to a two-man race in recent days, is a senator from Texas whose claim to fame was sticking to his conservative values, Ted Cruz. This shaky-at-best definition of the ideology which Trump supposedly adheres to is not likely to swing many conservatives on the fence about the candidate, let alone types that identify with those on the “Against Trump” campaign.
Relevant comments begin at the 3:25-mark: