Three Things Donald Trump Should Say Tonight At The GOP Debate

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)
Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

It is becoming very possible that Donald Trump might win the GOP nomination. He’s led the polls consistently since before the Fox News debate, and he’s poised to hold that lead into the conceivable future, although Ben Carson is starting to close the gap.

Still, there are constituencies in the GOP base that are uneasy about The Donald. He could help himself a lot in tonight’s CNN debate by saying these three things:

1.) “I’m very, very pro-life. As President, I will defund Planned Parenthood, and I will sign a 20 week ban on abortion into law.”

Who Does It Help Trump Win?

  • Church-going Catholics
  • Church-going Evangelicals
  • Hispanics

Donald Trump has been all over the place on abortion. In 1999, he supported partial-birth abortion. Now he says he’s pro-life. But he concerned many pro-life activists when he avoided responding to the first Planned Parenthood video for nearly a week, while other candidates were aggressively attacking Planned Parenthood and Democrats in the media.

This is a great opportunity for Trump to affirm to pro-life voters that he stands with them and would represent them as President. If Trump can win the pro-life vote, he will win the nomination.

2.) “Iran won’t get a nuclear bomb if I’m President. I will be tough on foreign policy. I will protect America from Day One.”

Who Does It Help Trump Win?

  • Everyone concerned about Iran or ISIS

Foreign policy is going to be a — for lack of a better word — “huge” issue in the 2016 election. The GOP nominee needs to be tough and ready to be Commander-in-Chief immediately.

Donald Trump has done a great job so far on foreign policy. He says the right things, he has been out front aggressively opposing the Iran deal, and he’s clearly a strong negotiator. There’s no way he’d be snookered in a deal with Iran like President Obama was.

So tonight is another opportunity to remind voters that he can be trusted to lead the greatest military in the world and defend America.

3.) “I like Ben Carson. He’s incredibly smart. I like Carly Fiorina. She brings a lot to the table. But I’m the best person to lead this country.”

Who Does It Help Trump Win?

  • Women
  • Millennials
  • The GOP Establishment

Donald Trump’s ego is certainly amusing, and it appeals to a segment of the population, but it turns off another large segment. Trump has so far shown very little humility or class in regard to his opponents. People want to see that he can play nice with others — part of being a leader is doing just that.

Several candidates are likely to go after Trump aggressively tonight. He can counter that by rising above it. He has an opportunity to show confidence and poise by working in ways to praise other candidates, even if it’s as simple as “I like Marco Rubio” or “I like what Chris Christie said.”

Part of being President and being a leader is building coalitions and working together with others. You can’t just burn every bridge and expect good things. That’s what President Obama has done, and look how that’s worked out. Tonight is a great opportunity for The Donald to “play nice.”

If Trump does these three things tonight, look out. He might be at 35 or 40 percent nationally by next week.

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.