Trump Pitches His Golf Resort – Then Addresses Brexit
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump, the 2016 presumptive Republican presidential nominee had a chance to prove to everyone he could handle the representing the United States on a world stage. He was in Scotland where just hours after the United Kingdom (UK) chose to leave the European Union in what was historic decision.
Trump stood behind the podium to address a few hundred people at the Trump Turnberry resort and golf links. He spoke 31 seconds about the Brexit breakup and the next 14 minutes on the beauty and splendor that is his just reopened Trump Turnberry, which the New York businessman bought in 2014 and renovated at an estimated cost of $290 million.
NBC, CNN, CBS, SKY UK, BBC World and other media outlets throughout the world were waiting for Trump to remark about Brexit. But those networks left Trumps infomercial until he finally was going to take questions from the press who were far less interested in the resort and far more interested in the candidates take was on was going in real time as he was standing in the U.K.
Most of Trump’s comments were about his golf resort (“I think it’s going to be one of the great hotels of the world”)—a decision CNN commentator John Avlon declared “insane”—and most networks cut away from his presser as it became clear he would not be meaningfully addressing the momentous vote that had just taken place, despite being in Scotland as it happened.
At around the 15-minute mark the presumptive Republican presidential nominee eventually took questions, and the press was eager to ask him questions about the Brexit, most of which Trump dodged.
In what has to be one of the more surreal press conferences in U.S. presidential-campaign history, Donald Trump praised the British vote to leave the European Union in a place — Scotland — that overwhelmingly voted to remain; he said the falling British pound would be good for business; and he touted the opening of his new golf course in Scotland.
“I love to see people to take their country back,” he said. Referring to Brexit backers’ opposition to immigration, Trump added that “people who you don’t want … you are not going to have take.” He said that Britain’s declining currency was good for business, including at his new golf course. “If the pound goes down, they’re going to do more business.”
But before he answered reporters’ questions, Trump trumpeted the opening of his new golf course in Turnberry, Scotland. As the BBC’s Katty Kay remarked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,”
“It was stunning Trump would make a pitch for Trump industries on a day like today, when global markets are reeling and much of Britain (and Europe) is in shock.”
One of Hillary Clinton’s greatest weaknesses is the perception that she has used her political standing to make money. But Trump proves to be no different when he takes his presidential campaign to Scotland — the day after the Brexit vote — to christen a new resort/golf course and talk about how a falling currency is good for business and good for his resort.
Before Trump fans go after me on this let me point out a few things. The trip to Scotland was planned months ago long before he became the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party. So, I have no beef with Trump returning to Scotland during a presidential campaign. He is not a politician, he is businessman, so going to Scotland made sense.
During the night as Trump was making the trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Scotland his campaign put out a well – crafted press release that addressed the candidate’s thoughts on Brexit. So, again, I am giving his team credit for being on point.
Here is where I think Trump, who is a master showman missed the mark and a golden opportunity. Let’s be clear that elections and campaigns are all about optics. Trump blew a golden opportunity to prove that he belongs on the world stage as the President of the United States.
If he had stepped to the podium at Turnberry, Scotland and said something like this “I am here today to talk about this amazing resort we have here in Scotland. But given the global events of the Brexit vote and the fact I am standing in the U.K. this morning let’s dispense for the moment the conversation about Trump Trunberry and talk about how the world changed overnight.
He could have addressed how the United Kingdom showed exactly what he has been saying in the United States.
Trump should have flipped and used the open 14 minutes to pitch his talking points on the Brexit breakup with the press and then went into the resort pitch.
Be doing that he would have vaulted him into world -leader status.
He should have used his talking point to drive home his core message. “Give voters a chance to take their country back they will do it.”
He could have silenced critics that say that Trump puts his business interests ahead of anything else and that he is self-centered. He could have scored big points with the key people in the Republican party who are waiting for a reason to prove that Trump is ready to be president.
But yesterday he got his points across but only after an un-necessary sales pitch for his golf resort in Scotland. It made him look small on the world stage and not a world leader in the class he so very much wants to needs to be in.
Video used in this story came from ABC News