It was another rope-a-dope moment for him.
Topping off a chaotic day of Republican infighting that stemmed from Trump's racially-charged comments about Trump University Judge Curiel, Donald Trump did what his advisers said he was capable of all along: he acted presidential.
At least, for about fifteen minutes on the final night of the primaries.
Reading from TelePrompters (his fifth time using them, and first on election night), Trump's speech to a room of supporters and press sounded more like an assurance to a concerned party establishment than his typical election night celebration. "I understand the responsibility of carrying the mantle," Trump said, promising to "never let you down" and to "make you proud of your party and our movement."The Atlantic monthly cheered:
Trump used a teleprompter and adopted a speaking style markedly different from his own. His remarks weren’t without barbs. He attacked Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But he did so in the way that all Republicans attack partisan rivals.
He sounded like… well, like a typical politician.Trump as just another politician would be fatal to his chances.
Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post said: "Donald Trump gave the speech Republicans desperately needed. It might have come too late."
Yes because everyone knows the election is next week, not five months from today.
CNN headlined its story, "Trump turns to the teleprompter."
Donald Trump on Tuesday night sought to calm fretful Republicans bolting from his side over his latest controversy, laying out in measured terms his campaign platform and recasting himself as a "fighter" prepared to take on Hillary Clinton.
After days of characteristic defiance amid charges that his comments accusing a Mexican-American judge of bias were racist, Trump's speech Tuesday night marked an about-face as a more restrained, yet out-of-character Trump appeared.
Donald Trump turned to the two teleprompters to his left and right on Tuesday night and took a victory lap, as Republicans cast their final votes of the primary season.
He assured Republicans that he understands "the responsibility of carrying the mantle" and vowed to "never let (supporters) down." He welcomed Sen. Bernie Sanders' backers with open arms and he slammed Clinton as a deceitful politician who will never achieve the change Americans seek.
"I'm not a politician fighting, I'm me. You're going to see some really good things happen," Trump told a roomful of supporters and reporters at his golf club in the suburbs of New York. "Just remember this: I'm going to be your champion. I'm going to be America's champion."
Despite his teleprompter-controlled delivery, the speech marked a return to the themes that propelled his unconventional campaign to victory in the primaries. It was a back-to-basics moment after a week consumed by his fights with the media over his veterans fundraising and his claim that a U.S. federal judge was biased against him because of his Mexican heritage.
The New York real estate mogul lamented the state of affairs in the country, from the "dilapidated airports, highways, bridges" and widespread loss of American manufacturing jobs to the chaos roiling the Middle East and the dangers of illegal immigration.
"America is getting taken apart piece by piece," Trump said.So what went down?
The Atlantic almost got it.
Trump showed he can be presidential. And he says he can be so presidential he could be boring. And he was. The only thing the speech had going for it was that it was in his voice and not Hillary's.
But in many ways, Trump mocked the whole political candidate scene. CNN alluded to "his teleprompter-controlled delivery," which made his point about an over-reliance on teleprompters.
He may use the teleprompter again, in fact we know he will. That sends the message that he is normal, which is something he needs to establish. But at the same time the contrast between the scripted and unscripted Trump plays to his strength that what we need is a little abnormal. I mean if we wanted another boring president, we would have nominated Jeb Bush.
The press keeps overlooking how the public gives him a break because Trump is a rookie candidate who not only never ran for public office before but who has never been involved in a political race. He is up against a woman who has been involved in a score of campaigns over the last 40 years.
However, I do like that the press cuts him absolutely no slack.
That will make him a better president.
Coming soon -- "Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race."