President Donald Trump’s long-promised border wall along the southern U.S-Mexico border started out as a gimmick, or, as the New York Times calls it, “a mnemonic device of sorts” cooked up by his campaign advisors to keep the candidate from forgetting to slam immigrants in speeches.
“As Mr. Trump began exploring a presidential run in 2014, his political advisers landed on the idea of a border wall as a mnemonic device of sorts, a way to make sure their candidate — who hated reading from a script but loved boasting about himself and his talents as a builder — would remember to talk about getting tough on immigration, which was to be a signature issue in his nascent campaign,” The Times reported.
Political advisers Sam Nunberg and Roger Stone apparently came up with the idea as a memory trick for the candidate.
“How do we get him to continue to talk about immigration?” Nunberg said he told Stone. “We’re going to get him to talk about he’s going to build a wall.”
The plan worked like a charm.
Trump remembered to talk about immigration in his speeches, and the wall narrative drew huge reactions from the crowd, which led a thrilled Trump to push the idea harder and harder.
The executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which argues for less immigration, said Trump’s wall strategy backfired after he was elected.
“As a messaging strategy, it was pretty successful,” Mark Krikorian said. “The problem is, you got elected; now what do you do? Having made it his signature issue, Trump handed the Democrats a weapon against him.”
“Listening to Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter on this is a mistake,” said Newsmax chief executive Chris Ruddy.
“I don’t think the president’s base moves even one inch from him even if he doesn’t get a wall,” Ruddy predicted.