Trump woos Democrats

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont at a stop in Bowling Green, Ky., on Saturday.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont at a stop in Bowling Green, Ky., on Saturday. Austin Anthony/Daily News, via Associated Press

Donald Trump Borrows From the Sanders Playbook to Woo Democrats

By ASHLEY PARKER AND JONATHAN MARTIN
Good Tuesday morning.
Donald J. Trump recently coined a dismissive nickname for Bernie Sanders — “Crazy Bernie.”
But that has not stopped Mr. Trump taking lessons from Mr. Sanders – the Vermont senator whom he also frequently praises from the stump — on how to run against Hillary Clinton, his likely opponent in the general election.
On a range of issues, Mr. Trump seems to be using a page from the Sanders playbook, expressing a willingness to increase the minimum wage, suggesting that the wealthy might pay higher taxes than under his original proposal, attacking Mrs. Clinton from the left on national security and on Wall Street, and making clear that his opposition to free trade will be a centerpiece of his general election campaign.
As Mr. Trump lays the groundwork for a showdown with Mrs. Clinton, he is staking out a series of populist positions that could help him attract working-class Democrats in November. But in doing so, he is exacerbating the trepidation that some Republicans already feel about his candidacy, at a moment when the party typically rallies to its nominee.
Asked how Mr. Trump could reassure his party, Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, suggested the party standard-bearer needed something close to a complete overhaul. “He could start by saying, ‘I was just kidding,’ ” Mr. Flake said, bemoaning what he called Mr. Trump’s “protectionist” approach.
Yet Republicans hoping that their nominee-in-waiting will suddenly shed his brand of hard-edge nationalism to appeal to the party’s mainline leaders look set to be disappointed. In an interview, Mr. Trump said that if he were president, the North American Free Trade Agreement would be “renegotiated and probably terminated.”
Mr. Trump’s approach has scrambled longstanding assumptions about how the two parties can position themselves in a general election fight, and could augur at least a short-term shift in how a Republican presidential nominee campaigns.
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