Here’s another part of the Trump interview that Joy Ann Reid highlights. Betty has covered part of this, but I think Trump’s attitude on this is important for Democratic strategy.
He literally adopted a "Godfather" phraseology to all but say Democrats could have avoided blue state tax hikes via SALT if they had "come to him" to plead for his largesse. It's a combination of the impulses of 1. and 3.
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) December 29, 2017
Let’s see his words.
SCHMIDT: Do you think Holder was more loyal to. …
TRUMP: I don’t want to get into loyalty, but I will tell you that, I will say this: Holder protected President Obama. Totally protected him. When you look at the I.R.S. scandal, when you look at the guns for whatever, when you look at all of the tremendous, ah, real problems they had, not made-up problems like Russian collusion, these were real problems. When you look at the things that they did, and Holder protected the president. And I have great respect for that, I’ll be honest, I have great respect for that.
He rambles about Joe Manchin, Luther Strange, and Roy Moore for a while, and then
O.K., let’s get onto your final question, your other question. Had the Democrats come through. …
SCHMIDT: Tell me about that, yeah.
TRUMP: Had they asked, “Let’s do a bipartisan,” Michael, I would have done bipartisan. I would absolutely have done bipartisan.
SCHMIDT: But they didn’t. … They didn’t …
TRUMP: And if I did bipartisan, I would have done something with SALT [the state and local tax deduction]. With that being said, you look back, Ronald Reagan wanted to take deductibility away from states. Ronald Reagan, years ago, and he couldn’t do it. Because New York had a very powerful group of people. Which they don’t have today. Today, they don’t have the same representatives. You know, in those days they had Lew Rudin and me. … I fought like hell for that. They had a lot of very good guys. Lew Rudin was very effective. He worked hard for New York. And we had some very good senators. … You know, we had a lot of people who fought very hard against, let’s call it SALT. Had they come to me and said, look, we’ll do this, this, this, we’ll do [inaudible]. I could have done something with SALT. Or made it less severe. But they were very ineffective. They were very, very ineffective. You understand what I mean. Had they come to me for a bipartisan tax bill, I would have gone to Mitch, and I would have gone to the other Republicans, and we could have worked something out bipartisan. And that could’ve been either a change to SALT or knockout of SALT.
But, just so you understand, Ronald Reagan wanted to take deductibility away and he was unable to do it. Ronald Reagan wanted to have ANWR approved 40 years ago and he was unable to do it. Think of that. And the individual mandate is the most unpopular thing in Obamacare, and I got rid of it. You know, we gained with the individual. … You know the individual mandate, Michael, means you take money and you give it to the government for the privilege of not having to pay more money to have health insurance you don’t want. There are people who had very good health insurance that now are paying not to have health insurance. That’s what the individual mandate. … They’re not going to have to pay anymore. So when people think that will be unpopular. … It’s going to be very popular. It’s going to be very popular.
Now, in my opinion, they should come to me on infrastructure. They should come to me, which they have come to me, on DACA. We are working. … We’re trying to something about it. And they should definitely come to me on health care. Because we can do bipartisan health care. We can do bipartisan infrastructure. And we can do bipartisan DACA.
I’ve bolded the parts that are out of “The Godfather.” Trump evidently believes that “bipartisan” means that the Democrats come to him and kiss his ring. It’s not clear whether he would then, out of the generosity of his heart, grant anything that the Democrats might want or if he simply expects them to sign on to his and the Republicans’ agenda.
A fair bit of commentary observed that aspects of the tax bill, including the removal of state and local tax deduction, seemed punitive to blue states. Trump just confirmed that.
Had they come to me and said, look, we’ll do this, this, this, we’ll do [inaudible]. I could have done something with SALT. Or made it less severe.
All Democratic negotiations with Congress and the Administration have to take this into account. I don’t see a good answer. It appears that he’s willing to punish the country until the Democrats kiss the ring.