John Feehery: 5 tips for Trump

John Feehery: 5 tips for Trump
© Getty Images

It’s getting harder to defend Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE and his nonexistent campaign. 

Unfortunately, as a life-long Republican who believes in the party and who fundamentally opposes much of what the Democratic Party stands for, I don’t have much else available in the choice department. 

ADVERTISEMENT

I am not a libertarian, and they don’t have a chance anyway. I won’t vote for David French or anybody else Bill Kristol comes up with for a possible independent bid, because that will make it more possible for Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTop Sanders adviser: Warren isn't competing for 'same pool of voters' Anti-Trump vets join Steyer group in pressing Democrats to impeach Trump Republicans plot comeback in New Jersey MORE to win. And, no, I won’t vote for Hillary. I will never be ready for Hillary.

That leaves me with the candidate the party has chosen, unless it becomes completely clear that Trump has lost all of his marbles and the delegates at the convention decide en masse to pick somebody else. That probably won’t happen — but then again, you never know. 

I know Trump is his own counsel and that he doesn’t take advice from outsiders like me, but here are five things he could do to right his ship and put himself in a better position to win the White House in November.

1) Promise to end the war in Chiraq. The New York Times just did an expose on the bloodbath that occurs every day in President Obama’s home town. It’s disturbing, horrifying and completely preventable. And the president is doing nothing to stop it. Trump should promise that he will end the bloodshed in Chicago by pouring federal resources into stabilizing the streets, putting gang-bangers behind bars and getting guns off the streets. It worked in New York City when Rudy Giuliani, a prominent Trump supporter, was mayor, and it can work again.

2) Condemn anti-Semitism, both among his supporters and among our allies. The fact that Trump’s daughter is Jewish gives him a perfect reason to forcefully confront those who are anti-Semitic, both on Twitter and among some of our closest allies, including the Saudis. For too long, the presumptive presidential nominee has allowed some of his fiercest supporters to attack journalists who happen to be Jewish without coming to their defense. 

3) Promote legal immigration. Trump’s plans to build a wall and kick out undocumented immigrants have proved to be popular with a segment of the Republican base. But if he wants to expand that base, he needs a better message on legal immigration. He uses foreign workers at many of his properties who are here legally and do good work for him and his companies. He shouldn’t run away from these issues or allow himself to be defined by those on the far right who subscribe to population control race theories. 

4) Reform higher education. Trump University was probably a rip-off for many who were convinced to enroll there, but it probably wasn’t as big a rip-off as many other, more prestigious for-profit or not-for-profit four-year schools. The fact is, college is getting to be too expensive, and the value proposition just isn’t there. Trump should talk about his thoughts on how to make college either more affordable or a better value for the investment.

5) Challenge men to get to work. Much has been said about the gender gap and how Trump can start appealing to women voters. In the meantime, the labor participation rate among male workers is at an all-time low. Trump is a workaholic, and his passion for hard work is legendary. I think Trump can appeal to women voters by offering a challenge to male workers to get off their butts and get to work. This transcends all races and all ages. Jobs are available. Men just have to be willing to go out and do them. 

Feehery is president of QGA Public Affairs and blogs at www.thefeeherytheory.com. He served as spokesman to former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), as communications director to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) when he was majority whip and as speechwriter to former Minority Leader Bob Michel (R-Ill.).