Trump towers in ‘first debate’

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, July 9, 2015

FYI, my fellow Americans.

Donald Trump, a political amateur, has won the first Republican presidential debate of the 2016 primary.

It wasn’t a formal scheduled TV debate. That political circus doesn’t debut on Fox News until next month. The debate Trump won was the one dealing with illegal immigrants from Mexico that he started three weeks ago when he officially announced he was running for president. Trump, who didn’t bother to use a prepared speech or read from a teleprompter, said blunt and unfriendly things about his fellow GOP candidates and their lousy leadership skills, which the liberal mainstream media gleefully reported. But what the pundits, many Republicans and the media really went ballistic over was the way Trump characterized the country’s illegal immigrants from Mexico.

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In case you’ve forgotten, he said, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us (sic). They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” The 69-year-old billionaire was trying to make a point about the problem of illegal immigrants who come here and commit crimes, but he was winging it and he messed up. Trump made his point, but he got it backwards. Most — not “ some” — of the 5.9 million illegal immigrants from Mexico who live in the USA are good people. If Trump were not Trump, he should have hired someone to write a speech for him that said something like:

“Though they have broken the law to enter the United States, most of the Mexican people who’ve come here are good people who want to work hard and better their lives. But thousands of them are not good people and they are committing crimes like sexual assault, rape and murder after they get here.

“We have to prevent those bad people from getting into our country in the first place and we have to deport them or jail them immediately when they commit serious crimes.” But Trump being Trump, he was more interested in calling attention to the problem than being politically correct.

Predictably, the mainstream media went after Trump. It made him and the clumsy things he said about Mexicans the big story and reporters went around asking the other GOP candidates what they thought about what Trump said, not what they thought about immigration. Those candidates gave their usual crafted political answers, kowtowing to the mainstream media by dumping on Trump.

Ironically, though, Trump got the last word. Because of him calling attention to criminality among illegal Mexican immigrants, the issue has become a hot media topic. Instead of ignoring or downplaying crimes committed by “unauthorized” immigrants, as the Pew Research Center now calls illegals, the mainstream media have finally started reporting some of the most horrible examples.

The recent murder of a San Francisco woman by an immigrant who had been deported five times has made the biggest headlines. There’s also the illegal immigrant in Texas who killed his wife with a hammer and the one in Arizona who injured a mother and two kids in a hit-and-run. Both immigrants had been deported multiple times. The statistics about how many illegal immigrants commit serious crimes, or whether they commit more per capita than U.S. citizens, are debatable and hard to come by, largely because the government doesn’t care to tally them.

But what’s undebatable is that tens of thousands of this country’s total 12 million illegal immigrants commit serious crimes each year and we have to do something about it. Trump, without trying, brought attention to a major issue in a way no other candidate could or would. While the other GOP candidates talked about him, he was talking about a major issue of the 2016 campaign. Therefore, he started — and ultimately won — the first debate of the GOP’s 2016 primary. I bet it won’t be the last time he outpoints the professional politicians and their consultants.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution”