Trump’s immigration approach hasn’t always been popular with Republican Party leaders, but it seems to have voters’ support. Rachel Martin talks to Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at National Review.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
President Donald Trump continues to rail against the U.S. immigration system and the migrants crossing the southern border. He fired off a tweet yesterday that said, quote, “we cannot allow all of these people to invade our country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no judges or court cases, bring them back from where they came,” end quote. The president’s hard line on immigration plays well in certain conservative political circles, less well in others.
Republican Senator James Lankford from Oklahoma was on NBC’s “Meet The Press” yesterday. He was asked about President Trump’s recent comments saying that migrants could be murderers or thieves.
(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, “MEET THE PRESS”)
JAMES LANKFORD: I would prefer the president would step out and say a lot of these are folks that are coming for economic reasons. They want to be able to flee into an area where they have greater economic opportunities. Every family wants to be able to see that for their family.
MARTIN: Midterm elections are coming up in a matter of months, so is immigration an issue Republicans can win on? Let’s ask Jonah Goldberg, senior editor at National Review. He’s in our studios. Hey, Jonah.
JONAH GOLDBERG: Hey, it’s great to be here.
MARTIN: Is immigration a good issue for Republicans this year?
GOLDBERG: Well, look; there are people in the White House who are absolutely convinced that whenever the national conversation is on immigration it’s good for Donald Trump and for the Republicans. And I think that is often true. If it’s about MS-13, if it’s about gang violence and that sort of thing, I think it generally benefits the GOP, certainly benefits Donald Trump. The problem – one of the reasons why this crisis, this immigration crisis was not particularly helpful to Donald Trump is that it was about little kids and…
MARTIN: Right, family separations happening. Yeah.
GOLDBERG: …That’s a – just a very different message. And that’s why the administration was so desperate to turn it into an MS-13, turn it into a gang violence sort of story because talking about these little kids who aren’t MS-13 – they’re not even MS-3, right (laughter)? I mean, it’s just – it was a desperate effort, and that’s why their messaging…