clock menu more-arrow no yes

This is how Donald Trump rationalizes the fact that the American people despise him

President Donald Trump says that he no longer wants a “deal” on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
You're not becoming popul-er — lar.
Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

This is a fantastic nugget from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's Washington Post interview with Donald Trump conducted this past Thursday:

This is a pretty remarkable statement because, as Kevin Kruse notes, about 63 percent of Americans (62.7 percent to be exact) say they have an unfavorable opinion of Donald Trump. His net unfavorable rating is 31 points:

(HuffPost Pollster)

(HuffPost Pollster)

And as the Huffington Post trend line shows, this problem isn't getting better for Trump. His unfavorables have gone up since the primaries began in earnest in early February and people started paying more attention to the election. As Dartmouth professor Brendan Nyhan has noted, his favorability numbers are without precedent in recent decades' presidential contests:

It looks even worse if you dig down demographically. For example, Trump is far, far less liked among women than either of his GOP rivals:

Huffington Post / Janie Velencia and Ariel Edwards-Levy

But Trump still insisted to Woodward and Costa that he's well-liked:

What I do see is — what I am amazed at is, I’m somebody that gets along with people. And sometimes I’ll notice, I’ll be, I have the biggest crowds … What has been amazing to me — I’m a very inclusive person. I actually am somebody that gets along with people. And yet from a political standpoint, although I certainly have a lot of fans — you just said hello to Senator Sessions. Cruz and everybody wanted Senator Sessions as much as they’ve wanted anybody, and he’s a highly respected guy, great guy. And we have some — and he endorsed me. We have some amazing endorsements, some amazing people, but I’m amazed at the level of animosity toward me by some people. I’m amazed.

And that the animosity against him is nothing but a product of media bias:

Donald Trump: Well, let me tell you the biggest problem that I have. And I talk about it a lot. I get a very unfair press. I’m somebody that’s a person that understands when I say — when I say, I say what I say. But I really do get a very, very unfair press. And a lot of times I’ll be making a speech, as an example, in front of a — in Orlando, where you have 20, 25,000 people show up in the sun at 3 in the afternoon in an open venue. And I will be saying things, and Bob, it won’t be reported what I say. It will be reported so differently.

[…]

Robert Costa: The candidate has to get beyond all these different obstacles.

Donald Trump: No, you’re right, but if the press would report what I say, I think I would go a long way to doing that.

And he just kept insisting that once he won the White House, everyone — the Republican Party establishment that's tried to defeat him, Congress — will fall in line, because he's such a unifying figure:

I’ve had many occasions like this, where people have hated me more than any human being they’ve ever met. And after it’s all over, they end up being my friends. And I see that happening here.

Perhaps the most revealing moment in the entire interview came when Costa insisted, "You’re going to have to overcome that [animosity], Mr. Trump, if you’re going to be the nominee and the president."

"I think you may be right," Trump replied. "I think you may be right."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for The Weeds

Get our essential policy newsletter delivered Fridays.