If Donald J. Trump is really, truly going to pull this president thing off—if he actually wants to win, and not just drum up publicity for the inevitable Trump News Network launching sometime in 2017—he's going to have to expand his base of support. During his speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Trump explicitly tried to do just that, making a direct pitch to supporters of Bernie Sanders to vote for him.
Trump's attempted wooing of the dissatisfied fans of the felled Democratic candidate was as aggressive as you'd expect from him. His main angle? Trade, where his views dovetail somewhat with those of Sanders. As he put it:
I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves. Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it. I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders – he never had a chance.
But his supporters will join our movement, because we will fix his biggest issue: trade deals that strip us of our jobs and strip us of our wealth as a country. Millions of Democrats will join our movement because we are going to fix the system so it works for all Americans.
Trump wants to bring back manufacturing jobs to the United States by imposing steep tariffs on Chinese imports, among other ideas.
Trump also subtly praised Sanders' foreign policy approach early in the speech, stating, "(Clinton's) bad instincts and her bad judgment – something pointed out by Bernie Sanders – are what caused the disasters unfolding today."
Bernie, for his part, wasn't really feeling it:
It's unclear whether those supporters are actually up for grabs: according to a recent Pew poll, 85% of Sanders supporters plan on supporting Clinton.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.