Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has repeatedly shown himself to be a big government candidate, and his viewpoint was confirmed again during a town hall meeting on Tuesday night.
To a question from an audience member on the “top three functions of the federal government,” as shown by the transcript provided by CNN, Trump responded with “security,” “education” and “healthcare” and “many, many things.” A bit later during the exchange, Donald Trump revealed that he believes the government is also responsible for “housing” and “providing great neighborhoods.”
Without CNN’s Anderson Cooper there to throw Trump a lifeline by intervening, it is likely that Trump would have continued down the big government path.
Donald Trump also repeatedly compared himself to Ronald Reagan during the “town hall” held in lieu of a debate, which Trump has refused. But unlike Trump, Ronald Reagan was a strong advocate for limited government. During his farewell speech, Reagan famously proclaimed “[M]an is not free unless government is limited.”
Trump’s main competition, Ted Cruz, is an advocate for limited government aspires to eliminate bureaucracies with a plan he calls “Five for Freedom.” Conservatives generally agree with the concept of America’s Constitution, which was specifically designed to severely limit the scope of the federal government via enumerated powers. The founding fathers of America would not have agreed with Donald Trump that the federal government is responsible for housing, education, healthcare or “providing great neighborhoods.”
Anderson Cooper eventually put words in Trump’s mouth by saying, “Aren’t you against the federal government’s involvement in education? don’t you want it to devolve to states?” At that point Trump agreed that “we have to get rid of common core and it should be brought to the state level,” but also said that “the concept of the country is the concept that we have to have education within the country…”
On healthcare, Donald Trump said mysteriously that the government can “lead” healthcare, but “it should be privately done…” His comment is reminiscent of statements he has previously made on healthcare.
During a “60 Minutes” interview with Scott Pelley from September of 2015, Donald Trump explains that the government will pay for those who cannot afford health care. “I am going to take care of everybody,” Trump said. “I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.” Additionally, Trump praised Scotland’s “single payer” system only last year and further condemned doctors for making too much money.