The Trump Files: In 2012, Trump Begged GOP Presidential Candidates to Be Civil

Mother Jones illustration; Shutterstock

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

This post was originally published as part of “The Trump Files“—a collection of telling episodes, strange but true stories, and curious scenes from the life of our current president—on July 1, 2016.

There was once a time when Donald Trump wanted presidential candidates to be nice to one another.

“The Republican candidates are getting very, very nasty with one another,” said Trump in January 2012, during one of his From the Desk of Donald Trump YouTube videos. “It’s gotta stop.”

This was four years before Trump called Ted Cruz “a true lowlife” and bashed “Little Marco” Rubio as a “lightweight choker.” In the current campaign, he repeatedly derided Jeb Bush for his “low energy” and referred to Bush as “a total embarrassment to both himself and his family.” And he insulted Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul for their appearance.

But in 2012, Trump advocated a different approach, urging the GOP candidates not to get into the gutter. “They’re playing right into Obama’s hands,” he said. “We don’t want him [Obama] to use all of this stuff to win the election.”

The billionaire in this video message issued a plea for decency: “The fact is, the things that are being said are bad and they’re wrong. They’ve got to at least get along a little bit. Keep it civil.”

How times change.

 

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate