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.