At a Monday rally, Donald Trump launched into an extended analogy on golf to explain why he doesn’t listen to critics who say he should act more “presidential.”
Pundits and journalists observed that Trump appeared to tone down his rhetoric during his victory speech after winning the New York Republican primary last week.
For example, he ditched his favoured moniker for his chief rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and called him “Sen. Cruz” instead of “Lyin’ Ted.”
That speech, plus the hiring of some veteran political staff, led some to declare that Trump was starting to look more presidential.
But then the next day he was back to his usual rhetoric — and political observers declared that the “New Trump” was over.
For his part, Trump doesn’t seem to be worrying too much about his image.
“We are doing fantastically well,” Trump said at Monday rally in Pennsylvania. “… And remember this. They want me to, some people say, ‘presidential,’ all that … I think, do I look presidential? I think I look presidential. But I’ve got to be afraid of being too presidential.”
He then started talking about all the other Republican candidates, including governors and senators, whom he’s beaten. Trump trashed Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich for deciding to join forces against him to try to prevent him from winning the Republican presidential nomination. He emphasised that he’s gotten more votes than both of his rivals.
Trump compared his dilemma to that of up-and-coming golfers who are told to change their swing:
They’re talking about presidential. And then I think again to sports. You ever see these guys, like hitters in baseball or golfers. A golfer comes out. He won the US Amateur twice. He’s the best golfer. He’s going to be the next Jack Nicklaus. He’s going to be the next Tiger Woods. He’s got this great future. And he gets up, and it’s his first year on the PGA Tour. And guys start saying, ‘You know, I don’t like your swing. You ought to start changing your swing. Change your swing a little bit. Go ahead. Change it.’ And he says, ‘Really, you think?’ ‘Change your swing.’ And guess what. You never heard from him again. You can’t change our swing too much, folks.
He pointed out that so far, he’s done well with his straight-talking strategy.
“When you can win against all these governors and senators, and then they’re saying, ‘Well, perhaps you should be more presidential,’ I’m saying, ‘Let’s save it a little longer,'” Trump said. “You know, being presidential is much easier than what I’m doing here. No energy. No energy.”