In light of the controversy over Ted Cruz’ remarks during Thursday’s Republican presidential debate that Donald Trump espouses “New York values,” video has surfaced of Trump himself expressing how his New York upbringing influenced his support for open homosexuals in the military and partial birth abortion.
Trump made the comments during a 1999 interview with the late Tim Russert on “Meet the Press.”
“Do you think gays should be allowed to be married?” Russert asked.
“It’s something I haven’t given lots of thought to,” Trump replied. “I live in New York City. There’s a tremendous movement to have and allow gay marriage. It’s just something that’s too premature for me to comment on.”
However, while he expressed indecisiveness about the issue of marriage, he said that he would be fine with the allowance of open homosexuals in the military.
“It would not disturb me,” Trump stated. “I mean, Hey, I’ve lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life. Okay, so my views are a little bit different if I lived in Iowa perhaps.”
Russert later asked if Trump would ban partial birth abortion if he were president.
“Well, I’m very pro-choice,” Trump replied. “And again, it may be a little bit of a New York background because there is some different attitude in different parts of the country, and you know, I was raised in New York—grew up and worked and everything else in New York City.”
“But you would not ban it?” Russert asked.
“No,” Trump replied. “I am pro-choice in every respect and as far as it goes, but I just hate it (abortion).”
The video surfaced just days after Trump scolded candidate Ted Cruz during the Republican debate for speaking about the liberalism that is prevalent in New York City, and remarking that Trump’s theme song should be “New York, New York,” which he opined would be more reflective of Trump’s values.
“Everyone understands that the values in New York City are socially liberal, are pro-abortion, are pro-gay marriage, focus around money and the media,” Cruz stated.
Trump, unhappy with Cruz’ comment, said that the candidate “insulted a lot of people.”
“New York is a great place. It’s got great people. It’s got loving people, wonderful people,” Trump stated. “When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on Earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York.”
Cruz told reporters on Saturday that he believes Trump was seeking to “distract” from Cruz’ point and the fact that Trump himself had once said that his stances on moral and social issues were influenced by his liberal New York upbringing.
“Donald explained that he was very, very pro-choice and supported partial-birth abortion. And he explained the reason for that is that he was a New Yorker and those are the views of the people of New York,” he told Yahoo News. “He similarly explained how he was open to gay marriage … and again he explained that he was a New Yorker. … He has New York views and he explicitly contrasts that and says those are not Iowa values.”
“It was not surprising that he would attempt to distract from his own positions and his own records by changing the subject, but his characterization stands,” Cruz added. “He explained that the key to understanding Donald Trump’s worldview is understanding that he is from New York City, from Manhattan, and those are the values and views that he has embraced his entire life. … Now that he’s a presidential candidate, he is articulating a different set of values from those that he embraced the first 60 years of his life.”
Cruz had joked during the debate about the possibility of selecting Trump as his vice president if Cruz becomes the presidential nominee, as Trump could therefore be president if Cruz is found to be ineligible for being born in Canada.