Donald Trump is a tough guy — just ask him. The word “tough” appears 25 times in “The Art of the Deal,” and he even wrote a book before the 2012 election called “Time to Get Tough.” He has mused publicly about beating up protesters at his rallies and about cops roughing up suspects in custody. His signature catchphrase on television was a curt, poker-faced dismissal; no president in memory has exhibited such a range and intensity of hostile facial expressions and gestures.
He is the first president since James K. Polk who doesn’t have a White House pet.
But in some ways Donald Trump is also a softy — a side of him that gets a lot less attention, but was on display Thursday morning in the back-and-forth with Democratic leaders in Congress over a deal, or an agreement, or an understanding, on extending Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections for undocumented young people who have grown up in America. Whatever one calls it, and whether it ends up as a bill Trump signs, it’s clear that the president who campaigned on ending DACA on “day one” has taken a closer look at what it would mean to deport “800,000 young people, brought here, no fault of their own.”
“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?” asked Trump, who once advocated doing exactly that — when he didn’t hold the reins of power.
Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 14, 2017
Donald Trump, softy.
This is the Donald Trump who was moved almost to poetry by the tragic death of Harambe, the silverback gorilla who was shot by keepers to protect the life of a child who had fallen into his enclosure. “I think it’s a very tough call,” he mused afterward. “It’s amazing because there were moments with the gorilla, the way he held that child, it was almost like a mother holding a baby. It looked so beautiful and calm.”