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‘People won’t die in the streets, so shut up’

How does Donald Trump propose to keep people from dying in the streets?

Shut up. No, you shut up. They just won’t, all right?

My post of Friday morning was too long and had too much transcript in it, but believe it or not, I want to offer another chunk of Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate transcript. In this exchange with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Ted Cruz joined his good friend Marco Rubio in trying to get Trump to explain his health-care plan, specifically the part of the plan that would prevent those who lack health insurance from dying in the streets. It ends up, as in Friday morning’s post/transcript, divulging that there is no plan. And on another subject: No, you shut up. 

TRUMP: Correct. I will not let people die on the streets if I’m president.

CRUZ: Have you said you’re a liberal on health care?

TRUMP: Excuse me. Let me talk. If people…

CRUZ: Talk away. Explain your plan, please.

TRUMP: If people — my plan is very simple. I will not — we’re going to have private — we are going to have health care, but I will not allow people to die on the sidewalks and the streets of our country if I’m president. You may let it and you may be fine with it…

CRUZ: So does the government pay for everyone’s health care?

TRUMP:…I’m not fine with it. We are going to take those people…

CRUZ: Yes or no? Just answer the question.

TRUMP: Excuse me. We are going to take those people and those people are going to be serviced by doctors and hospitals. We’re going to make great deals on it, but we’re not going to let them die in the streets.

CRUZ: Who pays for it?

RUBIO: Well, can I just clarify something?

BLITZER: Gentleman, please.

RUBIO: Wolf, no. I want to clarify something.

BLITZER: Gentlemen please. I want to move on.

RUBIO: This is a Republican debate, right? Because that attack about letting people die in the streets…

BLITZER: I want to talk about the economy.

BLITZER: Gentleman, gentleman. All of you have agreed — Senator Cruz…

TRUMP: You know what? Call it what you want.

CRUZ: It’s a yes or no.

TRUMP: Call it what you want. People are not going to be dying on the sidewalk.

Me: Have a nice weekend.

Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by John Appelen on 02/26/2016 - 03:34 pm.


    My highly educated fiscally and religiously Conservative parents love Trump and for the life of me I can not figure it out… The man has no detailed policy, waffles often, commits adultery, gets divorced and has filed bankruptcies. Any of them would put me in the dog house with them, yet they cheer him on. Go figure…

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 02/26/2016 - 04:27 pm.

      ….has no detailed policy, waffles often, commits adultery, gets divorced and has filed bankruptcies…

      Not to say anything about your parents, but that describes a large portion of the population.

      • Submitted by John Appelen on 02/26/2016 - 05:25 pm.


        So is it charisma that so many people like him? I am assuming he will pull a lot of traditional Democrat voters over to him if he becomes the GOP candidate.

        That is kind of sad state of our society that it does describe a large portion of the population… So much for having solid principles, honoring our vows, paying back our debts, etc. Maybe that is why voters like Trump. He reminds them of themselves. Not like an Obama, Romney, etc who have had pretty solid personal lives and good character.

        • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 02/27/2016 - 10:18 am.

          Fortunately, most of the Democratic voters do not spend time in the conservative media bubble where the points espoused by those outlets are what Trump is saying. The ground-work for Trump has been in the preparation for decades. And in the Obama administration, the pervasive atmosphere of evil Obama, ruined America, free-market great, distrust institutions, end-time paranoia on those outlets have nurtured an environment where Trump is virtually the only answer. They accept the idea that there are simple answers to the problems we face, and any subtlety is a sign of a lack of conviction.

          Welcome to the new party that the conservative media has sought to bring to life for decades. It’s the message they like, not the messenger, especially. But as a thinking conservative, I might wish that the craziness had been dialed back a little bit over the years because Trump will not make America great again.

  2. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 02/26/2016 - 03:55 pm.


    In the last election, the prospects of a person dying in the street for lack of health insurance was an applause line at Republican debates. This year, “We’re not going to let them die in the streets” gets the cheers. I see that as real progress.

    Of course, no one knows how any of these candidates is going to make that happen, and when they do offer specifics it’s the same old free market nonsense that they’ve been hawking for years. Baby steps.

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 02/26/2016 - 04:33 pm.

    The Borg triumphs again…

    Newt Gingrich tweets…”This Chris Christie endorsement of Trump is real signal to GOP establishment that they had better begin thinking about Trump as the future.”

  4. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 02/26/2016 - 04:59 pm.

    Dying in the streets

    Am I wrong in being most disturbed that Trump is being attacked for not wanting people to die in the streets? Do his opponents think people without access to health care should be left to die in the streets?

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 02/26/2016 - 08:33 pm.


      I believe we are observing ever-rising hysteria now that Trump appears very close to what pundits call “a clear path” to nomination.

      It’s much easier to calculate “normal” strategies against a “normal” candidate, such as Cruz or Rubio. They have predictable base voters and identifiable constituencies. Donald Trump doesn’t fit the typical political profile, so typical politicians are trying everything they can to shoot him down, sort of like an invader from outer space.

      Today Trump picked up formal endorsement from Chris Christie, a more conventional politician. I suspect the Trump opposition will now use Christie in some sort of multiple cushion shot to hit the billiard ball they cannot reach directly. It’s all speculation on all sides now.

      All shall see what there is to see when it can be seen…

    • Submitted by Phil Dech on 02/26/2016 - 09:16 pm.

      Of course,

      no one is in favor of people dying in the streets. He is being attacked for saying this over and over, and over again without a single word about how he would accomplish it.

      Nor has he mentioned how he would accomplish any of the things he has promised at his rallies, other than to say that he is good at making deals.

  5. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 02/26/2016 - 07:48 pm.

    Prime time material

    The Democratic debates (so far) have generally not been what I’d call “prime time material,” but they seem like lucid discussions between Aristotle and Pericles in comparison to the junior high school shouting matches on the Republican side. Trump has no plan – for much of anything beyond winning the nomination.

    Then what?

    Rubio is “moderate” only by comparison to Trump, or to Attila the Hun. His “plan,” such as it is, regurgitates the Republican orthodoxy of the past generation, which has repeatedly failed in the real world every time it’s been tried. Cruz seems as mean-spirited as all the rumors (and the snide Trump remarks) suggest, and his “plan,” also mostly smoke and mirrors, is more cruel in most respects than that of Rubio, and only slightly more well thought-out than Trump’s.

    What Mr. Trump’s success so far reveals is a sizable chunk of the populace, mostly white, that is fearful, alienated, feels deprived of whatever The American Dream means to them, and is looking for both revenge for that loss, and a scapegoat upon whom to inflict that revenge. That scapegoat might be immigrants, it might be Muslims, it might be the poor, it might be people in varying shades of brown, and it might be some combination of all of those groups and more. The current venting of bigotry and thoughtlessness does not speak well for the public in general, and the white public in particular. I suspect thoughtful people in other industrialized nations read transcripts of the Republican debates up to this point, or watch video clips on their own news programs, and are appalled, and justifiably so. People who claim to be serious candidates for the most responsible job on the planet are behaving like junior high bullies. It doesn’t bode well for the nation or the world, in any field of endeavor.

    Mr. Trump serves the role of lightning rod, and likes the attention brought by that role because the campaign is, after all, all about *him.” Public service is a foreign concept to him, yet public service is precisely what is called for in the presidency. It’s also a foreign concept to Mr. Cruz, and, to a slightly lesser degree, foreign to Mr. Rubio as well. National politicians tend to have overdeveloped egos as it is. Trump just extends the parameters for that condition further than most, but his rivals are not far behind.

    We – and traditional Republican leadership – are watching a slow-motion catastrophe as the national Republican Party, and whatever genuine Republican (and “republican” with a small “R”) values it might have represented, implodes.

    • Submitted by Jim Million on 02/27/2016 - 09:01 am.

      Fair Statements Here

      This is a political season that tests individual philosophies more than any I remember.

      Some see the process as hostile takeover of Big Red, Inc.; while others certainly welcome a management house-cleaning. I don’t see that Big Blue, Inc. is all that concerned about that state of affairs. They are “feeling the Bern,” as the phrase goes. This is a populist revolt so far, a small plague reaching both houses.

      I do believe this is no year to pull out old campaign rhetoric about Republicans not taking care (or caring about) minorities, the poor, the immigrants, etc. etc. Those segments of our society have obviously not been well-served by others who have consistently campaigned but not delivered on various past promises.

      Maybe, just maybe, all those old blue or red placards are so worn and faded, many no longer try to read them.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 02/28/2016 - 01:05 pm.

        The difference is

        (aside from the fact that Sanders is not Trump or Rubio)
        is that Trump (or possibly Rubio) will be nominated,
        Sanders won’t.
        Obama may not have solved all of our problems,
        but like Clinton before him he has made progress.

  6. Submitted by David Markle on 02/27/2016 - 09:25 am.

    It’s what we do now.

    Nothing new. Those having crises on the street are taken to a hospital and given emergency care, often at public expense. But people do fall through the cracks.

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