As an “outsider candidate”, Donald Trump has been able to rally a base of supporters on mainly domestic issues, such as immigration. However, as Trump closes in on the Republican nomination, he’ll need to show a higher level of knowledge regarding foreign policy. Being aware of the international stage is just one piece of the puzzle, as he needs to provide a coherent vision that the country can rally behind.
In front of a few hundred GOP elites at the Mayflower Hotel, Trump aimed to do just that. It served as a stark contrast to the rallies he’s built his campaign on, where Trump is able to essentially improvise and use generalities. At this speech, Trump used a teleprompter, spoke more seriously given the audience, and aimed to provide more specifics.
Unfortunately, the speech was a bit low on tangible policies. At times, he often contradicted himself. He said NATO wasn’t doing its fair share in partnership with the United States, but then said America was losing faith with its allies. When it came to the war on ISIS, Trump was intentionally vague. “We have to be unpredictable, and we have to be unpredictable starting now. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how.”
If Trump hopes to beat Hillary Clinton in a general election, he’ll need to get more knowledgeable and specific. Clinton served as Secretary of State under President Obama, and has more foreign policy than any Presidential candidate in recent memory.