The Trump Files: In 2012, Trump Begged GOP Presidential Candidates to Be Civil

Ivylise Simones

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Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange but true stories, or curious scenes from the life of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.

There was once a time when Donald Trump wanted presidential candidates to be nice to one another.

“The Republican candidates are getting very, very nasty with one another,” said Trump in January 2012, during one of his From the Desk of Donald Trump YouTube videos. “It’s gotta stop.”

This was four years before Trump called Ted Cruz “a true lowlife” and bashed “Little Marco” Rubio as a “lightweight choker.” In the current campaign, he repeatedly derided Jeb Bush for his “low energy” and referred to Bush as “a total embarrassment to both himself and his family.” And he insulted Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul for their appearance.

But in 2012, Trump advocated a different approach, urging the GOP candidates not to get into the gutter. “They’re playing right into Obama’s hands,” he said. “We don’t want him [Obama] to use all of this stuff to win the election.”

The billionaire in this video message issued a plea for decency: “The fact is, the things that are being said are bad and they’re wrong. They’ve got to at least get along a little bit. Keep it civil.”

How times change.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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