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

How times change.

Ivylise Simones


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.

Read the rest of “The Trump Files”:

$500,000 MATCHING GIFT

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.