The Debate

Trump: China Ambassador?

Donald Trump has thrown his support behind Mitt Romney. Keep him away from China policy making.

Newt Gingrich might be throwing teasers of future government roles around like confetti, but one can only hope that Mitt Romney won’t be tempted to do the same with his latest high-profile backer.

Business tycoon Donald Trump today endorsed Romney, which may have come as a surprise to the Gingrich campaign, at least judging by a New York Times blog yesterday that “revealed” Gingrich was going to get the nod based on a tip from a senior Gingrich campaign official.
It’s also a surprise to many observers, who have noted Trump’s previous withering criticism of Romney as a “small business” candidate.

It’s hard to see what Romney gains from publicly accepting the endorsement like this – he’s already having problems with his image owing to his wealth and perceived inability to empathize with the average (and certainly “very poor”) man.

Trump was inspired by Romney’s tough stance on China, including his vow to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office. This is, after all, the non-candidate teaser who suggested that he would staff his diplomatic team with Wall Street’s finest to teach the Chinese a lesson.

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As Carnegie Endowment for International Peace fellow Michael Swaine noted this week, Romney has been better than his rivals at outlining a policy in China, but there’s still some way to go. Let’s hope he doesn’t take any policy tips from his latest backer.