DeVos at Trump’s “Tour” Stop in Grand Rapids: She Forgot She Ever Doubted Him. No, Really.
On December 09, 2016, Michigan school choice advocate and Trump’s nominee for US secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, spoke in Grand Rapids, Michigan, as part of Trump’s “Thank You Tour.”
The video of the entire event can be viewed here:
DeVos spoke for approximately five minutes, during which time she directly contradicted her former position on Trump as a Republican candidate. Here is what she had to say about Trump in her March 2016 interview with the Washington Examiner:
DeVos: I don’t think Donald Trump represents the Republican Party. I continue to be very optimistic that as we get further along into the process, the more voters know about him, and the more informed they are, the more they’re going to continue to break away. That’s even held true in the primaries held to date. I think he has underperformed compared to public polls just days before the Super Tuesday contests. I think more and more people are going to realize that they really don’t trust him. The more they learn about his record, they’re going to break away and go to an alternate. I continue to think that Rubio is a very strong and viable candidate that will represent our party and the future for our country very, very well.
Examiner: Is it safe to say you think that Trump’s reputation and rhetoric are damaging the party?
DeVos: Again, I don’t think he represents the Republican Party. I think he is an interloper. In the contests where it is clearly Republicans voting versus an open primary, it’s very clear that he is not winning the support of traditional Republicans.
Examiner: What if he does end up as the eventual nominee? Will you commit to support him in the general election, or have you not decided yet?
DeVos: I’m still confident that he is not going to be the nominee. We have a long way to go. As you noted, he has a quarter of the necessary delegates, but that’s a long way from 100 percent of the delegates needed. As we start to get into winner-take-all primaries, Florida is going to be a strong place for Marco Rubio. I think the dynamics will continue to evolve and change. The more people understand the totality of Donald Trump and what he stands for, I am confident and convinced they are going to look to an alternative to support.
Since that time, Trump has not only become Republican President-elect; Betsy DeVos has publicly pretended that her views as expressed in that March 2016 interview simply didn’t happen.
She is now Trump’s go-to for his newfound passion for extreme school choice (newfound in that he had nothing to do with school choice prior to his pitching his position in September 2016 at an Ohio charter school graded D-F in 2014-15).
Donald J. Trump is plugging a voucher expansion agenda that must “represent the Republican party” in DeVos’ eyes, for she has converted to all-out Trump cheerleader– even if she forgot that nine months ago, she was anything but.
However, that’s her (wait for it…) choice.
Trump cheerleading-of-late aside, DeVos speaks generally of the wonders of school choice– voucher choice– even as she asks twice for the public for an “open mind” as she “shares her heart.”
I don’t suppose she meant the heart she shared about Trump in March 2016. She meant her voucher heart, which will “make great strides in fixing our broken schools” according to the man who “does not represent the Republican party.”
Here is Trump’s introduction of DeVos and her brief speech, as transcribed from the Grand Rapids video linked above, beginning at 1:22:05:
Trump: Our reform plan includes eliminating Common Core, bringing education local, and providing school choice. We want every child, every single child, low income, we don’t care where they are, where they live, every child in America to be able to attend the public, private, charter, magnet, or religious school that is right for them. Choice. The person I have selected to lead the Department of Education, in my opinion, one of my most important decisions, is a native of Michigan, of all places, Michigan, and considered by everybody to be one of the top education reformers in our nation; someone totally respected; someone devoted and devoting decades to helping disadvantaged students. I am thrilled now to welcome to the stage your next secretary of education, Betsy DeVos. Come up, Betsy.
DeVos: Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. President-elect. What an amazing leader. West Michigan, aren’t we proud of President-elect Trump?
You know, the so-called “experts” didn’t think we could win it, but we did. We believed in President-elect Trump, and we went to the polls, and we changed the world. It’s an amazing thing what can happen when someone believes in you, and nowhere is that more true than in our schools and in the lives of our kids.
I am so excited and humbled to be nominated as secretary of education. And in deference to the US Senate confirmation, I’m not giving interviews. But just between us, let me share this: It’s time to make education great again in this country. This means putting kids first every single day. This means expanding choices and options to give every child the opportunity for a quality education regardless of their zip code or their family circumstances. This means letting states set their own high standards and finally putting an end to the federalized Common Core.
For me it’s simple: I trust parents, and I believe in our children, but it won’t be Washington, DC, that unlocks that potential. It won’t be a giant bureaucracy or a federal department. Nope. The answer isn’t bigger government. The answer is local control; it’s listening to parents, and it’s giving more choices. And it I’m fortunate enough to be confirmed as your secretary of education, our kids, your kids, will have someone fighting for them every single day.
I’ve been involved with education issues for 28 years as an activist, a citizen volunteer, and an advocate for children. I have the experience, the passion, and the know-how to make change happen. Still, there are many of you here, and many in the media, the Senate, and the education community, who may not know me. In fact, there is a lot of false news out there. To you, all I ask for is an open mind and the opportunity to share my heart.
Together, let’s make education great again.
So, let me repeat: There’s a lot of false news out there. All I ask for is an open mind and the opportunity to share my heart. Together, let’s make education great again, and let’s win for kids. Thank you very much.
Trump: Thank you, Betsy. Is Michigan proud of Betsy? Yes. And you’re going to be even more proud as time goes by. She’s going to do an incredible job, and with Betsy by our side, I know we will make great strides in fixing our broken schools all over the country. It’s going to be a beautiful thing to watch, so just hold on and watch because she”s do it, I have no doubt.
There you have it: He has “no doubt” about DeVos, and she rewrote history about ever doubting him.
Together, they will (slogan, please) Make Education Great Again.