Foreign Correspondent on the Donald Trump campaign

Lateline's Emma Alberici is in South Carolina on the hustings of the Trump Presidential campaign.


Next week’s episode of Foreign Correspondent features Lateline‘s Emma Alberici looking at the US presidential campaign by Donald Trump.

While there is no interview with the man himself it features an interview with the winner of The Apprentice Season 4, plus campaign people in South Carolina, analysts and pollsters.

Hire him or fire him? Donald Trump was supposed to crash and burn but he is streaking ahead of his rivals in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Lateline’s Emma Alberici asks why the bombastic billionaire is defying the pundits.

Donald Trump insults women, Hispanics and war heroes. Yet he soars in the polls and has his army of supporters pumping with excitement.

It’s early days and there’s plenty of time to implode, but what is Trump doing right? How is he connecting with people and why are some commentators now thinking that he might – just might – pull off the Republican nomination?

“He’s saying things that other people are thinking and won’t say because of political correctness.”

“He’s not filtered and he doesn’t give a damn.”– Trump supporters with reporter Emma Alberici in Atlanta, Georgia

It seems that for many Americans, showman Trump is just like them. They forgive him when he offends, or like him even more. Nor do they mind his wackier promises: building his Great Wall to keep out the Mexicans or “bombing the hell” out of Iraq’s oil fields.

“I can only compare it to the phenomenon of Sarah Palin in 2008. We don’t care if they don’t know anything – we just like them.” – Pulitzer prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker

Trump’s backers prefer to compare him with the lionised Ronald Reagan. In homage to the Great Communicator, Trump has adopted his campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again”.

“The American Dream is dead but if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before – and we will make America great again!” – Donald Trump announcing his candidacy

So far Trump has been unscathed by his past flirtations with the Democrats and support for gun control, universal health care and abortion. But he’s facing relentless attacks from senior Republicans who believe he has no chance of beating a Democrat in a fight for the White House.

If Trump falls under the Republican pack, he still has the nuclear option: running as a spoiling, rogue independent. “If he does,” pollster Frank Luntz tells Emma Alberici, “I have three words for you: President Hillary Clinton.”

How far can Donald Trump go? In battleground states and Trump’s home town New York, friends, foes, political insiders – and a voice from his old show The Apprentice – give their take on Trump the man and the candidate.

Tuesday, September 1 at 8pm on ABC

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