Donald Trump is very, very angry.
That comes as no surprise to anyone who’s watched one of his rallies around the country. Trump regularly expresses his indignation at President Obama, at the Affordable Care Act, at crime, at border security (note: it’s going to be a great wall), at the Iran deal, at the microphones at his rallies, and generally at anyone who attacks him.
The rest of the Republican party agrees with him on most of those issues, but many see Trump’s abrasive style and rhetoric as damaging to the party’s chances of victory -- especially after consecutive presidential election losses in which Democrats got good turnout from minority voters.
It was indicative of the split within the party, then, that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) went after Trump in her response to the State of the Union speech on Tuesday. While a lot of Republican voters find Trump’s candor refreshing, Haley urged them not to “follow the siren call of the angriest voices.”
The problem for her: Trump’s anger mirrors the way a lot of Republican voters feel. His voter base feels betrayed by the Republican party, and is deeply dissatisfied with “establishment” candidates.
At Thursday’s debate, Trump seemed to realize that, embracing the “mantle of anger” (and did so without going after Haley herself, which was probably a good decision given the loud applause she got from the Charleston crowd).
“Our country is being run by incompetent people,” he said. “And I won’t be angry when we fix it, but until we fix it, I’m very, very angry.”