Here is the 1999 interview, brought to you by the Cruz campaign, in which Donald Trump elucidates what Ted Cruz now is referring to as “New York values.” He deflects a question about same-sex marriage, tacitly supports gays serving in the military, and declares himself “very pro-choice.”
“I’ve lived in New York City and Manhattan all my life,” Trump said. “So, you know, my views are a little different than if I lived in Iowa—perhaps.”
Rather than try to attach the old “flip-flopper” label that has plagued politicians from John Kerry to Mitt Romney, they’ve come up with a new catch phrase: “New York values.”
It was a smart move. It has allowed the Cruz campaign to resurface Trump’s old liberal positions in a way that doesn’t seem stale and like something the media has covered before. The phrase “New York values” has gotten buzz over the last week in a way “flip-flopper” never would have.
But “New York values” ends up signifying a whole lot more than “flip-flopper” ever did: “I think most people know exactly what New York values are,” Cruz suggested during the debate. At one level—with his invocation of money and media—it seems very clear that Cruz is dealing barely-coded anti-Semitism.
At another level, though, he’s right: Trump is exemplary of a certain set of New York values—namely, those by which New York becomes a place where capitalism is treated as bloodsport (one with which Cruz himself is of course all too familiar).