On “Meet the Press”, following his victory in the South Carolina Republican primary, Donald Trump again vowed that as president he would abolish Obamacare, which he characterized as a “total and complete disaster.” He said that he would replace with a “great healthcare plan, whether it's healthcare savings accounts, we have a lot of different things.” 
 
Trump added, “We're going to get rid of the lines between states, we're going to have great competitive bidding….People are not going to die in the middle of the street. People are not going to die on the sidewalk if I'm president, okay?”
 
He said that Americans would not be required to have health insurance, but that there would be “great plans” that will be “a lot less expensive than Obamacare. They're going to be private. There are going to be lots of different options. We're going to have a lot of different options. Right now you have no options. You know why? Because the insurance company controlled Obama because they gave him a lot of money. That's why you have lines around the states. And you can't get competitive bidding.”
 
Despite his victory, Trump is not resting on his laurels. When asked whether he is now in a three-way race, he said that there remain five contenders. "It won't be easy," he said. On Feburary 23 Trump faces a primary contest in Nevada. He is favored to win, according to recent polls, having now won two two straight primary victories, including New Hampshire. Besides a presumed victory in Nevada, polls show that things are looking good for him in the Super Tuesday states as well. He enjoys a considerable lead over Sen. Ted Cruz in Alabama, and polls in Oklahoma and Virginia also show him to be the leader. 
 
Trump also vowed that he would defund Planned Parenthood, which currently enjoys an annual federal subsidy of approximately $500 million. Saying that PP does “very good work” on cervical cancer and other women’s issues, with the exception of abortion. “So I'm not going to fund it if it's doing the abortion. I am not going to fund it. Now they say it's 3 percent and it's 4 percent, some people say it's 60 percent. I don't believe it's 60 percent, by the way. But I think it's probably a much lower number. But Planned Parenthood does some very good work. But I would defund as long as they're doing abortions.”
 
Todd played a tape from a 2002 interview with shock-jock Howard Stern, in which Trump was asked whether he was for invading Iraq. Trump answered at the time, “Yeah, I guess so. You know, I wish the first time it was done correctly.” Todd admitted that he did not appear that Trump was an “an enthusiastic supporter of the war.”
Trump said that President George H.W. Bush had done a better job in the first Iraq war than his son, George W. Bush, did in the second. “He went in, he taught them a lesson. What happened is he was taunted. Because Saddam Hussein was saying, ‘We drove back the Americans. The ugly Americans were driven back, the power of Iraq, the power.’" 
 
But as for the prosecution of the war in Iraq following the 9/11 attacks, Trump reiterated what he has said in the past about the spending of American blood and treasure, and the many “wounded warriors. “And we have nothing. And Iran is now taking over Iraq. They've been trying to for many, many decades. And now they're finally taking over Iraq. As we sit here, they're taking over Iraq. We get nothing.”
 
The leading Republican candidate also reiterated that he is pro-Israel and that achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians will be the “hardest deal to make.” Last week, Trump ran into some criticism because he said he would neutral about the contending sides. “People are born with hatred, they're taught hatred. And I have to say, it's mostly on the one side, not on the other side. But they're taught hatred. I say this. If I'm going to be president, I'd rather be in the position, because I will try the best I can, and I'm a very good dealmaker, believe me, to try and solve that puzzle. You're not going to solve it if you're going to be on one side or another. Everyone understands that. If I'm going to solve the problem, I want to go in with a clean slate. Otherwise, you're never going to get the cooperation of the other side. So that's all I'm saying.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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