— -- If you replaced the ocean-side landscape of Turnberry in Scotland with a campaign event in the United States, Donald Trump’s comments on Brexit this morning sounded a lot like the things he has been saying about the U.S. people.
The presumptive GOP nominee weaved in the nationalist themes that have become a hallmark of his campaign, touting a hardline position on immigration.
“When people pour into the country and it doesn't work, whether it's because of crime or, you know, various other things,” Trump said today, sounding reminiscent to his controversial remarks on Mexican immigrants made during his presidential announcement last year.
In Scotland to celebrate the grand reopening of his recently renovated Trump Turnberry resort, Trump also hammered President Obama, Hillary Clinton and outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron, accusing them all of “misreading” the electorate on Brexit.
Trump even suggested that Obama doomed the pro-remain camp with his vocal support of Britain’s staying in the European Union.
As for Clinton, “Well, she’s always misread everything. I mean – no, if you think. She’s misread this. And I was surprised that she was so bold,” he said standing in front of the Turnberry lighthouse that houses two luxurious suites overlooking the ninth hole of his golf course.
“You know, if Obama wanted the other way, if he said leave, she would have said leave. She does whatever he wants her to do.”
Trump’s comments come amid striking similarities between the politics swirling around Britain’s decision to leave the European Union and his campaign in the United States.
Both include a nationalist push, escalated by polarized views on immigration in recent years. Trump’s campaign centers on strengthening U.S. borders, going as far as to ban Muslims immigrants temporarily and all people traveling from Syria.
The British election was largely fueled by Britain’s equivalent to the U.S. “Rust Belt”: places like Pennsylvania, where Donald Trump hopes to make a play for traditionally blue states with working class people who are struggling economically.
“I think it's troubling for Hillary Clinton to watch this vote happen over in Europe,” ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd said on “Good Morning America” today. “The enthusiasm was obviously among the same voters that Donald Trump is counting on in this country.”
The U.K.’s vote to leave the E.U. resulted partly from an attempt to stem the influx of refugees from other parts of Europe, observers say. And although the rhetoric is similar to Trump’s, leaders of the “leave” movement, including former London Mayor Boris Johnson, say the choice isn’t out of xenophobia but public safety and lost jobs.
But accusations in the United States that Trump is racist and xenophobic, which he denies, are similar to those that critics level against some politicians across the ocean like Johnson.
Newly elected London Mayor Sadiq Khan, for instance, said the “Leave” side is “projecting hate.”