Donald Trump's Begrudging Use of Teleprompters

He has started using them "a little bit" after calling for a campaign ban.

ByABC News
June 8, 2016, 12:50 PM

— -- Donald Trump’s sweep of the five primaries Tuesday night came as no surprise, and even though he was in a celebratory mood, the night wasn't a total success.

During his victory speech, he did something he is loath to do: use a teleprompter.

The speech marked the fourth time in his presidential campaign that he has used teleprompters and the first at a primary-night speech.

The other three occasions were policy-centric speeches: his American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) speech, one about foreign policy and, most recently, a speech on energy in North Dakota.

Donald Trump speaks at a rally , May 26, 2016, in Bismarck, North Dakota.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

His distaste for teleprompters has been public since the early days of his campaign.

"I don’t like them. They’re too easy," Trump said during a July 21 speech in South Carolina. "Other people use teleprompters. Maybe when you run, you shouldn’t be allowed to use a teleprompter, because you find out what you’re getting.”

A month later, he went even further, saying they should be banned from the campaign.

"I say we should outlaw teleprompters for anybody, right? For anybody running for president. Do you know how easy that would be? Instead of this. I'm working my a-- off, OK?" he said at an Aug. 25 Iowa speech.

Trump's main gripe against using a teleprompter, which is similar to using cue cards, is that it helps the speaker avoid off-the-cuff remarks, he says.

"That way you don't get in trouble," Trump said in South Carolina in August.

The former reality-TV star has continued to publicly decry the machines, even after using one at the AIPAC summit in March.

In May at the National Rifle Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky, Trump admitted that he had started using them, though grudgingly.

"I have started to use them a little bit,” he said. “They are not bad. You never get yourself in trouble when you use a teleprompter. You know the problem is, it's too easy.

"We should have nonteleprompter speeches only when you are running for president. You find out about people. The other way, you don't find out about anybody."

He has slammed President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for using teleprompters. Trump most recently raised the issue after Clinton's June 2 foreign policy speech, which was mostly a long criticism of the real estate mogul.