Politico reports: For months, Donald Trump has blasted Congress for excessive defense spending, calling for buying fewer of the newest fighter jets and scaling back weapons purchases pushed by “special interests.”
But on Wednesday, he was singing from the traditional GOP national security hymnal, calling for billions of additional dollars for a bigger Army and Marine Corps, missile defense systems and more ships and fighter jets. He also advocated an end to mandatory budget caps — the same ones he used to criticize as too loose.
It is the latest sign that a candidate who has alienated many bedrock Republican voters is trying to steer toward a more mainstream message that can resonate with party stalwarts and independent voters concerned about an erosion of American security and credibility on the world stage.
While many of Trump’s proposals would be difficult, if not impossible, to execute, the blueprint — drawn heavily from the conservative Heritage Foundation that provided much of the intellectual underpinning of Ronald Reagan’s arms buildup in the 1980s — signals he is hewing much closer to Republican orthodoxy on military issues as he enters the final stretch of the White House race. [Continue reading…]