Donald Trump's child care plan proves it's not ideology that fuels his Republican support

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Donald Trump on Tuesday unveiled his proposals to help families with child care costs, announcing at a speech in Pennsylvania a plan to give six weeks paid maternity leave to working mothers, as well as offering families the ability to deduct the cost of child care from their taxes.

Conservative pundits and Trump-backing GOP officials praised Trump's plan, saying it will help his dismal image among women.

Yet for Republicans, who have built their brand on a commitment to small government and a reduction of the national debt, Trump's plan should be radioactive. 

His proposal would not only expand the government's reach into businesses by mandating leave policies, but he also provided no evidence for how he'd pay for it — exactly the kind of campaign-trail promise conservatives have attacked for decades.

It's one of the clearest signs that for many Republicans, it's not ideology that's driving their support of Trump's candidacy.

In fact, congressional Republicans — including House Speaker Paul Ryan — have stymied Democratic attempts at passing paid leave.

Instead, Ryan proposed a plan that would allow workers to earn leave after having a child by working overtime prior to the child's birth. It's a plan paid leave advocates have condemned, saying it would still take working parents away from their families.

Similarly, many pro-Trump media outlets as well as top Trump surrogates have condemned calls for paid family leave to care for infants and ill relatives. 

They include Fox News personalities and major Trump proponents Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, who has used his nightly television show to in some ways coach Trump through the campaign.

To be fair, Ingraham did not praise Trump's plan full stop. But in a tweet following the speech she appeared to be working through ways to justify the proposal.

But others, such as conservative radio show host Bill Mitchell — who has gained a following for his refusal to accept Trump's poll deficits — was an unabashed supporter. 

It's an embrace that has #NeverTrump Republicans up in arms.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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