UPDATE: 3:40 p.m. EDT — The Trump campaign announced Tuesday afternoon that the venue for Republican front-runner Donald Trump's foreign policy speech Wednesday has been changed to the Mayflower Hotel State Ballroom in Washington, D.C.
"Due to the overwhelming interest in Mr. Trump’s Foreign Policy speech the venue has been changed," the campaign wrote in a notice of the venue change.
As Republican front-runner Donald Trump heads into the last month and a half of primary voting, he is shifting tactics and reportedly trying to project a more serious image as a potential general election campaign draws nearer.
Trump, who has been frequently criticized as a blowhard with sophomoric policy proposals, will kick off a series of speeches Wednesday to push back on that image. But showing that he isn’t a misguided candidate who has managed to leverage celebrity over sober-minded policy may prove tough.
“The main takeaway for me is an unpredictability. That would be the most worrisome issue among our friends and allies around the world — what Trump says today may not be what he says tomorrow. And he does not seem to have much compunction about changing his views,” Richard LeBaron, a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council and a former Middle East diplomat for former President George W. Bush, told Bloomberg Politics. “It's very rarely a useful tool in foreign policy. ... It leads to misperceptions, and it leads to miscalculations by other countries in how they react to the United States.”
Trump will start his play for credibility Wednesday at the National Press Club in Washington, where his campaign says he will focus on issues that include global trade as well as economic and national security policies.
“I am honored to be invited to speak at an organization founded by former President Richard Nixon, and look forward to sharing my views on the many serious foreign policy issues facing our country and our allies around the world,” Trump said in a statement included with the event announcement. “Trade, immigration and security policies are critical concerns of all Americans, and we must develop a clear, consistent long-term foreign policy for making America safe and prosperous.”
The billionaire has caught some criticism (and extensive media coverage) during his campaign for a variety of reasons, not the least of which his plans to ban all Muslims from entering the country, his labeling of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, and his plan to make Mexico pay for a massive and expensive border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Those proposals, particularly the one concerning the wall, have been derided as untenable.