Trump names health care and education, along with security, as the top functions of the federal government

In a moment that seemed to stun even moderator Anderson Cooper, Donald Trump named federal involvement in education and health care as top functions of the federal government, along with national security, at the Milwaukee candidates forum in Milwaukee last night. Apparently unaware that conservatives believe that a federal role in education is unjustified, and that many, including Ted Cruz, want to abolish the Department of Education, and that federal involvement in health care is anathema to his party’s base, Trump spoke of both as among the top three priorities for the feds.

Putting on his surprised face, Cooper attempted to give Trump a chance to address his base. Shoshana Weissmann of the Weekly Standard describes the debacle:

Anderson Cooper tried to clarify. "So in terms of federal government role, you're saying security, but you also say health care and education should be provided by the federal government?"

Trump replied, "yeah, those are two of the things. Yeah, sure. there are obviously many things, housing, providing great neighborhoods—"

Anderson, confused by Trump's response, asked, "aren't you against the federal government's involvement in education? Don't you want it to devolve to states?"

"I want it to go to state. Absolutely," said Trump, entirely flip-flopping on what he said moments earlier.

Cooper replied, "that's not part of what the federal government's—"

Trump interjected, "the federal government, but the concept of the country is the concept that we have to have education within the country and have to get rid of common core and it should be brought to the state level."

Cooper added, "and federal health care run by the federal government?"

Trump said, "health care. We need health care for our people. We need a good—Obamacare is a disaster."

Cooper asked, "is that something the federal government should be doing?"

Trump affirmed. "The government can lead it but it should be privately done," which sounds more or less like Obamacare. "It should be privately done so that health care, in my opinion, we should probably have—we have to have private health care."

Here is the exchange:

It’s pretty clear by now that Trump has devoted no attention to the Constitution’s provision of a limited role for the federal government. I doubt that he could tell us what the Ninth Tenth Amendment does. His thought is that if something needs doing, the feds ought to do it.