Last night I wrote a post on the bizarre Donald Trump presser last night that has gotten quite a bit of traction on social media. I wrote it immediately after watching the press conference and without the benefit of the full audio which has been made available today of Ramos’ comments. All I could hear at the time was Trump’s comments, which made it appear as though he was essentially yelling at Ramos out of nowhere.
Having now seen video clips of the press conference in question, I have to revise my remarks somewhat. Although I said last night that I would have had zero problem with Trump throwing leftwing activist Jorge Ramos out of a press conference on the merits, I am now even more convinced that what Trump did was the right thing, now that I have heard the “questions” Ramos was attempting to ask.
In the first place, Ramos was acting like an entitled punk and there’s no two ways about it. He did not wait to see if Trump would call upon him, but instead essentially demanded the right to ask the first question even though he had not been called on. He kept loudly insisting “I have the right to ask a question,” which, I guess is sort of true, but he doesn’t have the right to ask the first question, and he doesn’t have the right to speak over another reporter who has been recognized by the speaker.
Second, the “questions” Ramos was attempting to ask were not questions, but lectures. Under no circumstances was anything Ramos was saying even a question. He attempted to lecture Trump on birthright citizenship, basically claim that Trump’s immigration plan wasn’t doable, and so on. It’s fine for a reporter to ask tough and pointed questions, especially when the candidate has said ludicrous things like Trump has.
But no candidate, including Trump, has to stand there and get lectured by a reporter about why he is wrong. And given that Ramos was allowed back in, and given leave to ask a basically neverending series of “questions,” I am at a loss as to why any alleged reporter would possibly be taking Ramos’ side in this fracas. Ramos was given more of a leash than any reporter I have ever seen in a major press conference. Sure, he was escorted out of the room to start with, but the reason for that was that he was showing complete disrespect not only to the candidate but also to the other reporters present in the room.
Now Jorge Ramos is going on TV everywhere telling his tale of being a martyr at the hands of Trump, which is patently ridiculous. His description of events is flatly contradicted by events that were caught on camera, and depends entirely on the impression that was created (on live TV, because Trump was the only one whose mic was “hot) that Trump started yelling at him out of nowhere and had him chucked out of the conference without provocation.
On the whole, I stand by the point I made yesterday about Trump’s press conference and Trump in general – that it was a bizarre, beautiful train wreck, and that Trump is impossible for normal politicians to engage because politicians are trained to look for small, subtle gaffes and pounce on them, whereas Trump generates hundreds of huge ones every minute he talks.
But with respect to Jorge Ramos, Trump clearly got the better of the exchange and was justified in what he did. But even in this, he bizarrely claimed that he hadn’t had Ramos thrown out and that he didn’t even know who Ramos was, two demonstrably false statements. Just part of what makes the Trump show impossible to turn off, I guess.