Anyone who has witnessed Donald Trump’s bizarre behavior over the last 24 hours could tell that the man is not really right in the head. Of course, we have known this at least since Trump theorized, on the day he wrapped up the GOP nomination, that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in JFK’s assassination. As I said on Hugh Hewitt’s program yesterday:
— Patrick McGee (@PatrickMcGee_) July 7, 2016
Yesterday was evidence of more of the same. In what should have been one of the worst days in the history of Hillary Clinton, Trump spent the day on a series of bizarre tirades about the now-infamous Star of David tweet, which the press had mostly forgotten. Trump’s behavior over the last few weeks has caused House Republicans to privately fume to the RNC and Reince Priebus that Trump is going to get them all killed (electorally speaking), and so Trump proceeded to Capitol Hill this morning to assuage fears that he is not a crazy person or a total ignoramus. Media was not allowed in the meeting, which about 215 Republicans are said to have attended. According to comments from Mick Mulvaney, who left the meeting early, Trump’s prepared remarks got a standing ovation. The Q&A session has gone much rougher for Trump, as reps who are being targeted with a DCCC ad buy tying them to Trump’s incendiary remarks vented frustration at what Trump was doing to their re-election chances. They didn’t really get much satisfaction:
One of the first questions to Donald Trump inside the House Republican Conference meeting just now was from Nevada Rep. Cresent Hardy, who is not going to the convention and has not endorsed Trump. He told Trump he was worried about his ability to appeal to the broader general election electorate. Hardy noted that represents a district with a large Hispanic, Asian and African-American populations that may be one of the most diverse GOP districts in the country. He said that he is now running against a Hispanic opponent who is using Trump’s comments as a wedge issue. His question, he continued, was whether Trump can run a general election campaign that can win over diverse voters without “further offending them” along the way. Hardy was one of the 10 members of Congress targeted in the new ad buy from the DCCC linking vulnerable Republicans to Trump, which has $1 million behind it.
Trump’s response to this question, allegedly, was “Hispanics love me.”
Rep Dent said Trump was asked about his comments about Hispanics and his response: “Hispanics love me”
— Deirdre Walsh (@deirdrewalshcnn) July 7, 2016
The actual facts, of course, are that Hispanics hate Trump, and that his disapproval rating among Hispanics is about 90%, including over 70% who “strongly disapprove” of Trump.
The bottom line is that elected Republicans are desperate to believe that a calmer, saner, more rational Trump will emerge around the corner at any moment. If they haven’t figured out by now, that guy is never riding to the rescue. The Trump they have now is the Trump they are going to get. Each man for himself in dealing with the fallout.