The attempts to keep Trump on message and make him seem like a viable and reasonable candidate are getting desperate.
Trump’s team set the scenario on Tuesday afternoon. Trump was onstage in Virginia, with veterans strategically placed behind him, and retired Lt. General Michael Flynn lobbing softball questions his way. The entire scene was choreographed to make Trump appear knowledgeable.
That was the plan, but Trump’s big, best brain had other ideas.
Early on in the session, Flynn asked Trump: “What do you think of Hillary Clinton’s current refugee policies, and how do they differ from your own?”
“Look, she’s a disaster in so many ways,” Trump said, drawing hearty applause. But from there, Trump went off on a tangent about Clinton’s shift on trade. “She was brought so far left by Bernie and the group. And I think we’re going to get a lot of the Bernie people because of trade.”
A few minutes later, Flynn asked Trump a question about cybersecurity challenges. “You know, cyber is becoming so big today. It’s becoming something that a number of years ago, a short number of years ago, wasn’t even a word.”
Yes, cyber is becoming big today. All the cool kids are using it.
“Now the cyber is so big. You know you look at what they’re doing with the Internet and how they’re taking, recruiting people through the Internet. And part of it is the psychology, because so many people think they’re winning. And you know there’s a whole big thing.
“Even today’s psychology, where CNN came out with a big poll — their big poll came out today that Trump is winning. It’s good psychology. It’s good psychology.”
Am I the only one who flinches when he refers to himself in third person?
Further along in this bizarre event, Flynn asked Trump about regime change in Syria. Of course, the natural response was to slam Clinton for supporting Obama’s deal with Iran.
He wasn’t wrong, in that the Iran deal was nothing short of heinous.
But the question was a straightforward one about Syria and regime change. Syria… Iran… two different countries, and Trump doesn’t have a clue.
In slamming the Iran nuclear deal, Trump eventually came around to criticizing Clinton’s successor as secretary of state, John Kerry, suggesting that he might have negotiated a tougher deal had he walked out of talks. “Kerry never walked,” Trump said. “The only time he walked is when he entered a bicycle race.
“Can you believe this guy, 73 years old? True. He fell off his bicycle and he broke his leg and he was out of the negotiation for three or four weeks. And they probably did better in the negotiation when he wasn’t there.”
During a question and answer period, Trump veered to topics of global power, and in his usual mix of insane word jumbling, he once again suggested taking a friendlier tone with Russia.
“A lot of people say as an example, Russia, you know, Hillary likes to play tough with Russia,” Trump said. “Putin looks at her and he laughs, OK? He laughs. Putin. Putin looks at Hillary Clinton and he smiles.”
“But wouldn’t it be nice, honestly? ‘Cause Russia — Russia doesn’t like ISIS any better than we do — wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with Russia and you could knock them out together? Wouldn’t that be a good thing as opposed to tough talk?” Trump said, reiterating his stance on Russian cooperation.
Whether hearing or reading Trump’s words, it’s hard to fathom how someone with such a tenuous grasp on the issues, as well as a glaring problem keeping focus is in the position he’s in now.
It says more about the voters and the elected officials who have supported him than it says about him, I’m afraid. He couldn’t have done any of this on his own.
Maybe after the next four years, some deep soul-searching and a taste of what misguided votes bring to the nation will be enough to flush out those who would force such a man on us.