Donald Trump may have wrapped up the GOP primaries but now the real work begins: winning the general election. It’s going to be a tough task, made tougher by the “hit pieces” that are already on full blast from the USA’s infamous “liberal” media.
It is not surprising to me; it is clear news organizations are out to get him. Already, we are hearing stories that the Washington Post has decided to assemble a team of 20 journalists devoted solely to digging dirt on Trump. Right, that sounds like an objective media organization to me. Just this weekend the New York Times, another liberal bastion, did its own piece attacking Trump for his attitudes to and alleged mistreatment of women.
Except — one of the women interviewed in that piece told Fox News that the NY Times totally twisted her words to make it sound like she had a bad experience with Trump! In fact, she likes Trump and says she is even going to vote for him!
Reporters are also going after Trump’s taxes, and other things that could supposedly damage him against Hillary Clinton. I expect even more attempts at “hit pieces” by the mainstream media against Trump, and frankly, more failures.
This, my friends, is why Trump is winning: people in the USA are fed up completely with politics as usual. They are fed up with the entire establishment and what they’ve done to the country. And that includes not only the political establishment but the media establishment, and their usual negative tactics of twisting people’s words and creating scandals. They are especially fed up with their usual bashing of Republicans. People are seeing these negative stories for what they are and figure this is all biased reporting, as usual, designed to help Hillary win. Moreover, Trump, unlike most previous GOP candidates, is completely unafraid about firing back on Twitter and calling out the news organizations for their B.S. reporting. (Newt Gingrich was another Republican unafraid to take on the press, as I recall. Most, however, are way too polite for their own good.)
Trump has already survived one media scandal after another: attacking Mexicans, attacking Muslims, attacking Megyn Kelly, attacking Pope Francis — the list is endless. And every time, after every media frenzy of his, he has come back bigger than ever with the voters.
The press has to watch its step, because I’m convinced every time an anti-Trump hit piece goes to print, it ends up turning into more votes for Trump. What worked in the old days for the mainstream media won’t anymore – not against the Donald.
This business about Trump acting as his own press person, though… strange.
Well, finally, at long last, Donald Trump’s arena-filling US Presidential campaign has released its first political commercial on Monday.
About time, too. I was wondering whether his ads were ever going to show up on Boston TV stations, which have been littered for weeks with commercials from the PAC backing the sinking Jeb Bush campaign, and from the Marco Rubio folks, and the Chris Christie folks, and others, all aimed at New Hampshire. But nothing from Trump, until now.
Just as I expected, though, his new TV commercial is like his whole campaign has been so far: amateur hour-ish, and loaded with Trump’s usual Mexico-and-Muslim-bashing we have all come to expect.
Most controversial was the wall footage supposedly showing Mexican migrants “at our southern border” — except this footage was actually from Morocco.
You can see for yourself the Trump ad effort below. Seriously, folks, I can’t believe this campaign is actually winning.
Tonight the GOP presidential contenders again go at it on the debate stage, this time in Las Vegas in swing-state Nevada on CNN. The debate is at the Venetian, owned by famous Republican donor and renowned anti-online-poker-activist Sheldon Adelson.
And once again, the focus is on another famous real estate tycoon and casino-owner: Donald Trump, whose domination of the Republican race continues to baffle the heck out of me and everyone else, given all his idiot statements and comments as of late.
Even while I was in Cuba and more or less cut off from the Western world in general, I found out about Trump’s latest outrage: a call for a ban on all Muslims travelling to the USA.
That’s right. All Muslims — the entire religion.
The media, and other Republicans, freaked out over this statement. They all denounced his comments as un-American and reacted as if Trump was some sort of dangerous individual.
I have a somewhat different take on it. I don’t think Trump is dangerous — only his big mouth is. This is simply another example of Trump opening his mouth and saying something nonsensical before actually thinking it through. We have seen this sort of thing from him way too often in this campaign, starting with his anti-Mexico ranting and raving early on. He has since moved on from trashing Mexicans to trashing Muslims. I am now wondering who’s next? Canadians?
It would not surprise me. This guy Trump really is looking like the “intolerance” candidate of this election.
I keep wondering when the heck the Trump bandwagon is finally going to hit the ditch. I keep waiting for the anti-Trump coalition to emerge and coalesce around somebody. On the one hand, you have some polls now suggesting that Ted Cruz has moved into the lead in Iowa now with the backing of the social conservatives in that state. On the other hand, national polls are giving Trump over 40 percent of the GOP vote — an enormous lead.
What I don’t understand is Trump is supposed to be winning, yet I don’t see ads from him on the Boston TV stations, which all beam into New Hampshire to voters there. Instead, I’ve mainly seen commercials for Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and even John Kasich!
It makes me wonder about Trump’s whole political organization, and whether that will catch up to him eventually. Then again, the way things are going, maybe he doesn’t need one.
I did not watch last night’s Republican presidential debate, I could not find a feed of it online and was too interested in the NBA anyway. Still, it sounds like this CNBC debate last night was a gong show, with the moderators losing control and candidates talking over one another, and a lot of inane and irrelevant questions being asked.
Gov. Chris Christie was particularly livid that a question was even asked about government regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports, of all things. (You know, I sort of agree with Christie here. The government really should be more concerned with ISIS than with Fantasy Football.) According to reports, the general feeling from the crowd and candidates was that the moderators were hostile.
Don’t expect the GOP to do any more debates on CNBC any time soon after this debacle.
Update: here is some more debate piling-on by Fox News.
The race for the Republican nomination for President has dropped from 17 candidates down to 16. Former Texas governor Rick Perry has quit the race.
This is no surprise, rumors had been flying for weeks about his campaign’s money troubles and how they had to lay off staff, and how badly the fundraising was going for them and so on. The polling had been awful, and to add insult to injury he wasn’t even getting invited to the top-tier debates.
The reality is that Perry was bringing nothing to the race. I guess he tried to be the true “conservative” option, except that’s hard to do when at least a dozen or more of your competitors are as conservative as you say you are. The real problem for Perry is most of this field was saying pretty much the same thing he was saying.
If you are going to survive as a GOP contender you really need to distinguish yourself in some fashion, for better or worse. Donald Trump is the “populist outsider”, Ben Carson is the “Christian outsider”, Mike Huckabee is simply “the Christian”, Jeb Bush is “the Establishment”, Rand Paul is the “liberty” candidate, Ted Cruz is the “Tea Party”, Carly Fiorina is the “feisty businesswoman”, and so on.
They’ve all got varying degrees of traction right now because they all bring something to the table policy-wise that is unique. The ones that don’t are the ones in the biggest difficulty. For Perry, he couldn’t claim to be the “conservative” in a race full of them; he couldn’t be the “Christian” candidate with so many candidates supporting “family values” and seeking approval from the religious right; and he couldn’t even claim to be the “Texas candidate” with Cruz also in the race. What’s worse, Cruz seems to be doing pretty well at the moment.
In short, the message just didn’t stand out. Plus, Perry has all kinds of legal problems at home, and is a famously lousy debater.
So that’s that. One down, and 15 left to dispose of before we finally get a GOP nominee.
Now the question is who is next to go? I have seen rumors that Lindsey Graham could quit the race soon, his campaign has almost nothing going for it. In fact, Graham actually visited Saskatchewan this year to see that carbon-capture facility in Estevan, and the province’s press was playing up how our great and important province was being visited by this great American presidential contender. I was going “contender? That’s a stretch.”
At least one non-contender is not going down without a fight: Bobby Jindal.
This week the Louisiana governor just unloaded on Trump, calling him a “narcissist” and a “non-serious carnival act.” So now Trump is feuding with Jindal now, which is exactly what Jindal needs to lift up his sinking ship of a campaign. The story about Jindal’s remarks here — it’s pretty funny stuff.
Before we switch to live continuous coverage of the Greek referendum tomorrow, I thought I would do another brief update of the USA presidential race on this July 4 Independence Day evening.
The campaign launches just keep on coming, eh? This week New Jersey governor Chris Christie joined the campaign officially and he is the 14th – count ’em – 14th declared candidate on the GOP side for President. And he won’t be the last, as John Kasich from Ohio is due to announce later this month and perceived front runner Scott Walker hasn’t declared yet. So that’s 16 serious candidates running for President!
That’s not counting the Democratic candidates! While it often seems like Hillary is the only candidate at times, in fact there are five serious candidates in the running on that side (excluding the fringe element).
I don’t recall a year in which there have been so many “serious” declared candidates for President. I know that back in 1976 there were a ton of candidates, but not as many as this. There are so many that I don’t know if I can keep track of all of them or remember them all. Let me just see if I can name all of them from memory, just for fun.
On the Democrat side there’s Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb. Wow, that was tougher than I thought.
Now on to the Republicans: there’s Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, the aforementioned Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Rick Perry, Dr. Ben Carson, George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, and coming soon, Kasich and Scott Walker.
So that’s a grand total of 20 people. That leaves one more. Who am I missing?
Oh, yeah, I remember now. Mr. Trump. Whether you can call him a “serious” candidate, though, is another question.
You know, going into this race I thought the Donald’s campaign was sure to be the most entertaining, because this guy is just too politically incorrect to be President of the United States. He is just too blunt for his own good, and too willing to shoot his mouth off.
I’m not the first person to mention this but I’m with the people who say that Trump is Rob Ford — without the drugs.
I didn’t expect how swiftly his campaign would descend into controversy, though. His xenophobic “rapist” and “drug dealer” comments towards Mexican immigrants have everyone in the GOP running for cover. You had people like Pataki on the attack against Trump this week. Trump responded by trashing Pataki and calling him a terrible governor of New York. So Pataki got 15 minutes of campaign fame this week, thanks to Donald Trump.
Trump has problems way beyond politics, like with these countries continuing to protest and pull out of the Miss Universe Pageant. Colombia has withdrawn its bid to host the pageant, and Costa Rica has pulled its representative from the pageant, and just today Panama pulled out, too. Moreover, people are starting to boycott Trump’s properties. NASCAR just pulled out of the Trump National Doral Resort over this controversy.
Trump claims to be surprised by the backlash. Yet these polls have Trump seemingly doing well in spite of his controversy. I don’t take much stock in these polls, they are simply reflecting name recognition. Let’s see what happens once people really start campaigning and start putting ads on TV in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Well, sorry for skipping out of the big convention coverage last night. Instead of liveblogging as usual, I instead drove out of town and missed most of the TV and online coverage of the convention. However, I was never out of the loop, as I did tune in to the live coverage on satellite radio on Fox News, CNN and MSNBC.
Now, I have to rant and rave about the coverage. I gotta say it, MSNBCs coverage was just terrible. They didn’t even try to be fair and balanced — they just piled on the Republicans like there was no tomorrow. It was Rachel Maddow going nuts, and Chris Matthews going nuts, and all these other talking heads just ripping the GOP. They were particularly bashing Paul Ryan at one point and ultra-fact-checking him, and saying he lied to Americans during his speech the other night. They all sounded like Democrat operatives.
You didn’t get any sort of real convention coverage from these nitwits or any attempt to convey what was actually happening. It was all about Rachel Maddow and her opinions.
At least CNN broke away from their talking heads to tell you what was going on at the podium, and Fox News was their usual selves with big conservative Sean Hannity (oddly enough, during THE FOX REPORT the main story they covered was the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac, with all the flooding down there). But MSNBC was really awful.
Also apparently really awful, according to the GOP bashers, was that old codger Clint Eastwood. The speech was described as really odd and rambling, and a lot of people thought it took the party off message. But again, I didn’t see what was so terrible about it, it was just Eastwood being off the cuff. It was entertaining enough. But again, I’m not a political pro.
Mitt Romney’s speech was about what I expected and maybe it made a difference, I don’t know. Honestly, though, the way things are going I am as pessimistic as ever about the GOP chances. Last year I thought McCain had a hope, but I am just not feeling it this year from the public.
The Democrats go ahead in Charlotte next week. I plan to be back for that.
Just a few thoughts about the night at the GOP convention in Tampa:
Mitt Romney’s VP running mate Paul Ryan gave his big speech tonight and I thought he really came off well — he really socked it to Barack Obama while not looking all that scary. “What is missing is leadership in the White House!!”
The line that I liked the most was when Ryan talked about the generational differences with Romney and said the tunes he liked ran from AC/DC to Zeppelin. Say what you will about Paul Ryan, but at least he has taste in music.
They also showed Condaleeza Rice giving a decent, dignified speech hitting on all the right notes — about how someone who grew up in the Jim Crow days could still grow up to become Secretary of State, etc.
Also, I liked the video they showed earlier in the night with the father and the son George Bush and George W. Bush, and the two First Ladies. People called it a “touching” video and I think this is all part of the attempt to humanize the Republicans and make them look like decent people. Unfortunately the image of the GOP in recent months has been one of a party filled with intolerants, religious nuts, and partisan Tea Party my-way-or-the-highway people. So far they’re doing a decent job of getting away from that and looking broad and inclusive, but they need to keep doing that far beyond this week.
That’s all for now, I plan to be back tomorrow to follow Romney’s big speech.
As usual I thought I would do my usual act every four years of linking you to the live convention streams going on out there. Yes, despite the fact that there is NO CONVENTION ACTIVITIES to cover tonight, people are actually live-streaming and yakking on the air about the Republicans and their convention in Tampa.
PBS NEWSHOUR’s coverage is HERE.
POLITICO has a live stream going on HERE.
CBS NEWS is HERE. I notice they don’t seem to have a livestream today, unlike these other jokers who insist on showing pundits talk about nothing.
The GOP’s favorite network Fox News is HERE.
CNN is here.
Finally, for you written word folks, National Journal’s coverage is here.
That is all for now, since, well, nothing is happening tonight due to Isaac. Incidentally, right now Isaac’s heading down the same route that Katrina went seven years ago this week. Follow CNN’s account here.