In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth is Revolutionary.
Friday, April 12, 2024

For Trump, winning is the only thing

Donald and Melania Trump aboard the candidate's private Boeing 757.
Donald and Melania Trump aboard the candidate’s private Boeing 757.

Sitting on his plush private plane surrounded by a gaggle of reporters, Donald Trump laid bare the depths of his win-at-any-cost political philosophy.

“Nothing is presidential except victory,” he said Tuesday. “Victory is presidential.”

Very little about Trump’s surprising White House campaign has fit into any traditional view of what’s deemed “presidential” – the kind of know-it-if-you-see-it behavior befitting an occupant of the Oval Office.

Indeed, that’s part of the draw for Trump’s supporters, many of whom praise the businessman’s willingness to dispense with political correctness.

Yet even with the built-in expectation that Trump is running an atypical campaign, the Republican front-runner continues to surprise with how far he’s willing to go in busting boundaries that restrain other presidential candidates. While he’s suggested that he would be more of a statesman if he’s the GOP nominee, encouraging Republican Party unity and promising to moderate his abrasive tone, he can’t seem to resist the lure of a bareknuckle political brawl.

The latest surreal scene played out Tuesday, when Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with simple battery for an altercation with a female reporter who was working for a conservative news outlet. Lewandowski is Trump’s closest and most visible adviser, a constant presence at campaign events and the gatekeeper for who gets access to the real estate mogul.

He’s also nearly single-handedly steered Trump’s campaign within sight of victory in the Republican nominating contest.

Most presidential campaigns move quickly to shut down a firestorm over a staffer regardless of rank, particularly if legal issues are involved. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz abruptly fired one of his top aides earlier this year after the adviser posted a video online that inaccurately portrayed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as disparaging the Bible.

But Trump chose to fan the flames of the controversy surrounding Lewandowski. He vigorously defended his adviser and predicted no jury would convict him. He also accused journalist Michelle Fields of trying to destroy Lewandowski’s life and questioned the origin of bruises on Fields’ arm that she says were the result of the campaign manager’s manhandling.

“How do you know those bruises weren’t there before?” Trump said, his every word being blasted out live on cable news. At a campaign rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, he polled his crowd on whether they’d seen video of the incident. “What did you think, right?” he asked them. “Nothing.”

Trump’s comments come amid sharp criticism from Democrats, as well as some Republicans, of derogatory statements he’s made about women – both during this campaign and during his extensive public life before entering politics. He’s embroiled in a heated controversy involving an unflattering image of Cruz’s wife that he highlighted on Twitter, as well as a vague and ominous threat he made on Twitter to “spill the beans” about Heidi Cruz.

Following the charge against Lewandowski, the Texas senator accused Trump of running a campaign “built on attacks” and said there’s “no place in politics for insults, for personal attacks, for going to the gutter, and there should be no place for physical violence either.”

Women comprise a powerful share of persuadable voters in the general election. And even as Trump is still trying to lock down the GOP nomination, he’s struggling with the women he would need to win the White House.

A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found 70 percent of women had a negative opinion of Trump. Nearly three quarters of women overall, and 39 percent of Republican women, had an unfavorable view of him in a recent CNN poll.

Yet some women who comprise Trump’s supremely loyal legion of supporters say they see little wrong with Lewandowski’s actions and the response from their favored candidate.

“It’s all ridiculous to me because I don’t think grabbing someone’s arm to restrain them is battery,” said Carlene Summers, a 72-year-old who attended Trump’s rally Tuesday in Janesville, Wisconsin. “I used to work on a school playground and I restrained quite a few kids and I never got in trouble for battery.”

It’s the tension between the voters Trump needs to win now as he tries to wrap up the GOP nomination and those he needs on his side in November that highlights the weakness in his boundary-pushing approach to the campaign. Beyond his comments about women, he’s also been harsh in his depiction of immigrants, including calling Mexicans crossing into the United States murderers and rapists.

While Republicans have long grappled with both appealing to more conservative primary voters and a broader general election audience, the challenge they’ve faced has focused largely on modulating their policy positions.

It’s deeply uncertain whether Trump can make the same pivot when his words and his actions seem as focused on the personal as they do on the policy.

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Janesville, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

10 thoughts on “For Trump, winning is the only thing”

  1. If there is a “liberal media” neither Capitol Hill Blue nor Breitbart are parts of it.

    Lurv the absolutism of the phrase “the liberal media” that includes Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, and pretty much the entire FOX news team… And the National Review Online, Breitbart again, the Wall Street Journal, the Drudge Report, et cetera.

    My takeaway from all this isn’t so much that Donald Trump thinks “Winning is everything” (although if taken at his word, he does) as much as he thinks “Playing by the rules? For suckers. Caring about anyone else you ruin along the way? Not my problem. Wrecking the place just so I can go home just a bit richer? Haha, I win…”

    It’s a bit like kicking over the Monopoly game and then scrabbling among the mess, coming up with the most money, and crowing about victory. The sad part is that it’s real money, up to now investors’ (including pension funds). As President, it’ll be everyone in the USA’s money. Guess who wants to go home with the most and to heck with the rest of you?


  2. ““I used to work on a school playground and I restrained quite a few kids and I never got in trouble for battery.””

    The legal definition of battery is any physical harmful contact. So if harm is proven in court, then yes, it’s battery. I’m assuming this person didn’t harm any kids on the playground.

  3. HuffPo’s main page saying in large red letters “Trump Unhinged” because of his latest comments about wanting women who get abortions to go to jail sure says it all. On the other hand, he’s been unhinged for a long time. Headline writers have run out of new words to describe how off the rails this man has gotten. I mean, every one these words, from looking up unhinged in the thesaurus, applies to him: deranged, demented, unbalanced, unglued, crazed, mad, insane, disturbed, out of one’s mind, out of one’s tree; mental, nutso, bonkers, batty, loopy, loco, postal, bananas, touched; batshit.

  4. Trump only likes women if they are “young and beautiful pieces of a__” (his own words). And even then he only likes them if they do and say exactly as he says. Otherwise they’re fat pigs, dogs, slobs, beetches, etc.

    I wouldn’t vote for that blowholed piece of peckerwood if he were the last one standing.

  5. The liberal media is so transparent and Americans have already made up their mind who our next president is going to be.


  7. I recall when Marine Col Oliver North was grilled by some boneheaded Senate committee regarding work he did for Pres Reagan. The Col. told them to go pound sand & that he would only respond if ordered to do so by the US Commander In Chief, Pres Reagan. That is called loyalty. Based on what I have seen and read, Mr T is being loyal to a man who has earned and deserves that loyalty. Ted Cruz, as is the case with establishment politicians, threw his guy under the bus. Politicians are only loyal to themselves. Do we really want that kind of spineless twit running this Nation again?

  8. can’t wait to see how this little pri*k handles this loss…bet his tiny pri*k disappears into his doughy gut.

Comments are closed.