As all the world now knows, Donald Trump didn’t dissent from a questioner last week at a town hall meeting who said the president is a Muslim and seemed to be suggesting we need to round up and get rid of Muslims. On the scale of things important to the country, what Trump says or doesn’t say at a town hall meeting is very far down the list, but this inevitably has become a dominating media story the last few days.
Trump has followed his usual pattern of trying to weasel his way out of his controversies with thoroughly unconvincing spin. As soon as the exchange happened, Trump’s campaign waived its hands and said the bigger issue is Obama’s war on Christians. Which was a non-sequitur. Then, it said Trump hadn’t heard the question. But he reacted to the controversial nature of the question immediately, making it clear he had heard it (and the questioner wasn’t exactly soft-spoken). Then, on Twitter Trump said if he had disagreed with the questioner he would have been accused of trampling his First Amendment rights. This is a bit rich coming from the guy who temporarily had Jorge Ramos manhandled out of one of his press conferences. Over the weekend, he said it’s not appropriate for him to talk about someone’s religious faith, although he accused Ben Carson in their recent dust-up of only beginning to highlight his religious faith during the campaign.
Why all this tap-dancing and evasion from the self-styled fearless truth-teller? Why not just come right out and say that he thinks Obama may very well be a secret Muslim and be done with it? He’s Donald Trump. What’s anyone going to do to him?
After I discussed all of this last night on The Kelly File (and said Trump talks like an eighth-grader on the campaign trail), Trump shot off a bunch of aggrieved tweets, including this one:
.@realDonaldTrump I had a feeling the talking like an eighth-grader line would get to you
— Rich Lowry (@RichLowry) September 22, 2015
It’s kind of sad to think of Trump sitting in his PJs and slippers at night with a warm glass of milk watching cable TV and feeling wounded by every jibe and slighting reference. But that’s evidently what the frontrunner for the Republican president nomination does.
Here is the video from last night: