While we’ve been down this road with Donald Trump the past few months, where he says and does a bunch of stupid shit that should derail his campaign but it never does, the past few days does seem a bit different.
Following up his gaslighting of Michelle Fields, the former Breitbart reporter who filed a criminal complaint against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski that led to Lewandowski’s arrest on Tuesday, Trump took part in two town hall events that were nothing short of disastrous. During Tuesday night’s CNN event, the GOP frontrunner raised eyebrows by saying Japan and South Korea should have nuclear weapons while doubling-down on his previous remarks that the U.S. should abandon NATO. He also was chastised by moderator Anderson Cooper, who noted that he was using a five-year-old’s argument when he said Ted Cruz started it regarding Trump’s insults of Heidi Cruz.
Wednesday night, however, was even worse for Trump, as he faced off with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. Say what you will about Matthews, but he is perhaps the perfect adversary for Trump due to his pervasive, interrupting style of interviewing. It was due to this that Matthews was able to get Trump to step in it regarding abortion when the former reality TV star said that women should face some form of punishment for getting abortions.
While Trump’s team went into spin control mode right away, releasing two clarifying statements, the damage was already done. Combine all of this with recent polls showing Trump is disliked by two-thirds of the American public, and it is a full-fledged disaster for the Trump campaign.
Looking to take advantage of the downward spiral, fellow GOP hopeful John Kasich released a statement on Thursday morning excoriating the real estate mogul. He then followed that up by appearing on two broadcast morning shows. During one of those appearances, on ABC’s Good Morning America, he got a pretty good dig in on Trump, referencing Jon Stewart.
“I mean, it’s like a panoply of mistakes and outrageous statements. You know what it is with Donald? It’s just a stream of consciousness…We’re dealing in such a serious time with the problem of global security, terrorism and here at home very poor economic growth, many feeling as though they’ve got no future. You can’t operate like this. You are going to be president of the United States. People around the world must be having a field day, and you know what Donald ought to be happy about is that Jon Stewart’s not running The Daily Show.”
Burn! But, he’s also right. If Stewart were still the host, he’d be having a field day with Trump. (Also, mainstream media may have started challenging Trump a little earlier due to Stewart crucifying them nightly for their coverage of him.) While Stewart’s replacement Trevor Noah has tried to take aim of Trump on his show, he just doesn’t have the same acerbic wit and cynicism, to go with a deep understanding of today’s cable news landscape, that Stewart possesses.
Meanwhile, it looks like the all of the heavy criticism of the media over the Rise of Trump has paid off, as both Cooper and Matthews peppered Trump with follow-up questions and pressed him for details. (Also, the fantastic interview by Charlie Sykes earlier in the week perhaps provided a template for how to handle a conversation with Trump.) Now that the MSM realizes that The Donald is not to be feared, and that the vast majority of Americans hate his guts, they now can treat him like any other deeply unpopular candidate and dangerous demagogue.
Below is video of the interview, courtesy of ABC News: