In an interview with the New York Times, comedic giant David Letterman recounted his past history with current Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
Speaking to Dave Itzkoff, the retired Late Show host said that before he decided to run for POTUS, Trump was the perfect guest for him. Why? Because he was a caricature. He played the role of obnoxious rich guy to perfection. He cheated on his wives, dated models, was a blowhard, etc. And he could roll with the punches. But the main thing, in Letterman’s opinion, is that no one took him seriously.
However, once he tossed his hat in the ring for the White House, Letterman thought he should have been toast early on, especially since he began his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and drug dealers. But what really disappointed him was when Trump went on stage and mocked a disabled reporter and it didn’t hurt him at all with GOP voters.
So now, he decides he’s running for president. And right out of the box, he goes after immigrants and how they’re drug dealers and they’re rapists. And everybody swallows hard. And they think, oh, well, somebody will take him aside and say, “Don, don’t do that.” But it didn’t happen. And then, I can remember him doing an impression, behind a podium, of a reporter for The New York Times who has a congenital disorder. And then I thought, if this was somebody else — if this was a member of your family or a next-door neighbor, a guy at work — you would immediately distance yourself from that person. And that’s what I thought would happen. Because if you can do that in a national forum, that says to me that you are a damaged human being. If you can do that, and not apologize, you’re a person to be shunned.
I kept telling people he will absolutely not get elected. And then David Brooks said he’ll get the nomination and he will be crushed in the general election. And I thought: Yeah, that’s exactly what’s going to happen. I stand by that. The thing about Trumpy was, I think people just were amused enough about him to keep him afloat in the polls, because nobody wanted the circus to pull up and leave town.
Letterman was also none too happy with Jimmy Fallon’s heavily criticized interview with Trump last month, which featured Fallon asking the Republican standard bearer general softball questions and tussling his hair at the end. In Letterman’s opinion, even though they are entertainers, a few tough questions can still be asked.
If I had a show, I would have gone right after him. I would have said something like, “Hey, nice to see you. Now, let me ask you: what gives you the right to make fun of a human who is less fortunate, physically, than you are?” And maybe that’s where it would have ended. Because I don’t know anything about politics. I don’t know anything about trade agreements. I don’t know anything about China devaluing the yuan. But if you see somebody who’s not behaving like any other human you’ve known, that means something. They need an appointment with a psychiatrist. They need a diagnosis and they need a prescription.
Image via NY Daily News