At a recent New York fundraiser with Barbara Streisand, Hillary Clinton said “half” of Trump supporters fit into a “basket of deplorables,” while the other half are people who feel the government has let them down and need understanding and empathy. The country is politically divided into two major parties: Democrat and Republican. The parties are made up of American citizens free to choose the party of their choice. Voters from neither party should be disparaged as a result of following and supporting their chosen leader.
The key word here is “supporters” which should have been “surrogates.” The millions of Trump supporters don’t voice their opinion on MSNBC, nor Fox, nor CNN. It is the Trump surrogates who speak for Trump which can easily be construed as his supporters. It is impossible that all of the Trump supporters agree with the nonsense espoused by the Trump surrogates. Whatever nonsense comes out of Trump’s mouth is propagated and echoed by his surrogates.
Donald Trump is the granddaddy of political insults. It started with the 2016 Republican primaries and continues to this day. Most recently he thought he could play the African-American voters by lumping them all into one class of voters: poor, uneducated, unemployed, and devastated by criminal infested neighborhoods. “You have no jobs, if you walk down your streets; you are going to get shot. What do you have to lose? You have nothing and I’m offering you a chance to better your lives. Unknown to “Trump the Savior,” the group he was talking about are not likely voters.
During the primaries Trump so distorted presidential campaign procedures that no one could answer or compete with his rhetoric. He called Dr. Ben Carson, an African-American brain surgeon, a pedophile and a pathological liar and criticized Chris Christie’s record as Governor of New Jersey. Trump referred to all other candidates as either liars, weak, or otherwise unqualified. He electrified the Republican base by promising to build a wall to keep Mexicans out of the country and proposed to ban all Muslims from the country.
Trump latched onto Carson’s description of having a “pathological temper” that he overcame to become a world-renowned brain surgeon. “He goes into the bathroom for a couple hours, and comes out, and now he’s religious,” Trump said. “And the people of Iowa believe him. Give me a break. It doesn’t happen that way.” Trump repeatedly compared Carson’s supposedly incurable temper to child molesters. “If you’re a child molester, a sick puppy, you’re a child molester there’s no cure for that,” he said. “There’s only one cure. We don’t want to talk about that cure. That’s the ultimate cure.”
He dredged up memories of Chris Christie’s memorable physical embrace of Barack Obama in the days before Election Day 2012. He recalled the downgrades to New Jersey’s credit rating since Christie became governor. And he alleged that it was impossible that Christie did not know about his scandal over the George Washington Bridge that scared donors away from the once front-running establishment governor. “Does anybody believe that? Honestly?” Trump asked his crowd. “Is there a 1 percent chance?”
Hillary Clinton’s description of the Donald Trump supporters may have been misquoted but if she had said the Trump Surrogates, she would have been right on the money.
Among Trump’s cadre of surrogates are Scottie Nell Hughes, Carl Higbie, Katrina Pierson, Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh McEnany, Rudy Giulaini, Adriana Cohen, John Phillips, Ben Carson, and Chris Christie.
The most vociferous of these surrogates is Kayleigh McEnany followed by Jeffrey Lord and Trump’s water boy Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani supports Trump’s notion that the “Black Lives Matter” organization is a criminal organization and should be deemed a “Terrorist” group. Giuliani recently appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on MSNBC and was asked about Trump’s birther claims. In response, Giuliani said “Donald Trump believes now that Obama was born in the United States.” “I confirm that,” Giuliani said. “And Donald Trump now confirms that.”
He claims Trump established this belief several years ago, a claim that no media could substantiate. Trump has never confirmed that he believes Obama was born in the States. In fact, all he recently said to Bill O’Reilly on the topic was that he doesn’t “talk about it anymore.”
Matthews pushed back at Giuliani on this point, and as he did, Giuliani attempted to shift the focus of the interview, claiming Hillary Clinton’s campaign originally brought up the birther issue. “Where did they do that?” Matthews asked. The claim that Hillary Clinton’s camp first brought up birtherism has been fact checked before and found to be false. After Giuliani began laughing, Matthews chided him: “I don’t think this is funny. I think when you accuse the president of the United States of being someone who snuck in the country and assumed an identity, because that’s what Trump has been doing for years now.” Yes, Hillary Clinton would have been right on the money if she had directed her criticism towards Trump’s surrogates rather than his supporters.
Walter Smith is the Publisher of the New York Beacon in New York.