Wow! Donald Trump came out of an interview with Wisconsin conservative talk radio host Charlie Sykes looking like the proverbial deer in the headlights. You can listen to the interview above.
Here are four observations.
1. Sykes asks Trump is he was aware that he is part of the #NeverTrump movement. To which Trump replied in the negative I would guess that no one else in the Trump campaign knew either. I guess Corey Lewandowski was probably busy roughing someone up & didn’t have time to give The Donald a last minute cheat sheet. Needless to say, someone in that campaign is going to get fired. Trump had better realize that the questions are only going to get tougher. This means actually reading policy papers, Supreme Court decisions, etc. I know that’s not nearly as exciting as retweeting uncomplimentary pictures of Ted Cruz’s wife. But as Sykes told Trump, “Remember, we’re not on a playground. We’re running for president of the United States.”
2. Speaking of Heidi Cruz, Trump claimed he didn’t “necessarily” know that the photo he retweeted of her alongside his wife Melania was unflattering to Cruz’s wife. Trump told Sykes, “I didn’t even know it was necessarily a very bad picture of her versus Melania.” Didn’t necessarily know? That is rather Clintonesque language on Trump’s part.
For Trump to claim he didn’t know the picture of Heidi Cruz was unflattering, necessarily or otherwise, is simply a lie. Inside the picture of Mrs. Cruz and Mrs. Trump reads this caption, “No need to “spill the beans”. The images are worth a thousand words.”
Given that it was Trump who threatened to spill the beans on Heidi Cruz in the first place, he knew exactly what he was retweeting – pictures and words.
3. Trump became defensive regarding this line of questioning and said he wanted to talk policy. Sykes was fine with this suggestion and then brought up Trump’s criticisms of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s public sector reforms. All Trump could say was that he read a piece in Time Magazine.
Trump: I can only say what I took out of Time magazine. I took a story out of Time magazine, and the story was exactly what it said. It said a $2.2 billion deficit.
Sykes: Which turns out to be false.
Trump: If Time magazine is wrong then they should apologize. Then I would certainly apologize for reading Time magazine. But Time magazine gave that information.
So Trump basically admitted that he gets his information from the mainstream media. Aside from taking the word of a mainstream media that was openly hostile to Walker and his reforms, we go back to observation #1 re: policy papers. Trump doesn’t know what what he doesn’t know nor does he care to know.
4. Trump also admitted his proposed 45% tariff on China was nothing more than a bluff stating that the tariff “would never happen… but that you have to have the threat out there” because of Chinese currency manipulation. Well, it amounts to a rather empty threat. Of course, even if a Trump Administration were to somehow impose a tariff on Chinese goods it would simply result in higher prices and mean Wal-Mart would start laying people off and perhaps even close stores. Trump can talk great deals all he wants, but he won’t get them by playing a bad hand.
If Trump thinks he was in for a rough ride with a conservative like Charlie Sykes then it’s only going to get worse once he faces Hillary Clinton. I know Trump likes to say that he hasn’t even started on Hillary. Well, Hillary and her media allies haven’t even started on him.
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