Do you think it’s true that the Republicans are trying to get Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich to do an intervention with an out-of-control Donald Trump?
This is the best rumor of the summer, so let’s hope so. If they televised it, no one in the world would be watching the Olympics.
And it does tell you something that Giuliani and Gingrich are supposed to be the voices of moderation and self-control in the campaign. The former mayor who told a press conference that he was going to end his marriage before he told his wife. And the former House speaker once presided over a government shutdown that he seemed to attribute to the bad seat he got on Air Force One.
“The campaign is doing really well. It’s never been so well united,” Trump himself fibbed at a rally Wednesday in Florida.
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He was introduced by a retired general who announced that the rally was “an intervention of the people of this country.” This was the same retired general who recently got in trouble for retweeting an anti-Semitic message.
As usual, Trump spent a good chunk of his speech explaining how unjust his critics are. He was outraged, for instance, that he could have been charged with being unsympathetic to people with disabilities when he’s “spent millions of dollars on ramps” for his buildings.
He also took the opportunity of the Florida visit to brag about having been endorsed by “the great Brian France,” the head of NASCAR. Who got the top job upon the retirement of the previous CEO, who happened to be Brian France’s father.
Wouldn’t you think Trump would be a little embarrassed to preen over the backing of another … heir? But he’s never met a sports celebrity he doesn’t like. This was a guy who boasted that he’d been endorsed by Mike Tyson, convicted rapist. Who really, really wanted to put Don King, the boxing promoter, on the convention speakers’ list. It apparently took quite a bit of persuasion to convince the candidate that it was not a good idea to publicize his friendship with a man who was once convicted of manslaughter for stomping someone to death.
You can’t deny that Trump has kept his promise to run a whole new kind of campaign. Just a week into the general election race and he’s already gotten into an ongoing fight with the parents of a slain war hero, arguing that he had “made a lot of sacrifices” himself. Plus refused to endorse the speaker of the House in a meaningless primary. Plus humiliated a woman with a crying baby.
Things are getting exhausting, aren’t they? I’m prepared to take a couple of questions.
Q: During the fight with the parents of the slain war hero, remind me exactly what Trump claimed his sacrifices for the country were?
A: Oh, you know, building … buildings. And raising massive amounts of money for veterans. Only the first of which is entirely true.
Q: And what about the crying baby?
A: Yeah, there was a baby crying at one of the rallies. Trump took the trouble to point it out to the hundreds of people in his audience. “Don’t worry about that baby,” he told the mother. “I love babies.” Wouldn’t you presume he was serious? The worst politician in the country would not be sarcastic about a baby. Rudy Giuliani would not be sarcastic about a baby. Bada-bing: “Actually, I was only kidding. You can get the baby out of here.” And then he made fun of the mother for believing him.
Now that he’s been criticized, he’ll probably start pointing out that Mar-a-Lago doesn’t discriminate against pregnant women.
Q: I live in California and all I can think about is this election. But the only voters who count seem to be in Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania! How can that be fair?
A: Look, normally I’d be sympathetic, what with living in New York and all. But we’ve got a presidential nominee here who apparently didn’t know the Russians had invaded Ukraine until George Stephanopoulos broke the news to him on national television. There are problems larger than the value of your itty-bitty ballot.
Q: Trump keeps saying the election is going to be rigged. Do you think he’s looking for an excuse to drop out?
A: No, I’m just worried that he’s preparing his excuse for when he loses. You do not want this to end with Donald Trump telling his supporters — many of whom appear to have a minimum of 20 guns in the basement — that he was robbed. In the Florida speech he did warn the audience to beware of “people voting 10 times.”
Q: OK, that’s scaring me.
A: Let’s have some faith in the electorate. I believe most Americans, when given the choice between explaining the outcome with election fraud or “kept making fun of mothers,” will know which way to go.