Trump Can't Talk Policy So He Discusses His Deformed Penis With The Washington Post
Months ago we wrote about an analysis of Trump's vocabulary shows that he's speaking at a 4th grade level-- which, I'm afraid to say-- helps explain the affinity of many of his fans and the emotionally childish reactions they express at his rallies. But it isn't only the vocabulary that aims low. The substance of his speeches-- stand-up routine is a better description-- are perfectly suited to the 4th grade vocabulary. There are observers who observed that he was faking it, a brilliant man strategically playing to an audience with few people with 3-digit IQs. The transcript from his meeting with the editors of the Washington Post (which you can listen to above) belie that notion. Willy Loman and PT Barnum were canny and predatory... but not brilliant or especially competent. And you can't read the transcript and come away thinking that Trump's simple-minded routine is an act. It's the real him and most Republican voters are embarrassed by it, even if the media can't figure out how to connect the dots without insulting millions of their... customers. A New York Times/CBS News poll released Monday indicates that "broad majorities of Republican primary voters view their party as divided and a source of embarrassment."
Not much in the way of policy, but plenty of insight into how utterly unfit Trump would be as anything more than a self-promoting braggart. I imagine the editorial board was flabbergasted when they figured out, at about 3 minutes in, that all he wants dot talk about was how fancy the marble is in the hotel he's building in DC. Not what would normally expect as an interview with someone running for president (or senator or governor or anything really): "[W]e’re going to open it in September, and it’s under budget, even though we’ve increased the quality of the finishes substantially, marble finishes, very high quality of marble, so we’re under budget and ahead of schedule. And I’m, you know, I am that way when I build, I know how to build, I know how to get things done."
Trying to pin him down so they could get a sense of where he is on anything substantive led nowhere. Are there any secretaries of defense or of state who he thought did a good job? "Well, because I know so many of them, and because in many cases I like them, I hate to get totally involved. I think George Shultz was very good, I thought he was excellent. I can tell you, I think your last secretary of state and your current secretary of state have not done much..." At least he knew one (aside from his pal Hillary who he once said was a great secretary of state but has since changed his mind). Watch:
On further questioning he pretty much disowned all of George Schultz's foreign policy accomplishments. "I think it’s proven not to work. And we have a different country than we did then. You know we have 19 trillion dollars in debt." He soon pivoted to talking about how badly America is doing and singled out Baltimore. Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor seemed surprised but he just went with the quirky flow. "So what would you do for Baltimore, let’s say," he asked.
TRUMP: Well, number one, I’d create economic zones. I’d create incentives for companies to move in. I’d work on spirit because the spirit is so low, it’s incredible, the unemployment, you look at unemployment for black youth in this country, African American youth, is 58-59 percent. It’s unthinkable. Unemployment for African Americans-- not youth, but African Americans-- is very high. And I would create in the inner cities, which is what I really do best, that’s why when I open a building and I show you it’s way ahead of schedule, under budget and everything else-- I think it was the Rite Aid store, the store in Baltimore it took them 20 years to get it built, one store, and then it burned down in one night-- we have to create incentives for people to love what they are doing, and to make money. And to create, you know, to really create a better life for themselves. And you can’t-- it doesn’t seem right that you will have a situation like Baltimore, and many other places, let’s use Baltimore as an example, there are many Baltimores in this country. Detroit is maybe even a better example than Baltimore. But that you’ll have a situation like that, and then we’re over nation building with other, with countries that in many cases don’t want us there. They want our money, but they don’t want us.
HIATT: The root of many people’s unhappiness in Baltimore was the perception that blacks are treated differently by law enforcement. And the disproportionate-- do you think it’s a problem that the percentage of blacks in prison is higher than whites, and what do you think is the root of that situation?
TRUMP: Well I’ve never really see anything that-- you know, I feel very strongly about law enforcement. And, you know, if you look at the riot that took place over the summer, if that were stopped-- it all, it mostly took place on the first evening, and if that were stopped on the first evening, you know, you’d have a much nicer city right now, because much of that damage and much of the destruction was done on Evening One. So I feel that law enforcement, it’s got to play a big role. It’s got to play a big role. But that’s a pretty good example, because tremendous amounts of damage was done that first evening-- first two evenings, but the first evening in particular. And so I’m a very strong believer in law enforcement, but I’m also a very strong believer that the inner cities can come back.
HIATT: Do you see any racial disparities in law enforcement-- I mean, what set it off was the Freddie Gray killing, as you know. Is that an issue that concerns you?
TRUMP: Well, look, I mean, I have to see what happens with the trial. I...
HIATT: Well, forget Freddie Gray, but in general, do you believe there are disparities in law enforcement?
TRUMP: I’ve read where there are and I’ve read where there aren’t. I mean, I’ve read both. And, you know, I have no opinion on that. Because frankly, what I’m saying is you know we have to create incentives for people to go back and to reinvigorate the areas and to put people to work. And you know we have lost million and millions of jobs to China and other countries. And they’ve been taken out of this country, and when I say millions, you know it’s, it’s tremendous. I’ve seen 5 million jobs, I’ve seen numbers that range from 6 million to, to smaller numbers. But it’s many millions of jobs, and it’s to countries all over. Mexico is really becoming the new China. And I have great issue with that. Because you know I use in speeches sometimes Ford or sometimes I use Carrier-- it’s all the same: Ford, Carrier, Nabisco, so many of the companies-- they’re moving to Mexico now. And you know we shouldn’t be allowing that to happen. And tremendous unemployment, tremendous. They’re allowing tremendous people that have worked for the companies for a long time, they’re allowing, if they want to move around and they want to work on incentives within the United States, that’s one thing, but when they take these companies out of the United States. Other countries are outsmarting us by giving them advantages, you know, like in the case of Mexico. In the case of many other countries. Like Ireland is, you’re losing Pfizer to Ireland, a great pharmaceutical company that with many, many jobs and it’s going to move to Ireland.
RUTH MARCUS: But Mr. Trump, if I could just follow up on Fred’s question. I think that what he was trying to get at was the anger in the African American community that held some of the riots and disturbances this summer about disparate treatment and about … clearly you say you’ve read where there is disparate treatment. But it is pretty undeniable that there is disproportionate incarceration of African Americans vs. whites. What would you-- is that something that concerns you?
TRUMP: That would concern me, Ruth. It would concern me. But at the same time it can be solved to a large extant with jobs. You know, if we can rebuild those communities and create incentives for companies to move in and create jobs. Jobs are so important. There are no jobs. There are none. You go to those communities and you can’t-- there is nothing there. There is no incentive for people. It is a very sad situation. And what makes it even sadder is that we are spending so much money in other countries and our own country has vast pockets of poverty and a lot of this is caused by the fact that there are no jobs. So we can create jobs in places like Baltimore and Detroit. You know, Detroit made a move, but I don’t know but it just seems to be fizzling. I don’t know what is going on. I watched Detroit four, five years ago and it looked like they were really putting a full-court press on and it doesn’t seem to be, from what I’ve been told, friends of mine that are very much involved in that whole process that it doesn’t seem to be, doesn’t seem to be something that is being pursued like it should be pursued. But if we can create jobs, it will solve so many problems.
The editors weren't there to argue with him about his shockingly shallow grasp of fundamental policies nor even about the most crucial concerns of the American people he seeks to "lead." I asked Congresswoman Donna Edwards, running-- with Blue America's enthusiastic endorsement-- for the open U.S. Senate seat in Maryland, about Trump's analysis of the problems in Baltimore he chose to bring up and she seemed appalled by his responses. "Donald Trump," she told us. "has traveled to every corner of our country pointing his finger at people-- immigrants, people of color, women who’ve entered into the economy-- but he really should be pointing the finger at himself. The 1%, those at the very top, who have taken and taken from this economy while refusing to invest in the 99% who power this country. He has repeatedly ignored the systemic economic and racial disparities that have driven the inequality Americans live with in their daily lives. Whether that’s out of ignorance or downright lies-- he should know that we will hold him accountable."
CHARLES LANE: Can I follow up on that? I mean, to take the case of Baltimore, I mean one of the things that’s so remarkable about Baltimore and Detroit is that both of these cities, like many others have been-- it’s not as if no one has ever said before we should have economic zones, it’s not as if no one has ever said before we need incentives and taxes etc., etc. And Baltimore received a lot of federal aid over the years. So I guess the question, then, is what’s different specifically about your approach to these issues from what’s been tried in the past, because a lot of effort has been put in just the direction you just described.
TRUMP: I think what’s different is we have a very divided country. And whether we like it or not, it’s divided as bad as I’ve ever seen it. I‘ve been, you know, I’ve been doing things for a long time. I see it all the time. I mean I see it so often. I see it when we go out and we have 21,000 people in Phoenix, Arizona, the other day, the division-- not so much Phoenix, because that was actually very smooth, there wasn’t even a minor, they did block a road, but after that, that was Sheriff Joe Arpaio, when the road was unblocked everyone left and it was fine. But in Tucson, you can see the division. You can see the division. There’s a racial division that’s incredible actually in the country. I think it’s as bad, I mean you have to say it’s as bad or almost as bad as it’s ever been. And there’s a lack of spirit. And one thing I thought that would happen, and it hasn’t happened, unfortunately, I thought that President Obama would be a great cheerleader for the country. And it just hasn’t happened. I mean we can say it has. But it hasn’t happened. When you look at the Ferguson problems and the Baltimore problems and the Detroit problems. And you know there’s a lack of spirit. I actually think I’d be a great cheerleader-- beyond other things, the other things that I’d do-- I actually think I’d be a great cheerleader for the country. Because a lot of people feel it’s a hopeless situation. A lot of people in the inner cities they feel that way. And you have to start by giving them hope and giving them spirit and that has not taken place. Just has not taken place.
Since Trump seemed to have a bug up his ass about Tucson during the interview, we reached out to our favorite Arizona congressman, Tucson's working class hero, Raul Grijalva. He didn't mince any words either. "Donald Trump is preaching hate and intimidation to his fans and telling the rest of us he just wants to fix the divisions in our country. If he really understood the politics and social realities in Baltimore, in Arizona or anywhere else in this country, which he doesn't, he'd drop his Joe Arpaio endorsement and his violent rhetoric this afternoon. Unfortunately, he and many of his supporters view people of color as a convenient enemy, and that kind of rhetoric won't leave the Republican Party after this election. At the same time, we have to remember that he doesn't represent nearly as many people as he thinks he does. Ignorant thugs and selfish bullies always claim to speak for the masses and share their concerns to justify their tactics. He doesn't speak for the masses, and it's our job to prove it every chance we get-- especially in November."
Trump soon got into explaining when violence is OK and when it isn't and what giving someone the finger means and whether or not he was offering to pay the legal fees of thugs at his rallies who beat up protestors. He was soon off and running talking about how to control the media and answering questions about censorship by responding, "I’d have to get my lawyers in to tell you, but I would loosen them up. I would loosen them up. If the Washington Post writes badly about me-- and they do, they don’t write good-- I mean, I don’t think I get-- I read some of the stories coming up here, and I said to my staff, I said, “Why are we even wasting our time? The hatred is so enormous.” I don’t know why. I mean, I do a good job. I have thousands of employees. I work hard. I’m not looking for bad for our country. I’m a very rational person, I’m a very sane person. I’m not looking for bad. But I read articles by you, and others. And, you know, we’ve never-- we don’t know each other, and the level of hatred is so incredible, I actually said, “Why am I-- why am I doing this? Why am I even here?” And I don’t expect anything to happen..."
Back in February, when I read that Marlene Ricketts had contributed to one of the SuperPACs that ran anti-Trump ads, I asked here at DWT when Trump would start attacking the Cubs, the Chicago baseball team her family owns. And sure enough... he went right there with the Post editors! Hiatt asked Trump what he meant when he publicly threatened them. "I’ll start taking ads telling them all what a rotten job they’re doing with the Chicago Cubs. I mean, they are spending on me. I mean, so am I allowed to say that? I’ll start doing ads about their baseball team. That it’s not properly run or that they haven’t done a good job in the brokerage business lately... I went to a great school, I was a good student and all. I am an intelligent person. My uncle, I would say my uncle was one of the brilliant people. He was at MIT for 35 years. As a great scientist and engineer, actually more than anything else. Dr. John Trump, a great guy. I’m an intelligent person. I understand what is going on..."
HIATT: Just back to the campaign. You are smart and you went to a good school. Yet you are up there and talking about your hands and the size of private …
TRUMP: No …
HIATT: … your private parts.
TRUMP: No, no. No, no. I am not doing that.
HIATT: Do you regret having engaged in that?
TRUMP: No, I had to do it. Look, this guy. Here’s my hands. Now I have my hands, I hear, on the New Yorker, a picture of my hands.
MARCUS: You’re on the cover.
TRUMP: A hand with little fingers coming out of a stem. Like, little. Look at my hands. They’re fine. Nobody other than Graydon Carter years ago used to use that. My hands are normal hands. During a debate, he was losing, and he said, “Oh, he has small hands and therefore, you know what that means.” This was not me. This was Rubio that said, “He has small hands and you know what that means.” Okay? So, he started it. So, what I said a couple of days later … and what happened is I was on line shaking hands with supporters, and one of supporters got up and he said, “Mr. Trump, you have strong hands. You have good-sized hands.” And then another one would say, “You have great hands, Mr. Trump, I had no idea.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “I thought you were like deformed, and I thought you had small hands.” I had fifty people … Is that a correct statement? I mean people were writing, “How are Mr. Trump’s hands?” My hands are fine. You know, my hands are normal. Slightly large, actually. In fact, I buy a slightly smaller than large glove, okay? No, but I did this because everybody was saying to me, “Oh, your hands are very nice. They are normal.” So Rubio, in a debate, said, because he had nothing else to say … now I was hitting him pretty hard. He wanted to do his Don Rickles stuff and it didn’t work out. Obviously, it didn’t work too well. But one of the things he said was “He has small hands and therefore, you know what that means, he has small something else.” You can look it up. I didn’t say it.
MARCUS: You chose to raise it …
TRUMP: No, I chose to respond.
MARCUS: You chose to respond.
TRUMP: I had no choice.
MARCUS: You chose to raise it during a debate. Can you explain why you had no choice?
Eventually they almost got him to talk about his plan to nudge ISIS but then he was off and running in another direction. "I’ll tell you one thing, this is a very good looking group of people here. Could I just go around so I know who the hell I’m talking to?" Perhaps this would be a good time to ask you to consider contributing to Bernie's campaign and perhaps to the campaigns of some of the congressional candidates who have endorsed him and are running on his policy agenda? Just tap the thermometer:
One word reactions to a Trump presidency
TRUMP: I don’t want people to go around thinking that I have a problem. I’m telling you, Ruth, I had so many people. I would say 25, 30 people would tell me … every time I’d shake people’s hand, “Oh, you have nice hands.” Why shouldn’t I? And, by the way, by saying that I solved the problem. Nobody questions … I even held up my hands, and said, “Look, take a look at that hand.”
MARCUS: You told us in the debate …
TRUMP: And by saying that, I solved the problem. Nobody questions. Everyone held my hand. I said look. Take a look at that hand.
MARCUS: You told us in the debate that you guaranteed there was not another problem. Was that presidential? And why did you decide to do that?
TRUMP: I don’t know if it was presidential, honestly, whether it is or not. He said, ‘Donald Trump has small hands and therefore he has small something else.’ I didn’t say that. And all I did is when he failed, when he was failing, when he was, when Christie made him look bad, I gave him the– a little recap and I said, and I said, and I had this big strong powerful hand ready to grab him, because I thought he was going to faint. And everybody took it fine. Whether it was presidential or not I can’t tell you. I can just say that what he said was a lie. And everybody, they wanted to do stories on my hands; after I said that, they never did. And then I held up the hand, I showed people the hand. You know, when I’ve got a big audience. So yeah, I think it’s not a question of presidential …
MARCUS: He said he regrets …
HIATT: Okay, let’s move on here. Let’s move on.
TRUMP: I did feel I should respond. Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know. But I felt I should respond because everybody was talking about it.