Welcome back to the working world, folks. I hope you all had a glorious Thanksgiving weekend holiday. I enjoyed the time off by seeing some really good films (“Brooklyn” and a very surprisingly good “Creed“), some good football (highlighted by Stanford’s last second victory over Notre Dame, although it’s always nice to see Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers teams go down), and a little politics thrown in there as well, in Sarasota.
Now let’s talk about the truth, and whether voters care about it.
Democrats have become resigned to their presumptive front-runner and probable nominee for president next year, Hillary Clinton, consistently receiving low marks about her trustworthiness. A Quinnipiac poll from the battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio taken last month showed that by a 59 percent to 35 percent margin, voters said she’s not honest or trustworthy. Nevertheless, she has a very solid shot at winning the presidency next November.
Now let’s go over to the Republican Party, and their current standard-bearer in the polls, Donald Trump. Trump continues to insist that he saw “thousands” of Muslims celebrate the downing of the World Trade Center on television after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks espite evidence indicating that never happened.
He also now insists that he was not physically mocking disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski, despite video evidence from a speech he gave Tuesday night that clearly showed that was exactly what he was doing.
“So all of a sudden I hear that because I expressed myself very strongly, all of a sudden I was mocking somebody,” Trump said in his speech in Sarasota on Saturday, adding. “I would never mock a person that has difficulties.’
On Sunday, “Meet The Press’ ” Chuck Todd challenged Trump on his statements. Check out the transcript:
DONALD TRUMP: When the Trade Center came down, it was done all around the world. And you know that because that has been reported very strongly. Why wouldn’t it have taken place? I’ve had hundreds of people call in and tweet in on Twitter, saying that they saw it and I was 100 percent right.
Now, The Washington Post also wrote about tailgate parties. We’re looking for other articles. And we’re looking for other clips. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them, Chuck. But for some reason, they’re not that easy to come by. I saw it. So many people saw it, Chuck. And, so, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.
CHUCK TODD: Well just because somebody repeats something doesn’t make it true. And I guess that’s actually —
DONALD TRUMP: Chuck, I’ve had hundreds. I don’t mean I had two calls, Chuck. Even yesterday, I was in Sarasota, Florida. And people were saying they lived in Jersey, they —
CHUCK TODD: People weren’t saying. If I said people —
DONALD TRUMP: –moved down to Florida because taxes are a lot lower in Florida. They told me there that they saw it.
CHUCK TODD: Mr. Trump. If I said, “Well, people have said Mr. Trump’s net worth is $10 billion,” you would say that was crazy. You wouldn’t make a business deal —
DONALD TRUMP: But that’s a very different. It’s much different.
Is it really?
At Saturday’s rally (you can read my story here), Trump spent a full 15 minutes (out of an hour-long speech) to assail [Serge] Kovaleski and The New York Times, ranting negatively about the institution that is the Times and how great they used to be. I’d say it was bizarre, but in Trumpworld, it was just part of the show.
Trump’s popularity transcends a lot of usual metrics of traditional candidates, so it’d be foolhardy to surmise that his doubling or tripling down on his previous statements means anything negative to his campaign.
Meanwhile, will Chris Christie get anything out of his endorsement by the New Hampshire Union-Leader? The fact is, only two of the last seven times the paper has endorsed a GOP candidate has that candidate won the Granite State primary.