Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally in Cleveland, Ohio, Oct. 22, 2016. 
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Donald Trump at Gettysburg, with malice towards many

At a North Carolina on Friday, Donald Trump conceded that he likes to ignore good advice from his campaign aides. “I like to deny things,” the Republican presidential hopeful said. “Like, I like to deny – because – but they say, ‘Oh, talk about jobs.’ But these [ads from Hillary Clinton’s campaign] are so false. All of these things, they’re so false. They’re such lies.”

The GOP nominee could talk about important issues, but Trump wants voters to know he prefers to talk about campaign commercials he doesn’t like. He’s one of those very rare candidates who not only avoids discussing job creation, but openly acknowledges that he’d rather focus on something he finds more interesting: TV ads.

Trump just can’t get out of his own way. The problem was even clearer a day later in Pennsylvania.
Near the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg, Donald Trump laid out his strategy Saturday for the battle ahead. But what was billed as a “roadmap” to a Trump administration was a further escalation of the GOP nominee’s scathing rhetoric against his foes in a presidential election that he has likened to a war.

His remarks, which included threatening to sue the women who have accused him of sexual assault in years past, were cast in the light of a campaign still battling for votes Nov. 8 – and suggesting a battle even beyond this election.
In theory, the point of Trump’s speech was a perfectly sound idea: the address was supposed to focus on the policies he intended to pursue in his first 100 days in office. As a campaign strategy, it makes a lot of sense for Trump and his team to look forward and focus as much attention as possible on the kind of measures the Republican would prioritize if elected.

And while he did eventually get around to sharing some bad ideas – Trump seems to be quite excited about term limits all of a sudden, despite his previous opposition to the idea – the GOP nominee also stepped all over his own message. After talking at length about how “rigged” the election is, he vowed, in reference to the women who’ve accused him of sexual misconduct, “All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”

Or put another way, the first 100 days in a Trump administration would be … litigious.

There’s every reason to believe these lawsuits will never actually happen. Trump talked about suing the New York Times, too, but his lawyers no doubt explained that such a case would be pointless, and targeting his accusers would be equally misguided.

But Trump revels in his grievances, even when it doesn’t make sense, even when his self-pity undermines his own presidential campaign.

“I like to deny things” will be a fitting epitaph for Trump’s political obituary.



Donald Trump

Donald Trump at Gettysburg, with malice towards many