One of the first signs of trouble for Scott Walker’s ill-fated presidential campaign came early on when the Wisconsin governor tried to address national security. Walker argued that he’d faced criticism from labor unions, which taught him valuable lessons he could apply to taking on ISIS.
That, of course, didn’t make any sense. Walker later tried again, insisting his background in the Boy Scouts helped prepare him for international leadership.
None of this helped the Republican governor, and the stories quickly offered his rivals examples of how not to talk about national security challenges. And yet, take a look at what Donald Trump told Bloomberg News yesterday, while bragging about his restoration of an ice-skating rink in New York City’s Central Park.
Trump called the rink “an example of what can be done by private enterprises” and has used it as a symbol of what he can achieve in politics.“It’s all the same,” Trump said when asked if he was comparing building an ice skating rink to being the commander-in-chief.
That seemed implausible, even for Trump, so I checked the video to see precisely what he said. Here’s a transcript of the exchange between the Republican candidate and Mark Halperin:
HALPERIN: So people who say, “Trump’s got no government experience, he can’t possibly be president because that’s not what being president is being about,” this [ice-skating rink] was a government problem. The city couldn’t get this thing built. What are examples of things now that aren’t getting done that you think you could bring the same skills to if you were president, just like you got this thing built.
TRUMP: I’ll give you one example: wars. Wars aren’t getting done. It’s the same thing. […]
HALPERIN: Your critics would say, you’ve just compared building an ice-skating rink to stopping wars, and that is–
TRUMP: It’s all the same.
TRUMP: It has to do with efficiency, it has to do with common sense, it has to do with knowledge.
Somewhere, Scott Walker is probably watching this and banging his head against his desk.
For the record, commanding the U.S. military and executing an effective national security strategy in the Middle East has literally nothing to do with constructing an ice-skating rink.
Such an argument would, under normal circumstances, end a presidential campaign. For Donald Trump, however, such odd comments are so routine that it’s just another Monday.