Targeting voting rights, Trump stumbles on how grocery stores work

A man walks through a grocery store in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
A man walks through a grocery store in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

At a campaign rally in Florida last night, Donald Trump made quite a few unfortunate comments, but his unscripted remark about grocery stores was especially memorable.

"You know, if you go out and you want to buy groceries, you need a picture on a card, you need ID. You go out and you want to buy anything, you need ID and you need your picture," Trump said at Tuesday night's Tampa, Fla., rally to drum up support for GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis' gubernatorial bid.He was -- in the moment -- throwing his support behind tougher ID requirements for voters."Only American citizens should vote in American elections. The time has come for voter ID like everything else," Trump said.

It's probably been a while since the president had to buy his own groceries -- if that's ever happened -- but as the vast majority of Americans know, "if you go out and you want to buy groceries," photo ID is not required.

Trump's latest head-scratcher immediately brought to mind President George H.W. Bush seemingly expressing amazement in 1992 at the fact that grocery stores have scanners. In that case, however, the initial reports were misleading -- Bush wasn't treated fairly on this one -- but the story was used by his critics to make the then-president appear out of touch.

Trump's incident, however, is real. The everyday experiences of the American mainstream really are foreign to him.

But even more important is the fact that the president is still responding to an imaginary problem, calling for new national voting restrictions that would serve no legitimate purpose.

Indeed, American elections do face a real threat, but it comes from foreign adversaries. On that front, as NBC News reported last week, "there is no coherent Trump administration strategy to combat foreign election interference -- and no single person or agency in charge."

If the president is concerned about the integrity of our voting system, great. Trump can stop trying to put new hurdles between Americans and the ballot box, and start focusing on threats that exist.