Trump ‘punches down’ against Michael Bloomberg and Khizr Khan


TrumpFingerDonald Trump is a thin-skinned ego-maniac who does not let any insult roll off his back. He takes any  perceived insult deeply personal and is vindictive about getting even with anyone who has insulted him (in his mind). This leads Trump to violate the campaign rule that you never punch down against the surrogates of your opponent. Always focus on your opponent.

Nancy LeTourneau at the Political Animal Blog writes, Trump Says That He Wants to Hit the “Little Guy”:

During her speech at the DNC Monday night, Michelle Obama focused on how both the current campaign and the outcome of this election will affect our children. She introduced the topic by talking about how she inculcates her children against the kind of rhetoric we’ve been subjected to.

That is what Barack and I think about every day as he tried to guide and protect our girls from the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight. How we urged them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith. How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country. How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level.

In many ways, that reinforced what might be the most effective ad so far from the Clinton campaign. Role Models | Hillary Clinton

Role Models

Just in case you had any doubts about whether or not Donald Trump would alter this ugly rhetoric for the general election, yesterday he demonstrated that he won’t.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Thursday afternoon he wanted to “hit” some of the Democratic National Convention speakers “so hard” while watching them last night, including a “little guy…so hard his head would spin.”

“You know what I wanted to. I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard,” Trump said. “I would have hit them. No, no. I was going to hit them, I was all set and then I got a call from a highly respected governor.”…

“I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy,” he said. “I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin and he wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”

No parent wants their children to emulate that kind of talk – much less behavior. So once again the Republican nominee is making their job more difficult.

As I wrote the other day, it is obvious that Democrats have gotten under Trump’s very thin skin during their convention. His reaction yesterday was a sign that they continued to do so. So in addition to my reaction of wanting to protect our children from what a presidential nominee says, I wondered who the “very little guy” was who had particularly set Trump off. It looks like he answered that question today.


If I thought that Trump was actually a competent campaigner, I’d guess that his reaction to Bloomberg’s speech was the same as mine: he did a great job of reaching out on Clinton’s behalf to Independents, business people and Republicans who are still capable of rational thought. But, based on what I have observed over the last few months. I actually think that it was this part of Bloomberg’s speech that got to him.

Now, we’ve heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve built a business and I didn’t start it with a million-dollar check from my father…

Throughout his career, Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry shareholders, and contractors who feel cheated, and disillusioned customers who feel ripped off. Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.

I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one!

For all his bluster otherwise, Donald Trump has become completely predictable. If you want to shut him up…send in a Michelle Obama to go over his head with talk about deep values. And if you want to get under his skin…accuse him of being a New York con man who made it on his dad’s money.

 Now Trump is “punching down” against the grieving gold star parents of an American soldier who gave his life defending his fellow soldiers, because they so effectively humiliated Trump before a national television audience for his Islamophobic bigotry. Donald Trump Criticizes Muslim Family of Slain U.S. Soldier, Drawing Ire:

Donald J. Trump belittled the parents of a slain Muslim soldier who had strongly denounced Mr. Trump during the Democratic National Convention, saying that the soldier’s father had delivered the entire speech because his mother was not “allowed” to speak.

Mr. Trump’s comments, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News that [aired] on Sunday, drew quick and widespread condemnation and amplified calls for Republican leaders to distance themselves from their presidential nominee. With his implication that the soldier’s mother had not spoken because of female subservience expected in some traditional strains of Islam, his comments also inflamed his hostilities with American Muslims.

Khizr Khan, the soldier’s father, lashed out at Mr. Trump in an interview on Saturday, saying his wife had not spoken at the convention because it was too painful for her to talk about her son’s death.

Mr. Trump, he said, “is devoid of feeling the pain of a mother who has sacrificed her son.”

Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, a rival of Mr. Trump’s in the Republican primaries who has refused to endorse him, castigated him on Twitter. “There’s only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honor and respect,” he wrote, using the term for surviving family members of those who died in war.

And Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump’s Democratic opponent, said he “was not a normal presidential candidate.”

“Someone who attacks everybody has something missing,” she told a crowd at a campaign stop in Youngstown, Ohio. “I don’t know what it is. I’m not going to get into that.”

Mr. Khan’s speech at the convention in Philadelphia was one of the most powerful given there. It was effectively the Democratic response to comments Mr. Trump has made implying many American Muslims have terrorist sympathies or stay silent when they know ones who do. Mr. Trump has called to ban Muslim immigration as a way to combat terrorism.

KahnAt the convention, Mr. Khan spoke about how his 27-year-old son, Humayun Khan, an Army captain, died in a car bombing in 2004 in Iraq as he tried to save other troops.

He criticized Mr. Trump, saying he “consistently smears the character of Muslims,” and pointedly challenged what sacrifices Mr. Trump had made. Holding a pocket-size copy of the Constitution, he asked if Mr. Trump had read it. Mr. Khan’s wife stood silently by his side.

Mr. Trump told Mr. Stephanopoulos that Mr. Khan seemed like a “nice guy” and that he wished him “the best of luck.” But, he added, “If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me.”

Mr. Trump also told Maureen Dowd of The New York Times on Friday night, “I’d like to hear his wife say something.”

In a statement late Saturday, Mr. Trump called Captain Khan a “hero,” and reiterated his belief that the United States should bar Muslims from entering the country.

“While I feel deeply for the loss of his son,” he added, “Mr. Khan, who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things.”

Even given Mr. Trump’s reputation for retaliating when attacked, his remarks about the Khans were startling. They called to mind one of his earliest counterpunches of the campaign, when he responded to criticism from Senator John McCain of Arizona, once a prisoner of war in Vietnam, by saying at a forum in Iowa, “I like people that weren’t captured.”

But Mr. McCain has a long history in the public eye. The Khans, before their convention appearance, had none.

“Trump is totally void of any decency because he is unaware of how to talk to a Gold Star family and how to speak to a Gold Star mother,” Mr. Khan said on Saturday.

Ms. Khan did speak on Friday to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, saying she “cannot even come in the room where his pictures are.”

When she saw her son’s photograph on the screen behind her on the stage in Philadelphia, she said, “I couldn’t take it.”

“I controlled myself at that time,” she said, while choking back tears. “It is very hard.”

In his interview with The Times, Mr. Khan said his wife had helped him craft his convention speech, and told him to remove certain attacks he had wanted to make against Mr. Trump.

* * *

Mr. Trump’s comments provoked another avalanche of criticism on social media, and again put Republican leaders in a difficult position, facing new demands that they repudiate their presidential nominee.

* * *

[W]hen asked what he would say to the grieving father, Mr. Trump replied, “I’d say, ‘We’ve had a lot of problems with radical Islamic terrorism.’”

Mr. Stephanopoulos also noted that Mr. Khan said that Mr. Trump had “sacrificed nothing,” and had lost no one.

TrumpDraft“I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices,” Mr. Trump replied. “I’ve worked very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs.”

[For the record, Donald Trump had the opportunity to serve and the record speaks for itself that he did not. He sought five draft deferments during the Vietnam War.]

Some of the fiercest condemnations on Saturday came from Republicans who have argued — unsuccessfully to date — that Mr. Trump is unfit to be president.

Tim Miller, a former communications director for Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign, called Mr. Trump’s comments “inhuman.”

“Memo to Trump supporters,” Peter Wehner, a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter. “He’s a man of sadistic cruelty. With him there’s no bottom. Now go ahead & defend him.”

Reihan Salam, a conservative writer for National Review and a frequent Trump critic, said that Mr. Trump had an opportunity to declare remorse for the Khans while still holding to his own views as a candidate.

“He might have asked why Humayun Khan had died in the first place — because of a war that many, if not most, Americans regard as a tragic blunder,” he said.

“There was really no benefit for Trump in suggesting that Ghazala Khan had been muzzled,” he added, “because she could easily come out and say that she had been too grief-stricken to speak, which she did.”

Ibrahim Hooper, the spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said on Saturday, “It’s really despicable that anyone, let alone a presidential candidate, would choose to dishonor the service of an American who gave his life for this nation.”

Ms. Khan, he said, “was obviously there to support her husband, who was offering what many people believe was the most impactful speech of the entire convention.”

It amazes me that anyone in military service or a military veteran can support Donald Trump who shows so little regard for those who proudly serve their country.


  1. mr khan’s son would not be dead if hillary clinton and other democrats had not voted for the iraq war.

    • And the overwhelming Republican majorities who voted for the war get a pass in your “I hate Democrats” world? You’re a tool.

      • I have written many times bush and his running dogs should be sent to the hague for war crimes and charged with treason for the murder of 5000 americans in iraq here many times on this blog and you know it

    • That’s a fact, Captain Arizona, something that is woefully missing in most discussions, facts. Without the George Bush presidency and congressional support (including the support of Mrs. Clinton) for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, Mr. Khan’s son would not have been killed in that war.

      The Iraq War was hatched in a think tank, The Project for the New American Century. These neo-conservatives under the leadership of such individuals as Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Cheney, presented their case to Bill Clinton multiple times in the 1990s, and he wisely told them to get lost.
      Hillary’s vote is outrageous when you factor in her insider knowledge, being married to the president.
      I suppose it was related to her being a senator from New York and wanting to be re-elected in 2006, and believing this is what she had to do.

      Damn the body count and the maimed and the displaced and the birth defects and the unjustified destruction of a sovereign nation etc…

      BTW, Captain Arizona, your comments are great.

      • For newly minted history buffs, this is a good summary of “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” written by PNAC members, mostly Paul Wolfowitz, if I recall correctly. I haven’t looked at this in a long time, and now it reads like the drug induced blather of unemployed stoners. In a way it was. The PNAC leaders were cold war relics who believed they were men of destiny, and that America should rule the world (and space and cyberspace). Their masterpiece reads like bullsh!t, but it was the basis for the Bush Doctrine.

        So, yes, I would question why anyone with this knowledge would have supported the Iraq invasion.

    • I am compelled to say, however, that the sacrifices made by those who fought in the war are in no way diminished by bad political decisions. They are not the deciders, they just bear the burden for the entire nation until it is over or until public outrage forces it to an end.

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