CNN anchor Don Lemon conducted an interview with Donald Trump. It went very well, for Mr. Trump, that is. So well that Lemon’s scoop is difficult to locate on CNN’s website. Instead, Mediate.com scooped the telephonic exchange.
Lemon was at a loss. He got more sour-looking by the minute, as Trump bulldozed him with the force of his convictions and personality. There was no interrupting Trump’s train of thought. The “builder-businessman” was going to say his piece.
Americans have been listening intently. “A CNN/ORC poll released Wednesday,” reported National Journal, “showed Trump had 12 percent of the vote among Republicans and Republican-leaners, second only to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who earned 19 percent.”
Trump’s retort: “I’m not happy being behind Jeb Bush.” He went on to ponder beguilingly how Bush 3 (a man he would fire) could be soaring in the polls:
I don’t get it. He’s in favor of Common Core, extremely weak on immigration. He thinks people come over for love. I don’t understand why he’s in first place. Maybe it’s the Bush name. Last thing we need is another Bush. But I will tell you, I’m a little surprised he’s in the position he’s in.
As Trump sees it, his countrymen are being betrayed by the Beltway. To make America great, he’d have to restore American prosperity. Jeb Bush will not do America’s bidding. It’s not his thing.
True. Jeb Bush will not lead America to the Promised Land, in Trump’s words. No politician will. The hope is that Trump, who does not need to ride us like the others, will get the parasites-in-waiting off our backs.
Trump’s strength is that he keeps coming back to the stuff of life: business, economics, making a living. Politics is the stuff that kills all that.
To Trump, actions are measures by their outcomes. Mitt Romney, by Romney’s own admission, “left everything on the field.” He gave his all in the 2012 presidential campaign. But from Trump’s perspective, “Romney did a poor job.” He didn’t win. “It’s a race that should have been won,” asserted Trump.
Still, Lemon kept trying to trip Trump: “You’re being clobbered by Republican leaderships.” While voters take Donald Trump very seriously, his party’s leadership does not.
But Trump knew better. He was not going to keep the GOP’s dirty little secrets. He doesn’t have to; he can fund his own political action committee. Yes, his rivals, opponents, the consultants, Rudy Giuliani – they may go on TV to denounce him, make light of him. But his lead in the polls is making that harder. Behind the scenes, the schemers are calling on Trump, sending him little love notes.
Lemon fastened his limp-wristed grip. Trump’s ostensible lack of gravitas was the tack to take: “Will you really be there on the stage with the other Republican candidates?” the anchor persisted in disbelief. A pumped Trump snapped, “Why would I not?!”
He, Trump, had attended the Wharton School of Business; was a great student at one of the toughest schools to get into, went on to make a tremendous fortune, wrote a business book that became the best-selling business book of all time, built a great company, employed tens of thousands of people over the years and is a great success. How is he, Trump, unfit to stand on stage with “some governor who is nothing, and some senator who is not very good and has not done a good job?!”
Note that Trump resorts to self-praise, primarily, when denigrated by denizens of the political process. People have forgotten. So he must remind them: Success is about creating value for people in the free market; not wielding force against them in the political arena.
Our country is being run by people who don’t know what they’re doing. Our politicians are not smart. I want our country to thrive.
Illegal immigration is killing our country. You got to have a border. If you don’t have a border, you don’t have a country.
Lemon was aghast. Truth has that effect on the gormless. The anchor shifted the focus to Macy’s fit of pique, hoping he’d score some points against Trump in that department. The department store had discontinued Trump’s clothing line. Donald was “divisive,” Macy’s whined.
Trump’s one-two punch: “Macy’s folded under pressure. It’s not a big business for me; it’s very small. It’s ties and stuff. It’s a peanut. CEO Terry Lundgren folded under pressure. That’s the problem with our country; everyone folds under pressure. Two picketers arrive outside Macy’s and the store folds. People can’t handle pressure. That’s OK with me. It’s a very small business; let them do what they want to do. You have to ride through the pressure. They can’t handle pressure. It’s fine.”
Would that militant gay couples were as tolerant toward the poor baker who doesn’t wish to bake them a wedding cake as Trump is toward those who shun his business.
The unremitting influx of peasants pouring over the U.S. border with Mexico is having a disastrous impact on America – on crime rates, urban sprawl, traffic congestion, overcrowding, pollution, infrastructure, the loss of rural and protected land and species. Malfunctioning media – overbearing fools like Fox News’ ubiquitous Juan Williams – believe Trump’s pronouncements on these effects is “divisive.”
Au contraire. Trump’s impolitic truth-telling seems to have united a hell of a lot of hopeless Americans.
The best of Trump Lemon left for last. “Is there anything you’d like to clear up while I have you here?”
“Nothing, absolutely nothing,” Donald fired back.
There will be no Trump apology tour.
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