Horowitz: Trump’s Failure to Accept Any Responsibility Disqualifies Him

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


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Rob Horowitz

For what close Trump watchers now recognize as his standard practice, Donald Trump evaded and lied his way through his many television interviews over the weekend, refusing to accept any responsibility for the sporadic, but escalating, violence that has occurred at his rallies and at an event he cancelled Friday night in Chicago.

Even worse, he defended John McGraw, one of his supporters, who was arrested for assault after sucker-punching a protester who was being escorted out of a rally last week in North Carolina by local police.  Trump told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he was still considering paying McGraw’s legal bills. “From what I understand, he was sticking a certain finger up in the air,” Trump said. “And that is a terrible thing to do in front of somebody that frankly wants to see America made great again.”
For anyone who saw the video of the sucker-punch and heard Mr. McGraw tell Inside Edition that the next time he saw the man he punched, ‘he might have to kill him”, Trump’s pathetic defense rings hollow. Even when confronted with the consequences of his repeated incitement of his supporters to physically go after protesters, and given the opportunity to exercise responsible leadership and dial-it down, Trump doubled-down.
Trump’s choice words at his rallies, include saying he would like to ‘punch a protester in the face”, telling his supporters that in the good old days, protesters would be carried out on a stretcher, and his previous offer to pay legal fees for people that roughed up protesters. “Just knock the hell out of them,” Trump said, “I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees."

To give Trump a benefit of the doubt he doesn’t deserve, one could initially argue that to this Master Showman and Reality Television Star, his harsh comments about how to treat the protesters were mainly intended to add drama to the Show. But his refusal to change his tone in the face of mounting violence, coupled with his failure to take any responsibility for it, demonstrates why he is completely unqualified to be President.  

The outrageous and dangerous way Trump has handled a situation that he created, caused both John Kasich and Marco Rubio to waver on their commitment to support Trump, if he wins the nomination.

Kasich said, “Donald Trump has created a toxic political environment…There is no place for a national leader to prey on the fears on people who live in our great country.”

Rubio told Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday, ‘It’s getting harder every day to justify that statement to myself, to my children, to my family, to the people that support me.  This country deserves better. At some point, people have to wake up here.  This is really going to do damage to America.”
Whether or not Donald Trump pays a price for his irresponsibility in today’s important primary contests, his disqualifying actions make a contested convention more likely and make the possibility of his ultimate election as President of the United States more remote. And they sure should.

Rob Horowitz is a strategic and communications consultant who provides general consulting, public relations, direct mail services and polling for national and state issue organizations, various non-profits and elected officials and candidates. He is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Rhode Island.


Related Slideshow: 10 Ways Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Are Actually Similar

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Universal Health Care 

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Reforming Wall Street

Both candidates have made serious noise talking about reforming Wall Street. Bernie Sanders has just about made his whole career on taking on financial kingpins, and has attracted many young fans in the process.

While the uber-capitalist Trump may seem like the candidate to take on his fellow one-percenters, his words say something different. Trump blasted hedge fund managers on CBS, saying they are “getting away with murder,” on CBS’ “Face the Nation" in 2015.

"The hedge fund guys didn't build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky,” Trump said.

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They Don't Take Money from Wall Street

It’s not just that the candidates criticize Wall Street and big banks—plenty do that. But Trump and Sanders back up their tough talk by not attracting campaign donations from those same financial institutions.

Sure, Hillary Clinton has taken aim at the major financial mavericks during her time on the campaign trail—what self-respecting Democrat hasn’t? But a closer look at her campaign financials shows that she isn’t putting her money where her mouth is.

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Their Campaigns are Populist Movements

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Instead, their campaigns have been buoyed by passionate, typically politically apathetic people. People who have finally found someone they  can relate to in the political landscape and someone they feel they can trust. Despite repeated predictions of failure, regular people continue to respond to their campaigns, as both Sanders and Trump remain near or at the polls as the primaries begin.

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The Most Unusual Candidates (Ever?)

Trump and Sanders are certainly the most unusual candidates this year, as both the Republican and Democratic fields contain typical governors, senators and congressman vying for the ultimate government job. It goes one step further, however—they may be the most unusual candidates a Presidential campaign has ever seen.

Sure, Trump isn’t the first rich eccentric to take a run at the Oval Office (just google Ross Perot if you don’t believe us.) But he’s certainly the first candidate to speak about immigrants and other races as he has.

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Massive Crowds

Political candidates of any variety like going where they are wanted. They make sure that there are plenty of warm well-wishers to make campaign events see exciting and full.

Trump and Sanders, however, seem to be able to attract raucous crowds that are more akin to rock concert or playoff game than a political rally. People come in costume, dressed as their favorite candidate. Teenagers, even though they cannot cast a vote, turn out in full face paint to support their candidate.

It’s happened all over the country. Record-setting crowds packed the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon and thousands filled the DCU Center to see Trump in Worcester, Massachusetts. Everywhere these candidates go, people rush to see them.

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Lots of Small-Money Donations

Typically, leading Presidential campaigns are powered by big money donations, but that’s not the case for Trump and Sanders.

As Graphiq shows us below, Sanders and Trump are one and two, respectively in the amount of campaign donations under $200—a sure sign of grassroots support.

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Real Talk

How often do you watch and listen to a political speaking, and find yourself drifting off to sleep or reaching for your iPhone?

That rarely seems to be the case when Trump or Sanders are on the mic. You never quite know when Trump will insult an entire religion or ethnic group in one thirty-second soundbite. 

Not to be outdone, Sanders folksy and frantic style of speech has attracted attention—and plenty of jokes and memes—from all across the internet.

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 Slated for Failure

Since the first day that each candidate announced their campaign, the political intellectual and elite have told everyone that they just don’t stand a chance. Trump and Sanders are too controversial, their too radical and they are too inexperienced. How many times did political analysts or other talking heads say they would be out of the race before the first votes are ever cast?

Yet here we are, just a few days away from the first caucuses and primaries. Neither Trump nor Sanders are out of the race. Neither is on their dying breaths. They are thriving. And, as you’ll see in our next slide, they are winning

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Leading in Iowa (and New Hampshire!)

If the latest polls are to believed these massively unusual candidates—one socialist, one real estate magnate/reality tv star, both with tons of small donations, both told they never had any chance—will be making victory speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire soon.

According to CNN, Trump has an 11 point lead among Republicans and Sanders an eight point lead among Democrats in Iowa just a few days before the caucus.

And in New Hampshire, as you’ll see below,  Trump and Sanders have double digit leads as we approach the first true primary.


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