At this point, it seems as though Donald Trump has decided that it simply doesn’t matter what comes out of his mouth – that whatever he says, he’ll still be able to pull the 20-to-25 percent respondents he needs to stay in the forefront of an over-large pack of GOP presidential contenders.
It’s hard to come up with a better explanation for Trump’s callous-seeming reaction to a news story that would have prompted expressions of revulsion from any other politician, or from any compassionate human, for that matter.
The Boston Globe reported yesterday that two brothers, both with criminal histories, attacked a homeless man early Wednesday morning, first urinating on him before beating him with their fists and, ultimately, a metal pole. The attack, apparently, was touched off by the fact that the man, who was said to be sleeping at the time, is Hispanic.
“Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” one of the men allegedly told police officers after the brothers were arrested and their victim sent to the hospital. There was no evidence, one way or the other, about the victim’s actual legal status.
The Globe asked Trump to comment on the story, and his reaction was, well, surprising.
“It would be a shame . . .” he told the Globe. “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
Not a word for the victim, not a bit of criticism for the attackers. As he does with almost all topics, Trump steered the conversation to himself.
Of course, it should come as no surprise that Trump was unwilling to associate any of his virulent criticism of immigrants as rapists and criminals with actions taken by his supporters. Admitting fault, in almost any form, simply isn’t in his DNA, as he admitted in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter out today.
Asked if any of his critics might have a valid point, Trump said, “People say, ‘He won't apologize for anything’ — well, I was right on illegal immigration. [John] McCain blew it because he's done a poor job of taking care of the veterans. And then the third element so far, you had Megyn Kelly, and I think you've seen what happened with that. I feel quite confident in my position. At the same time, I believe in apologizing. But to apologize for me is very difficult. I definitely would apologize if I were wrong on something.
What was the last thing you apologized for, interviewer Janice Min asked.
“It was too many years ago to remember. I have one of the great memories of all time, but it was too long ago,” Trump said.
But it was when Min asked Trump about death threats that Fox anchor Megyn Kelly received after she tangled with him in the first Republican presidential debate that she elicited what might be the Trumpiest Trumpism ever.
“I'm sure they don't mean that,” he said. “I had heard that had happened. But I have gained such respect for the people that like me and respect me and that like my views, it's incredible.”