Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s interview this morning with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sounded like the pundit’s descent into his own personal hell.
The night before, Trump had made one of his signature wild claims, this time that President Obama is the “founder” of the terror group ISIS. Hewitt tried in vain to help Trump clarify. But it was like watching him try to spoon-feed an unruly child only to wind up with mashed potatoes in his hair and an overturned bowl in his lap.
Hewitt: Last night, you said the president was the founder of ISIS. I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, that he lost the peace.
Trump: No. I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.
Hewitt: But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.
Trump: I don’t care. He was the founder. His, the way he got out of Iraq that was the founding of ISIS.
Hewitt: By using the term “founder,” they’re hitting you again. Mistake?
Trump: No. It’s no mistake. Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it. I give them the most valuable player award, and I give it to him and I give the co-founder to Hillary. I don’t know if you heard that.
Hewitt: I did. I did and I played it.
Trump: I gave her the co-founder.
For Hewitt, who is considered fairly knowledgeable on issues of foreign policy and terrorism, his chosen candidate’s utter lack of interest in clearly articulating his thoughts on complex national security matters has to be painful. But while he may be disappointed, he can’t claim to be surprised. It was Hewitt himself, after all, who memorably exposed Trump’s complete ignorance of how the US nuclear deterrent is structured while moderating a presidential debate last December.
When it became clear that Trump was going to win the GOP’s presidential nomination, Hewitt declared himself a supporter, less out of affection for Trump than out of his conviction that Hillary Clinton was unacceptable.
He made his choice. Now, he’s stuck with it. Hopefully the stains will wash out.