High-profile Democrats, from President Obama on down, are now openly trolling Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, turning some of his own tactics back on the former reality television star by suggesting he is a “loser” and that he isn’t strong enough to be president of the United States.
One of Trump’s strategies throughout his run for the GOP nomination and continuing through into the general election was constant attacks on his competitors, both in person on the debate stage and on social media. The object, it seemed, was to throw them off balance, or at least force them to waste time defending themselves.
But the GOP nominee has, time and again, proven that he is much better at dishing out abuse than he is at taking it. Even light criticism from House Speaker Paul Ryan had Trump lashing out at the top elected Republican in the land last week. After the first debate, Trump started an embarrassing and lengthy Twitter attack on a former Miss Universe who had criticized him.
And now, barely 24 hours before the final presidential debate before the election, the Democrats seem to be trying to bait him into yet another meltdown.
In a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Tuesday, President Obama very pointedly tweaked Trump for his repeated insistence that the election next month is being “rigged” and his suggestion that minority voters will be engaged in voter fraud.
“I have never seen in my lifetime, or in modern political history, any presidential candidate trying to discredit the elections and the elections process before votes have even taken place,” he president said. “It's unprecedented. It happens to be based on no facts.”
He went on to repeatedly needle Trump for complaining, suggesting that if he can’t handle a close election, he isn’t “tough” enough to be president.
“The notion that somehow if Mr. Trump loses Florida it's because of ‘those people’ that you have to watch out for, is both irresponsible, and by the way, doesn't really show the kind of leadership and toughness that you'd want out of a president.”
(It would not be lost on a hyper-alpha male like Trump that the president was, effectively, saying that he believes he is personally tougher than Trump.)
“You start whining before the game's even over, if whenever things are going badly for you and you lose you start blaming somebody else, then you don't have what it takes to be in this job,” he added, before concluding, “And so, I'd advise Mr. Trump to stop whining and go try and make his case to get votes.”
Hours later, Jennifer Palmieri, a top spokesperson for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, piled on in a conversation with reporters.
“There are two reasons why Donald Trump is talking about rigged elections,” she said. “One is, he’s trying to distract from the bad storyline of his verbal and physical assaults on women. And because he’s losing and he wants to blame somebody else. That’s what losers do.”
Palmieri also took a dig at Trump for his call last week for Clinton to take a drug test prior to tomorrow’s debate, suggesting that perhaps it was Trump who was relying on chemical assistance and that he is projecting.
Even Clinton herself got into the act, if only indirectly, with the announcement on Tuesday that reality show star Mark Cuban, who she invited to the first presidential debate in a sly dig at Trump, would be turning up for the third one, too. Cuban, a self-made billionaire who originally supported Trump, has become one of the GOP nominee’s biggest detractors in the entertainment world.
On Tuesday Cuban, who like Trump is active on Twitter, took aim with this:
Cant wait to give a big hug to my bestie @realDonaldTrump at the debate tomorrow night. I know you miss me !— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) October 18, 2016