Donald Trump and controversy sort of go hand-in-hand at this point in the election cycle, and as far as polls are concerned it seems to be helping him.
Actual votes, however? Given his loss at the Iowa Caucuses, it’s a mixed bag. He did finish second, but the Des Moines Register and Bloomberg had him leading the pack.
A second place finish in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday would be a hard thing for the billionaire real estate mogul, reality television star, and ex-GOP frontrunner to overcome.
As a result, the question becomes this: does Donald Trump opt for a friendlier persona to try and get more moderate voters on his side, or does he double down and play to the base?
You probably already know the answer.
At a rally on Monday leading into the NH vote, one could make the case that he “called” Ted Cruz a “p***y,” which would be the crassest insult yet for a man famous for them.
It is simply unheard of rhetoric for U.S. politics, though it could become the norm now that Donald Trump has let the genie out of the bottle.
Here’s how it all went down.
As Trump was talking about his support of waterboarding and Cruz’ reluctance to endorse it in his own right-of-center bid for the White House, he said he expected the Iowa Caucus winner to take a more hardline approach.
That’s when a woman called out that Ted Cruz was a “p***y.” After that, the Donald feigned outrage at her statement, and then asked her to repeat it.
Just so the rest of the crowd could hear, too, he then said that she had called Cruz the dreaded P-word, and he enunciated it clearly into the mic for everyone to hear.
“OK, you’re not allowed to say — and I would never expect to hear that from you again,” Trump sarcastically “scolded” the woman, adding to the audience, “she said — I never expect to hear that from you again! — she said that he’s a p***y. That’s terrible!”
What the video above doesn’t show is more sarcasm from Donald Trump when he officially “reprimands” the woman.
The Washington Post picks it up from there, noting the Donald reflected on other times in the past that his supporters have said things he failed to reprimand., and the controversy that followed.
“This time,” the report states, “Trump made a show of distancing himself from the insult he had just repeated: ‘You’re reprimanded, okay?'”
He followed that up by asking his audience if the woman could stay.
Naturally, pundits on the left and the right picked up the clip and ran it through the primary eve rounds.
Since launching his campaign for President, Donald Trump has used lots of colorful language. He said that he would “bomb the s**t out of ISIS.” He has dropped an F-bomb. He has said that in 2008 Hillary Clinton “got schlonged” in the primary. He noted that his “Only Rosie O’Donnell” answer at the first GOP debate in 2015 left Megyn Kelly with “blood coming out of her wherever.”
They are verbal jabs that would be campaign killers for any other candidate on the left or the right, but many pundits actually believe they are helping Donald Trump in his bid for the White House.
But what do you think, readers?
Has he been too insulting to other candidates to have a legitimate shot at the Presidency, and of the recent Ted Cruz “p***y” comment, do you think that Donald Trump was being sincere in his “reprimand” of the woman in his audience? Sound off in the comments section.