Donald Trump has cancelled an appearance at a major Republican gathering in South Carolina just hours before he was due to speak at the forum.
Trump cited the reason for the cancellation as an urgent business transaction which needed addressing. A day before cancelling his appearance, Trump had decided not to correct an audience member at a Town Hall event in New Hampshire. The questioner launched a brief invective against Obama on the grounds that he is a Muslim.
He started his question by saying, “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.” He added that Obama is also a Muslim. To this, Trump only responded, saying, “Right.” The man went on to suggest that Obama is, therefore, not even American.
Later, Trump defended his decision to not refute the man’s claims by releasing a statement.
The statement said that while the media is hell-bent upon making the issue about Obama, “The bigger issue is that Obama is waging a war against Christians in this country. Christians need support in this country. Their religious liberty is at stake.”
Trump’s stance has garnered a lot of criticism from both parties. The Democrat party’s front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton, tweeted, “Donald Trump not denouncing false statements about POTUS & hateful rhetoric about Muslims is disturbing, & just plain wrong.” She vehemently added, “Cut it out.”
Trump released a statement to account for the sudden cancellation saying that he had a “significant business transaction.” A delay in closing the deal compelled Trump to opt out of the forum. However, Trump is apparently really looking forward to being with the people of South Carolina in Columbia on Wednesday.
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, declined to provide any further information about the business transaction.
According to political watchers, Trump’s behavior so far has been unlike that of a conventional politician. His performance at a California event on Wednesday gathered flak for being “weak.”
The debate at the event centered on the issue of national security. Trump’s rival, Carly Fiorina, received a lot of praise for her performance.
Even in the past, Trump has repeatedly questioned Obama’s lineage. In 2011, Obama had publicly stated that he is a practicing Christian and was born in Hawaii in 1961.
Sen. Lindsey Graham said in an MSNBC interview that the incident was a defining moment for Trump. He should have corrected the questioner. Graham admitted that he would himself never tolerate such behavior, and that Trump should definitely apologize for it.
[Photo by Steve Pope / Getty Images]