The “Obama Muslim” scandal you’ve been reading about the last few days that — depending on the source reporting — has started to tank Donald Trump’s campaign for president is likely just wishful thinking.
Two days ago — which was in itself two days removed from the CNN-hosted GOP debate — the news channel announced, “Trump doesn’t challenge anti-Muslim questioner at event.”
A man asked “the Donald” a question: “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims,” the New Hampshire man said. “You know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.”
Trump chuckled while interrupting the questioner.
“We need this question. This is the first question.”
“Anyway,” the man continued, “we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question: When can we get rid of them?”
Trump’s answer wasn’t the best.
“We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things. You know, a lot of people are saying that and a lot of people are saying that bad things are happening. We’re going to be looking at that and many other things.”
Over the next couple of days more left-wing sites like Huffington Post and Yahoo! began hoping this would be Trump’s “Romney 47 percent” moment, punching up the fact that his poll numbers have fallen in recent days.
But if this “Obama Muslim” scandal is all the more traditional Republicans and anti-Trump Democrats have to go on, they’re liable to be sorely disappointed.
For starters, around 43 percent of the people Trump is campaigning to believe President Obama is a Muslim despite his assertions to the contrary. When close to half of the voting base shares the view of the man in New Hampshire and a great deal of the remaining 57 percent may not think he’s Muslim, but do think he’s hostile to Christians, it’s easy to call Trump’s response to the “Obama Muslim” scandal adequate.
Instead of apologizing, he has taken the approach that Christians in this country “are in danger of losing their religious freedom” and that the president has been “horrible to Christians.”
Those are statements that a vast majority of Republicans — the people deciding on the nomination — agree with.
But what about Trump’s falling numbers, you ask?
Put this in perspective. When you get to the heart of the new polls coming out, his numbers have fallen, but they’ve fallen from the all-time high of 32 percent to their previous high of 24 percent, and that can just as easily be attributed to the strength of other candidates’ stronger second debate performances — mainly Carly Fiorina (who rose to 15 percent) and Marco Rubio (who rose to 11 percent).
Those two candidates, along with Dr. Ben Carson, who surged previously and held firm at 14 percent, appear to be turning the earth, so to speak, and helping sift out the crowded Republican field. Trump’s base, in the meantime, holds firm.
All that said, Donald Trump certainly doesn’t have the GOP nomination in the bag, but the “Obama Muslim” thing isn’t sinking him with Republican voters. And since many of Trump’s supporters appear to be from all ends of the political spectrum, it likely won’t do the trick nationally either.
Do you think Trump should have corrected the “Obama Muslim” questioner, or is this pretty much a non-issue?