In a freshly-released editorial, the Des Moines Register has a simple message for the newly-risen Republican frontrunner: Drop out.
It's time for Donald Trump to drop out of the race for president of the United States.
People who run for public office typically perform a great public service, regardless of whether they win on Election Day. That's particularly true of presidential candidates, most of whom must devote two years of their lives to hard-fought campaigns that involve staggering personal and financial sacrifices, all in an effort to serve their country.
And then there's Trump.
So what's the editorial board’s particular grievance, you ask? It appears they have two. “Trump, by every indication, seems wholly unqualified to sit in the White House,” the Register notes. And two, the newspaper wants him to drop out because of trivializing comments he made about Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) military record. But Trump has sought to defend himself, of course, by claiming that during that same event, he called McCain a war hero “four times.” Fact checkers, however, disagree.* Upon further review, they determined that that defense was “mostly false.” More from the Register:
His comments were not merely offensive, they were disgraceful. So much so, in fact, that they threaten to derail not just his campaign, but the manner in which we choose our nominees for president. By using his considerable wealth, his celebrity status, and his mouth to draw attention to himself, rather than to raise awareness of the issues facing America, he has coarsened our political dialogue and cheapened the electoral process.
Maybe so. But Trump isn’t dropping out. Not a chance. As a matter of fact, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows him dominating his rivals, garnering a whopping 24 percent in the pollsters' latest survey :
Businessman Donald Trump surged into the lead for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, with almost twice the support of his closest rival, just as he ignited a new controversy after making disparaging remarks about Sen. John McCain’s Vietnam War service, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Support for Trump fell sharply on the one night that voters were surveyed following those comments. Telephone interviewing for the poll began Thursday, and most calls were completed before the news about the remarks was widely reported.
Thus, I would be interested to see where he sits in the polls after all respondents are aware and informed of his comments. I’ll leave you with Trump's appearance on The O'Reilly Factor last night, during which he conceded that Sen. McCain is, in fact, a hero:
UPDATE: Trump responds to the editorial.
We all new this was coming, right? pic.twitter.com/V7u8eG6vFX— Mark Murray (@mmurraypolitics) July 21, 2015
*Sharyl Attkisson has defended him, however.
Editor's note: This post has been updated for clarity purposes.