Hey, remember this?
After routinely flirting with a third-party run, Donald Trump signed an unambiguously-worded pledge in early September, vowing forego a third-party presidential bid if he fails to secure the Republican presidential nomination. Having committed his word, Trump averred that he had "no intention" of reconsidering the promise: "I see no circumstances under which I would tear up that pledge," he said, calling the pledge "total." Now he's mad about some opponents and outside groups announcing plans to attack him, so the thin-skinned and erratic Republican frontrunner is once again changing his tune. Surprise:
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump would not rule out making a run for president as an independent despite signing a pledge over the summer saying he would support the eventual GOP nominee instead of running a third-party bid. “I’m going to have to see what happens. I will see what happens. I have to be treated fairly,” Trump said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week” when asked about a new guerrilla effort by operatives within the Republican Party to derail Trump’s candidacy.
But not to worry, conservatives. He'll be totally reliable on all the issues on which he's completely reversed himself in order to pander to you -- from tax increases, to abortion, to gun control, to government-run healthcare (which he still praises), to immigration rhetoric and policy, etc. His longstanding alignment with the Democratic Party and financial support for Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid shouldn't concern you either. Nor should his ongoing left-wing talking points on "fairness," the Koch brothers, "blame Bush," and expanding the federal bureaucracy. And neither should his abysmally low (34/61) favorability rating among the general electorate, much worse than even his dear friend and benefactor Hillary's terrible numbers. He'll never abandon you in pursuit of his own self-serving interests, or for attention. Incidentally, Trump was given yet another opportunity on Sunday to clear up the "media smear" regarding his allegedly nonexistent support for a national registry of Muslims -- including citizens. He took another pass, declining to answer the question asked of him, keeping things nice and hazy:
Here's the full Trump quote, which seems to be about Syrian refugees, not Muslim citizens. pic.twitter.com/jtnE3Xkk5L— Jimmy (@JimmyPrinceton) November 22, 2015
This is more evidence supporting my suspicion that he's deliberately obfuscating. His supporters who insist this is a made-up media hit job can point to his responses focusing on refugees, while other supporters who like the idea of this unconstitutional scheme won't find a denial in there. And then there's this:
GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is doubling down on comments that thousands of people in parts of New Jersey with large Arab populations cheered on 9/11. Trump said at a rally on Saturday in Birmingham, Ala. that he watched as the World Trade Center “came tumbling down.” “And I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down,” he added. “Thousands of people were cheering.” ABC “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked Trump on Sunday if he misspoke, noting that “police say that didn't happen and all those rumors have been on the Internet for some time.” “It did happen. I saw it, “ Trump said. “It was on television. I saw it...George, it did happen,” Trump persisted.
He did not see it, and it was not on television. In fairness to Trump, I distinctly remember hearing rumors about crowds of Muslims in parts of New Jersey openly celebrating on 9/11, but no credible corroborating evidence ever emerged, and local police have strongly refuted the claim. He may have been thinking of this footage showing Palestinians dancing in the streets of Gaza. Conflation is often how false memories form. What's inexcusable, but not surprising, is Trump's reckless, fact-free double-down. But cults of personality will justify and excuse virtually anything. Which helps explain why this vile man still has an approval rating in the low 40's: