by Steve Adubato, PhD
Just when I thought Donald Trump couldn’t get any worse in his public speeches, he hit a new low in Rochester, NH (after bragging that he did so well in the CNN GOP Republican debate) in which he clearly did not step up and act like a leader. Trump’s first question from the audience came from a supporter who asked, “We have a problem in this country. It's called Muslims. You know our current President is one. You know he's not even an American… Anyway, we have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That's my question: When can we get rid of them?"
Amazingly, Trump didn’t have the decency or the courage to simply correct the man by saying something like, “I appreciate your support, and I have my disagreements with President Obama, but he is clearly as American as any one of us.”
Further, Trump allowed the guy to make a sweeping and disgusting characterization of Muslims as if they were all terrorists looking to attack America. Trump didn’t correct or clarify that. That’s about as low as you can go.
When John McCain was running for President, a woman at a campaign event who clearly didn’t like Barack Obama called him an “Arab.” McCain politely took the microphone and said, “No ma’am he’s a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues.” He went on to talk about his differences with Obama but made it crystal clear that the President was an American, and further as President, deserved more respect.
That’s what a leader does, what a decent human being does. But Donald Trump doesn’t seem to get that. And afterwards, instead of apologizing, which he is clearly incapable of doing, his staff put out a statement saying he didn’t hear the question. That’s garbage. It’s as bad as Trump saying he was talking about Carly Fiorina’s “persona” when he said, “Look at that face.”
Own it Mr. Trump. Own your statements and own your silence when one of your supporters said that the President is not an American citizen and attacked an entire group of people based on their religious beliefs. That’s un-American and clearly lacking in leadership. But apparently that’s a lesson in leadership that Donald Trump hasn’t learned yet.