September 14, 2015 by Johann Galloway
GOP voters are disillusioned and angry with business as usual politics to such an extent they are excusing behavior that would have disqualified a presidential candidate in the past. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows “The Donald” leading the pack with support from 27 percent of likely Republican Iowa caucus participants. Dr. Ben Carson is trailing with 21 percent support. Ted Cruz is a distant third with 9 percent, Jeb is at 6 percent, Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Rubio at 5 percent. The rest are below the margin of error.
“The Iowa Republican Caucus looks like a two-man race in which the Washington experience that has traditionally been a major measuring stick that voters have used to choose candidates is now a big negative,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll.
After weeks of throwing fiery darts at Jeb, often trolling him on Twitter and Instagram, Trump went grade school on Carly Fiorina, saying to a Rolling Stone reporter while watching Fiorina on TV: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posed ta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
It seems Trump wants controversy. So far it’s kept people from focusing on issues he can’t defend or on a record he doesn’t have.
After backlash by GOP women, Trump said, “Probably I did say something like that about Carly. I’m talking about persona. I’m not talking about looks.”
Dr. Ben Carson found an opportunity to needle the schoolyard bully Wednesday by questioning the authenticity of Trump’s faith. When asked by a reporter at a rally in Anaheim how he was different from Trump, he created another distraction from real issues that affect Americans, and said, “Probably the biggest thing… I’ve realized where my success has come from and I don’t in anyway deny my faith in God.”
Carson showed that he was holier than Trump by quoting a favorite Bible verse: “By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.”
Carson also said of Trump: “And that’s a very big part of who I am. I don’t get that impression with him. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t get that.”
Trump stumbled recently when he couldn’t recite a favorite Bible verse after he repeatedly claimed it was his favorite book. And earlier this summer, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, he was asked whether he had ever asked God for forgiveness. Trump said, “I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture.” This troubled some evangelicals since asking for forgiveness is a crucial tenet in Christianity.
Trump fired back at Carson the following morning on CNN’s New Day: “And all of a sudden he becomes this great religious figure. I don’t think he’s a great religious figure. And I saw him yesterday quoting something and he was quoting on humility and it looked like he had just memorized it about two minutes before he made the quote.” Trump also said, “He was a doctor, perhaps a, you know, an OK doctor, by the way. You can check that out too. We—you’re not talking about a great—he was an OK doctor. There—he was just fine.”
Trump can be the only one in the room whose triumphs matter. In mid-July he said of Sen. John McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
McCain, a navy pilot who requested a combat assignment, was shot down during the Vietnam War and spent five years in the “Hanoi Hilton,” refusing early release after repeated beatings and torture. Ben Carson is a retired pediatric neurosurgeon who performed the world’s first separation of conjoined twins.
Trump also habitually minimizes others’ accomplishments while embellishing his own. He recently said attending The New York Military Academy—an expensive military-themed prep school—gave him “more training militarily than a lot of the guys that go into the military.” Later, he received multiple deferments during the Vietnam War.
In stark contrast to Republican Candidates, my man Bernie Sanders not only refuses relentless attempts by the media to join the mud slinging game, but has made it clear he holds the media in contempt for their part in turning a presidential campaign into a mindless reality show.
After a rally in Dubuque, Iowa last month, a reporter said, “In your speech tonight you said you wouldn’t attack Hillary Clinton, but you did seem to draw some specific contrasts when you said you don’t take money from Super-PACs and you voted against the Iraq war…”
Bernie interrupted him: “What I said is corporate media talks about all kinds of issues except the most important issues, okay. And time after time I’m being asked to criticize Hillary Clinton. That’s the sport that you guys like. The reason this campaign is doing well is that we talk about the issues that impact the American people. I’ve known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I like her, I respect her. I disagree with her on a number of issues. It’s no great secret.”
And his campaign is doing well. A new Quinnipiac poll released Thursday sent shockwaves throughout the Democratic leadership. Bernie is now edging Hillary in Iowa, and leading the former Secretary of State in New Hampshire by a wide margin. With less than 5 months before the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary election, things are gettin’ real.