Donald Trump on the radio, in May: “I like not to regret anything. You do things and you say things. And what I said, frankly, is what I said.”
Trump on the radio, earlier this month: “I don’t regret anything.”
Trump at a rally, last night: “Sometimes in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words, or you say the wrong thing. I have done that. And believe it or not, I regret it.”
Wait, what? He suddenly has “regrets?” As if.
What we should believe, because it’s so nakedly obvious, is that his new brain trust parsed all the grim polls, realized that he’s a runaway train destined for derailment, and reached the only possible conclusion – that the only remaining option is to go for an image overhaul. So now we get Operation Humility. Now we get lipstick on the pig.
Since the summer of ’15, his fans have loved him for “telling it like it is,” for spewing racist insults and dangerous demagoguery. But now he supposedly has “regrets” about “sometimes” saying “the wrong thing.” Now there’s supposedly a New Trump, pivoting toward maturity. This is just a ruse, of course. This is campaign manager Kellyanne Conway (who wants to attract women voters) and media adviser Roger Ailes (architect of the ’68 New Nixon) going for a softer image by loading up Trump’s teleprompter with words of contrition.
About that teleprompter: How hilarious it is that Trumpkins and other Obama-haters have repeatedly maligned the president for using one (as if Obama was the first to use one) – but now that Trump is mouthing contrition on a teleprompter, presto, the device is just dandy.
Trump duly recited what he was given. This was the rest of it: “And believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain. Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues.” This is the same guy who said, just a few days ago, “I don’t want to change. I don’t want to ‘pivot’ (to a more presidential mode). If you start pivoting, you are not being honest with people.”
Just a few questions:
What, exactly, does he supposedly regret? Does he regret insulting the Khans? Insulting Carly Fiorina’s face? Insinuating that Megyn Kelly was menstruating? Accusing Ted Cruz’s father of helping to plot the JFK hit? Retweeting an attack on Heidi Cruz’s looks? Retweeting junk crime stats from a white supremacist group? Mimicking the physical disability of a New York Times reporter? Promising to raise big bucks for vets, then chiseling them? Mocking John McCain’s POW stint? Smearing the media (just a few days ago) as “the lowest form of life?” Comparing Ben Carson to a child molester? Calling Harrisburg, Pennsylvania “a war zone?” Insisting that he’ll lose Pennsylvania only if “certain areas” (code for black people) rig the returns? Inviting Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails? Calling Mexican immigrants rapists? Suggesting that “second amendment people” could take Hillary out? Claiming that she and Obama “founded ISIS?” Voicing his desire to punch a protestor in the face? Attacking the credentials of a “Mexican” judge who was born and raised in Indiana?
Some of those? All of those? (Have I forgotten any? Yes, I most certainly have.)
Which do you suppose is the “honest” authentic Trump that his followers revere: The Old Trump who said or tweeted all of the above – or the New Trump that debuted via teleprompter? And what are the odds that New Trump will flop even faster than New Coke? The office pool awaits.
Speaking of retroactive contrition, check out this news story: “The Clinton Foundation announced Thursday that it would no longer accept donations from corporations or foreign entities if Hillary Clinton is elected president.”
Um…Is there any reason why the Foundation couldn’t have instituted the same ban when Hillary Clinton was appointed Secretary of State?