While it’s true that Hillary Clinton and Democrats are doing a superb job of defining Donald Trump, it is possible that Republicans are doing almost as much damage to their own presumptive nominee. We’ve been hearing a stream of things from them lately as they try to assure voters of their support for such a disastrous candidate, while pointing out how unfit he is for the presidency. One of the latest came from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
In an extraordinarily frank interview with Bloomberg Politics’ Masters in Politics podcast, McConnell, who is on a book tour touting his autobiography The Long Game, also expressed broader concerns about the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“He needs someone highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues,” McConnell said. “You see that in the debates in which he’s participated. It’s why I have argued to him publicly and privately that he ought to use a script more often—there is nothing wrong with having prepared texts.”
In other words, McConnell is saying that he supports a presidential candidate who needs to rely on prepared texts because he doesn’t know a lot about the issues. Let that one sink in for a moment.
I’d suggest, however, that political consultant Mike Murphy abandoned all notions of “political correctness” and said what is obvious to most of us in an interview with John Harwood. Here he is responding to a question about what Trump’s campaign staff – like Paul Manafort and Tony Fabrizio – can do to improve the campaign.
Well, they know how to do the basic mechanics, but that’s a commodity. Cory Lewandowski knows how to, you know, rent a hall.
The problem is they’re like Charlie Manson’s fox trot instructors. Yeah, they could teach him how to dance. But he’s too busy trying to cut their heads off, because he’s insane…
They can’t change him. And he’s the strength of the Trump campaign, and he’s the fatal flaw…
He would need to dramatically change the perception people have of him now. And since Trump can’t change, I think his answer is less in political strategy and more in a team of shrinks to get him back into some sort of mentality where he understands he has to change.
One could suggest that there are some sour grapes on display there due to the fact that Murphy most recently was in charge of running Jeb Bush’s superpac. But we all know that there is a ring of truth to what he’s saying.