Will Trump's Handlers Successfully Persuade Him Not To Throw His Spaghetti On The Wall Before The Debate Ends?
I suspect that the endorsement Trump got from Cruz Friday isn't going to sway any CEOs. (Remember when Trump brayed that he wouldn't accept a Cruz endorsement? Today he says he's honored to have it. Maybe he promised Cruz's crackpot father a pardon for the JFK assassination in return for the endorsement.)
The latest polls aren't going his way. The national Marist poll McClatchy sponsored shows Clinton continuing to build a lead against him. She's leads him 48-41% in a head-on contest and 45-39% in a 4-way race including Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The AP's poll by GfK showed a similar lead for Clinton-- 41-35% of likely voters in a 4-way match-up. Shouldn't she be ahead of him 70-30%? She's not my idea of a good candidate but he really is the worst thing ever-- unthinkable. Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald gave a more serious demonstration of Trump's disengagement with truth and objective reality. He wrote that Trump either committed perjury (in court, under oath) or blatantly lied in one of the most dramatic moments of the primary debates. "There are two records," he wrote, "one, a previously undisclosed deposition of the Republican nominee testifying under oath, and the second a transcript/video of a Republican presidential debate. In them, Trump tells contradictory versions of the same story with the clashing accounts tailored to provide what he wanted people to believe when he was speaking."
In the lie we are examining here, Trump either committed a felony or proved himself willing to deceive his followers whenever it suits him."Is the Republican nominee," Eichenwald concluded, "a perjurer or just a liar? Obviously both-- and serially. Tony Schwartz, the Art of the Deal ghostwriter who now regrets he made Trump nationally famous, explained to the NY Times' Michael Barbaro how Hillary can beat Trump Monday in the debate.
Trump told the public version of this story last year, during the second Republican presidential debate.
Trump had been boasting for weeks at his rallies that he knew the political system better than anyone, because he had essentially bought off politicians for decades by giving them campaign contributions when he wanted something. He also proclaimed that only he—as an outsider who had participated in such corruption of American democracy at a high level-- could clean it up. During the September 2015 debate, one of Trump’s rivals, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, verified Trump’s claim, saying the billionaire had tried to buy him off with favors and contributions when he was Florida’s governor.
"The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something-- that was generous and gave me money—was Donald Trump,” Bush said. “He wanted casino gambling in Florida."
Trump interrupted Bush:
Trump: I didn’t...
Bush: Yes, you did.
Trump: Totally false.
Bush: You wanted it, and you didn’t get it, because I was opposed to...
Trump: I would have gotten it.
Bush: Casino gambling before...
Trump: I promise, I would have gotten it.
Bush: During and after. I’m not going to be bought by anybody.
Trump: I promise, if I wanted it, I would have gotten it.
Bush: No way. Believe me.
Trump: I know my people.
Bush: Not even possible.
Trump: I know my people.
If Trump was telling the truth that night, so be it. But if he was lying, what was his purpose? His “If I wanted it, I would have gotten it,” line may be a hint. Contrary to his many vague stories on the campaign trail about being a cash-doling political puppet master, this story has a name, a specific goal and ends in failure. If Bush was telling the truth, then Trump would have had to admit he lost a round and, as he assured the audience, that would not have happened. When he wants something, he gets it.
But that wasn’t the point he needed to make in 2007. The deposition was part of a lawsuit he’d filed against Richard Fields, who Trump had hired to manage the expansion of his casino business into Florida. In the suit, Trump claimed that Fields had quit and taken all of the information he obtained while working for Trump to another company. Under oath, Trump said he did want to get into casino gambling in Florida but didn’t because he had been cheated by Fields.
A lawyer asked Trump, “Did you yourself do anything to obtain any of the details with respect to the Florida gaming environment, what approvals were needed and so forth?”
Trump: A little bit.
Lawyer: What did you do?
Trump: I actually spoke with Governor-Elect Bush; I had a big fundraiser for Governor-Elect Bush…and I think it was his most successful fundraiser, the most successful that he had had up until that point, that was in Trump Tower in New York on Fifth Avenue.
Lawyer: When was that?
Trump: Sometime prior to his election.
Lawyer: You knew that Governor Bush, Jeb Bush at that time, was opposed to expansion of gaming in Florida, didn't you?
Trump: I thought that he could be convinced otherwise.
Lawyer: But you didn't change his mind about his anti-gaming stance, did you?
Trump: Well, I never really had that much of an opportunity because Fields resigned, telling me you could never get what we wanted done, only to do it for another company.
One of these stories is a lie-- a detailed, self-serving fabrication. But unlike the mountain of other lies he has told, this time the character trait that leads to Trump’s mendacity is on full display: He makes things up when he doesn’t want to admit he lost.
Assume the story he told at the debate is the lie. Even though Bush’s story reinforced what Trump was saying at rallies-- he had played the “cash for outcomes” political game for years-- he could not admit he had tried to do the same in Florida because he could not bring himself to say that he had lost. Instead, he looked America in the eye and lied. And then he felt compelled to stack on another boast: His people are so wonderful that they would have gotten casino gambling in Florida, regardless of Bush’s opposition-- if Trump had wanted it.
Now consider the other option, that Trump committed perjury in the 2007 testimony. There, he admitted pushing for casino gambling in Florida, but said he would have gotten what he wanted if he hadn’t been tricked by Fields. The rationale for the perjurious testimony is simple-- Trump wants money from a man who stopped working for him and, once again, the story lets him deny he is anything less than perfect.
Trump has a tiny little attention span, smaller than his hands. "He couldn’t tolerate doing interviews. He just couldn’t stay focused for more than a few minutes at a time. And think about this... it was when he was talking about himself, which is his favorite subject."
“What I would hope is that she doesn’t go the same route she did with Matt Lauer when he started coming at her relentlessly, which was to revert to her knowledge, to revert to her ability to produce a hundred facts in a short period of time,” he says. “Because this debate is going to turn not a bit on the issues. It’s going to turn on emotion, it’s going to turn on which candidate makes all of us feel safer and which candidate makes us feel less safe. And the one who wins that contest wins the debate-- and probably wins the election.”
...“I think of Trump as a toddler sitting in a high chair,” [columnist Frank] Bruni says. “And his advisers are saying ‘Donald, you must get through the meal without throwing your spaghetti on the wall.’ So the question is, will they successfully persuade him not to throw his spaghetti on the wall before the debate ends?”