Perhaps Rick Perry deserves a little grudging respect, given that he is the Repub presidential candidate who has most vehemently attacked Donald Trump. On Wednesday the former Texas governor stated
He offers a barking carnival act that can be best described as Trumpism: a toxic mix of demagoguery, mean-spiritedness and nonsense that will lead the Republican Party to perdition if pursued. Let no one be mistaken: Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism, and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised and discarded.
But then on Sunday's Face the Nation, Perry claimed "We’ve had a divider in the White House for the last six and a half years in Barack Obama. We don’t need that out of the Republican nominee.”
Call President Obama what you wish. I often have, and presumably Republicans would if they ever would figure him out. Obama, however, is as much a "divider" as Perry is an expert on the federal bureaucracy (a reminder, below).
In his CBS appearance, Perry remarked also "I want to be very clear that I'm not going to go quietly as any individual, whether it's Donald Trump or anyone else, that lays out concepts that frankly are out of line with the old historical conservatism." Trump's accurate representation of conservatism, however, was on display when he criticized John McCain as "not a war hero. He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
Averse to false humility, Trump brags (below) "I'm really rich," as we all were aware; The message, though, is clear: " I'm a winner, unlike the guy who was captured, who is a loser," a succinct expression of the timeless Republican credo.
It's not surprising, then, that noting efforts in the past by such GOP notables as Perry, Lindsay Graham, and Mitt Romney to sidle up to Trump, that E.J. Dionne recognizes
.... the real Donald Trump has been in full view for a long time, and Perry's new glasses can't explain his newfound clarity. I don't credit Trump with much. But he deserves an award for exposing the double-standards of Republican politicians. They put their outrage in a blind trust as long as Trump was, in Perry's words, "throwing invectives in this hyperbolic rhetoric out there" against Obama and the GOP's other enemies.
Almost to a man, the Repub candidates act as if Donald Trump is a newbie, just recently burst onto the scene, or an altruistic guy who suddenly has lost his mind. But Alex Mierjeski of ATTN: explains
Trump brings to his candidacy an extensive backlog of business ventures, some of which are troubling. In August, 2013, New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the he was filing a lawsuit against Trump for the dubious promises of his higher education endeavor, Trump University. Schneiderman’s lawsuit alleged that the school’s real estate program, which was unlicensed as an actual university, was complicit in “persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct” towards its students, who were often saddled with debt from expensive seminars in lieu of brimming with the promised insider secrets from “Donald Trump’s handpicked instructor[s],” most of whom turned out to have emerged from real estate-derived bankruptcy, or have little background in real estate at all.
Schneiderman claimed that more than 5,000 people paid around $40 million to Trump U, a quarter of which was funneled directly into Trump’s pockets, going against claims that Trump U was founded “solely for philanthropic purposes“––Trump netted around $5 million in profit, according to the suit. Many of the allegations read like a pyramid scheme pamphlet, such as the multiple claims that Trump himself would make an appearance (“‘he is going to be in town’ or ‘often drops by’ and ‘might show up’ or had just left,” the suit reads), and student evaluations required for getting a certificate that “‘pleaded for a favorable rating so that ‘Mr. Trump would invite [them] back to do other retreats.” On top of Schneiderman’s case, a class-action lawsuit in California was filed against the university, which now lists itself as the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative.
Whatever Donald Trump is- right-wing crank (not likely), huckster, windbag, rapacious capitalist- he is what the Republican Party has wrought. Enjoy, fellas.