There she goes again. The debate spin of Trump co-campaign chairperson Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway included
Donald Trump is guilty of answering the question asked, and I thought Hillary Clinton last night wanted to make sure that no matter what was asked and what was answered, she was going to repeat back to us everything that she had learned in the last week or two weeks, and that’s fine.
In a masterfuly piece of passive-aggressive messaging, Conway says it's "fine" that Clinton "was going to repeat back to us everything that she had learned in the last week or two weeks." The horror of studying issues! The disgrace of learning more about economics, foreign policy, and national security! Trump has asked for Barack Obama's college transcripts, but maybe we should see the transcripts of a guy who graduated from Fordham University and the esteemed Wharton School of Finance, yet is convinced the less he studies for a debate, the better.
More pertinent, though, is Conway's claim that her fellow "is guilty of answering the question asked." Even a cursory look, however, suggests that Trump instead merits a unanimous "not guilty" verdict on the charge of answering the questions posed at Monday night's presidential debate.
Asked "specifically how you would prevent homegrown attacks by American citizens, Mr. Trump," the nominee responded
Well, first I have to say one thing, very important. Secretary Clinton is talking about taking out ISIS. "We will take out ISIS." Well, President Obama and Secretary Clinton created a vacuum the way they got out of Iraq, because they got out -- what, they shouldn't have been in, but once they got in, the way they got out was a disaster. And ISIS was formed.
So she talks about taking them out. She's been doing it a long time. She's been trying to take them out for a long time. But they wouldn't have even been formed if they left some troops behind, like 10,000 or maybe something more than that. And then you wouldn't have had them.
Or, as I've been saying for a long time, and I think you'll agree, because I said it to you once, had we taken the oil -- and we should have taken the oil -- ISIS would not have been able to form either, because the oil was their primary source of income. And now they have the oil all over the place, including the oil -- a lot of the oil in Libya, which was another one of her disasters.
Trump stated how he believed ISIL was formed and, as he had previously, argued "we should have taken the oil." He didn't say even that we should do that now, nor suggest any plan to take on ISIL- let alone how we end, or defend against, a terrorist attack which might take place next month, next week, or an hour after the end of the debate.
Asked "so how do you heal the divide" on race, Trump replied
Well, first of all, Secretary Clinton doesn't want to use a couple of words, and that's law and order. And we need law and order. If we don't have it, we're not going to have a country.
And when I look at what's going on in Charlotte, a city I love, a city where I have investments, when I look at what's going on throughout various parts of our country, whether it's -- I mean, I can just keep naming them all day long -- we need law and order in our country.
I just got today the, as you know, the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police, we just -- just came in. We have endorsements from, I think, almost every police group, very -- I mean, a large percentage of them in the United States.
We have a situation where we have our inner cities, African- Americans, Hispanics are living in he'll because it's so dangerous. You walk down the street, you get shot.
In Chicago, they've had thousands of shootings, thousands since January 1st. Thousands of shootings. And I'm saying, where is this? Is this a war-torn country? What are we doing? And we have to stop the violence. We have to bring back law and order. In a place like Chicago, where thousands of people have been killed, thousands over the last number of years, in fact, almost 4,000 have been killed since Barack Obama became president, over -- almost 4,000 people in Chicago have been killed. We have to bring back law and order.
Now, whether or not in a place like Chicago you do stop and frisk, which worked very well, Mayor Giuliani is here, worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down. But you take the gun away from criminals that shouldn't be having it.
We have gangs roaming the street. And in many cases, they're illegally here, illegal immigrants. And they have guns. And they shoot people. And we have to be very strong. And we have to be very vigilant.
We have to be -- we have to know what we're doing. Right now, our police, in many cases, are afraid to do anything. We have to protect our inner cities, because African-American communities are being decimated by crime, decimated.
Proudly claiming the mantle of the "law and order" candidate (as did the late George Wallace), securing the endorsement of the largest police union, and conducting more stop and frisk operations do not heal the racial divide. Touting "law and order" (and blacks over a certain age know what that means) and stopping more young black (and white) men on city streets can have the opposite effect.
By contrast, Clinton maintained "we have to restore trust between communities and the police. We have to work to make sure that our police are using the best training, the best techniques, that they're well prepared to use force only when necessary." The devil or God may be in the details she omitted, but the question was addressed, and cogently.
Kellyanne Fitzpatrick Conway has an extraordinarily difficult, and last night her client wasn't cogent. Or knowledgeable. Or composed, relaxed. Or polite. Or honest. Or generous in spirit. Or humble. He was only one thing: Donald Trump.