At the debate in Hofstra, Donald Grump whined that he could have been
extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, "I can't do it. I just can't do it. It's inappropriate. It's not nice." But she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue. They're untrue. And they're misrepresentations.
And I will tell you this, Lester: It's not nice. And I don't deserve that.
Afterward, however, he told Best Friend Forever Sean Hannity (at least until they're no longer any use to each other)
Well I didn’t want to say that her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady. And I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life. So I decided not to say it. I thought it would be very disrespectful to Chelsea and maybe to the family. But she said very bad things about me.
His remarks to CNN's Dana Bash were much the same and
.... that he might bring up former President Bill Clinton's past marital indiscretions at the next debate.
"I'm very happy that I was able to hold back on the -- you know, on the indiscretions with respect to Bill Clinton, because I have a lot of respect for Chelsea Clinton and I just didn't want to say what I was going to say," he said.
"Which is," Bash asked.
"Which is I'll tell you maybe at the next debate. We'll see," Trump replied.
Trump's surrogates joined in, explicitly naming Bill Clinton as their likely target. Steve M. observes "The obvious conclusion is that Trump wants it both ways -- he wants praise for not Going There in the first debate, and he wants to Go There with a vengeance now. "
However, he argues
But maybe he really wanted to Go There on Monday night, except that once he was actually in Hillary Clinton's presence, he couldn't bring himself to do it. And now he's overcompensating by showing us what a big tough guy he could have been if he'd wanted to be.
Remember the trip to Mexico? Big tough guy spends a year telling us how awful Mexicans are, and how big and classy and beautiful his wall on the Mexican border is going to be, and how he's going to make those damn Mexicans pay for it. Then he actually arrives in Mexico, has a face-to-face meeting with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto...
Trump choked -- but immediately afterward, once he was safely back over the border and out of Peña Nieto's presence, then he became a tough guy again, delivering one of the most feral anti-immigrant speeches of his campaign, and asserting again that Mexico will pay for the wall.
This is not the only time Trump choked, and not the only time on immigration policy. On August 16 of last year, the candidate met with Javier Palomerez, president and ceo of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, who remarked
The Donald Trump I sat with today was hospitable, he was a gentleman. He listened much more than he spoke. He asked questions.
We continue to disagree, particularly on the wall. We agreed on this notion of mass deportation of 11 million people. And we continued to agree on the fact that we will not use Trump properties.
Whatever he is, Trump is not hospitable and not a gentleman. It's hardly surprising they would disagree on "the wall" because, along with the illegitimacy of the Obama presidency, it is the basis of his candidacy, and both the GOP popular base and GOP donor base have always been more insistent upon keeping immigrants out than deporting ones who have come here illegally. It's just good politics. More significantly, we agreed on this notion of mass deportation of 11 million people.
Trump was face-to-face with a guy whose two reasons for hating the notion of deportation of illegal immigrants can be found in the name of the organization he heads: Hispanic and Chamber of Commerce. And the big guy whiffed.
On at least two occasions, Trump demonstrated that when face-to-face with an adversary, he backs down, as Steve M. recognizes. The only other plausible explanation for failure to confront Palomarez would be that Trump considers the wall mere red meat and has been conning all of us- except The New York Times editorial board and BuzzFeed- about it.
That would not be the good news liberals/progressives would consider it. A President Trump would have been elected by the conservatives among us, and he would repay them in meaningful ways. Barack Obama will no longer be quite the GOP boogeyman, and he wouldn't be able to deport him back to Hawaii, anyway
That might be with a tax program even more favorable to the ultra-wealthy than he already has proposed, eliminating all food and environmental regulations as he has inferred, adding to the Supreme Court judges who believe discrimination in the name of Jesus is most godly, or even urging a Paul Ryan/Ayan Rand-dominated Congress to cut the minimum wage.
Donald Trump has trouble with confrontation. This could make him an even more dangerous president than we can imagine as he allows Paul Ryan to dictate tax policy, Mike Pence to determine the future of Social Security and Medicare, or lays waste to most of the Middle East because he can't "win" face-to-face..