Donald Trump’s attempts Sunday to shift attention away from his boasts of sexual aggression and assault add yet another layer to the rising foundation of reasons to end his presidential ambitions. We applaud the many members and leaders of his own party who are denouncing him.
Trump’s attacks before and during Sunday’s debate represented a cynical Hail Mary pass that we hope objective voters see through as the desperate acts of a badly damaged politician.
Rather than trying to reverse the perception of him presented by a video recording in which he talks about women as if he were a common thug, Trump chose to blame Hillary Clinton for her responses to well-known problems she and her husband dealt with years ago.
Only in a mind as unprincipled and undisciplined as Trump’s does such an argument make sense.
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It’s one thing to criticize a wife’s response to the discovery and allegations of a husband’s betrayal. It’s another to boast, as Trump is heard doing in that 2005 tape, about forcing oneself on women.
Trump is correct to note that the tape is 11 years old, but what evidence would he point us to that might suggest those old comments — made when he was nearly 60 and newly married to his third wife — were the stuff of a less mature man?
Perhaps his ripping into Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly, blaming her tough questions of him on his presumption that she was menstruating? Or his takedown of primary opponent Carly Fiorina based on her looks?
These comments, which suggest a man at odds with rational views about women, were made within the last several months.
But any suggestion that he learned from those mistakes disappeared after the first presidential debate, as he went all out to defend his public shaming of a Miss Universe winner for gaining weight.
Times of crisis reveal volumes about a person, and presidents must routinely deal with many crises simultaneously. What Trump has shown us, again and again, is an inability to deal with challenges.
As Clinton said in Sunday’s debate, the 2005 tape shows exactly who Trump is. And, thankfully: “This is not who we are” as Americans.
Losing one’s cool and launching into tirades used to be considered a boorish trait in an adult. It is also an instinct that suggests a deeply flawed character. In so many ways, Trump has sullied the national debate.
He would be an endless disaster in the highest office in the land.