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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

 
Why did Trump ignore his nemesis on the stump yesterday?

by digby















Now that we are in the stretch in the primary campaign the fight between Trump and Cruz is really heating up. At Salon this morning I caught everyone up on Trump's week-end of Cruz-slagging and then noted his abrupt turn-around.
On “State of the Union with Jake Tapper,” Trump claimed Cruz was unethical and trying to smear him, but then shifted into a more pious mode. When Tapper asked him if he regretted making his notorious remark that he’d never had to ask God for forgiveness, he replied:
“I have a great relationship with God. I have a great relationship with the Evangelicals. In fact, nationwide, I’m up by a lot, I’m leading everybody. But I like to be good. I don’t like to have to ask for forgiveness. And I am good. I don’t do a lot of things that are bad. I try to do nothing that is bad. I live a very different life than probably a lot of people would think. And I have a very great relationship with God and I have a very great relationship with Evangelicals. I think that’s why I’m doing so well with Iowa.”
He seems to think God is his pollster.
It was fortuitous that Tapper teed up the question, however, since Trump was going to Liberty University on Monday for a big, beautiful speech before the whole student body. His good pal Jerry Falwell Jr vouched for Trump saying, “In my opinion, Donald Trump lives a life of loving and helping others, as Jesus taught in the great commandment.”
Highlights of Trump’s speech include:
“Two Corinthians 3-17, that’s the whole ball game. … Is that the one? Is that the one you like? I think that’s the one you like.”
“‘The Art of the Deal’ is a deep, deep second to the Bible. The Bible is the best. The Bible blows it away.”
“If I’m president, you’re going to see ‘Merry Christmas’ in department stores, believe me.”
“If I’m president, you’ll say, ‘Please, Mr. President, we’re winning too much. I can’t stand it. Can’t we have a loss?’ And I’ll say, ‘No, we’re going to keep winning.’”
It surprised a lot of the pundits to see Trump at Liberty U, but he’s been there before. In fact, he’s been assiduously courting Falwell since 2012. And believe it or not, this speech was much more polished than the one he gave a few years ago when he said,
“I always say, always have a prenuptial agreement. But I won’t say it here because you people don’t get divorced, right? Nobody gets divorced! OK, so I will not say have a prenuptial agreement to anybody in this room!”
Trump left the ecstatic Liberty kids and headed back up to New Hampshire for a big rally in Concord. Interestingly, after spending all weekend slagging Ted Cruz for being nasty, corrupt and rude, according to CNN’s Dana Bash Trump didn’t once bring him up at either Monday event. It’s impossible to know for sure why he suddenly switched gears. Maybe he was tired and forgot. Or maybe it was the reaction to his from the people who rule right wing America: talk show hosts.
Rush Limbaugh rambled incomprehensibly for a good part of his show yesterday with what appeared to be a complaint that calling Cruz names was a bad strategy while also lamenting the fact that sometimes Republicans don’t like other Republicans. Or something.
Mark Levin was so worked up he wrote a highly indignant Facebook post in which he told Trump he’d better get his act together or conservatives were going to be really, really P.O.’d. He wrote,
“Put down your computer keyboard for a few hours, think before you tweet, and collect yourself. You’re not politically invincible, regardless of the polls and media.”
(Then he leavened his scolding with a hilarious request that Trump confine himself to talking about “real and substantive” issues that matter to the country.)
So, after insulting virtually everyone in America, even POWs, Fox News stars and every other GOP candidate, can it be that Donald Trump insulting Ted Cruz was the straw that broke the camel’s back? The same Ted Cruz that is despised by just about everyone who knows him? This election really is one for the books.