In 2008, Barack Obama ran a campaign promising changes from the past eight years under George W. Bush. His slogan was “Change we can believe in.”
Eight years later, Donald Trump is trying to convince voters that they need a change from the Obama regime. The only thing the Trump campaign seems to be changing is history.
Thanks to his own misstatements and those of his surrogates, his slogan appears to be “Changing things you used to believe in.”
Trump hates the dishonest, liberal media because of their constant attacks on him. The media points out that his third wife has appeared in nude photo sessions and raises questions about his ability to claim the moral high ground. The media is bad like that. The media also thinks that saying Second Amendment people will take care of things when Hillary Clinton begins to nominate judges sounds a lot more plausible as a dog whistle threat against Clinton than a call for political action by those who value their right to keep and bear arms.
Some in the liberal media even believe that Trump’s Twitter rant Sunday morning came from a man who doesn’t have a strong grasp on constitutional law.
All of those things are at least potentially up for discussion and liberal-minded folks will see one side and those who are from a more conservative political world view might be able to excuse the Trumpisms as misunderstood or misreported.
But there are far too many instances in this campaign where facts are intentionally or ignorantly misstated by Trump or his supporters. Their lack of knowledge and respect for the truth is troubling.
Trump continued to falsely state that neighbors saw bombs all over the floor of the San Bernardino terrorists’ apartment before the attack. That has never been confirmed. In fact, authorities have dispelled this claim. That hasn’t stopped Trump from stating it as fact. There were some pipe bombs found in a search after the attack, but there is no evidence that anyone saw them and they certainly weren’t covering the floor. This is coming from the same guy who saw thousands of Muslims cheering in New Jersey after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Speaking of that attack, the biggest misstatement of the campaign so far happened Monday when Rudy Giuliani, who was the actual Mayor of New York City when the World Trade Center was attacked and destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, said there had been no radical Islamic terrorists attacks in America in the eight years prior to Barack Obama’s presidency.
“Under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States,” Giuliani said Monday. “They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.”
He didn’t mess up and fix it later. In fact, he reiterated his deception.
“We had no domestic attacks under Bush. We’ve had one under Obama,” he added.
That is the moral equivalent of forgetting your own birthday. There is a zero percent chance that Giuliani did not realize what he was saying was 100 percent false.
He could have said there were none after that tragic day. He could have gone with a five-year period. There were many ways to say it correctly. He chose eight years because he was trying to say that Bill Clinton was plagued by attacks and Obama has been, but nothing happened “in the eight years” in between. That is remarkable. It is one thing to disagree. It is another to plainly misstate a fact.
And when this kind of comment comes from a campaign that calls the media, Ted Cruz, Clinton and many other liars, it has to be condemned.
But Giuliani isn’t the only Trump employee who struggles with recent history. The campaign’s national spokesperson Katrina Pierson called Afghanistan “Obama’s War.”
When the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, Obama was an Illinois State Senator. It is strange that we gave the power of Commander in Chief to a State Senator. Pierson later said she meant to say Syria was Obama’s fault.
If she hadn’t been caught on video saying absolutely false things multiple times already, she might be forgiven. This is the same woman who blamed that same State Senator in Illinois for Captain Humayun Khan’s death in 2004. She also said there had been “tens of thousands” of soldiers lost in the war and a million injured. The total number killed is under 5,000 — far too high, but far below her wild claims. The total number of injured is not even one-twentieth of her claim of one million.
Trump’s campaign is going so badly that pro-Clinton SuperPACs are pulling ads from would-be swing states because her lead is so large.
It will take real leadership to even make this Presidential race close. So far, leadership has been as foreign to this campaign as truth — and that’s no lie.
Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.