Donald Trump apparently isn’t reacting well to his bad week. It showed in his performance at a Pennsylvania rally on Saturday.
His terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week started with the first presidential debate, which he was judged to have lost. The debate triggered a rant that he seemed incapable of stopping, trashing a former Miss Universe on into the week and with middle-of-the-night tweets. Then, in a final blow, the New York Times got ahold of the candidate’s 1995 income tax returns. The returns showed a loss of $916 million from failed businesses, which the paper suggested he could have used to avoid paying taxes for up to 18 years.
The picture of why Trump hasn’t released his tax returns begins to come clear. It appears that he is either hiding the fact that he doesn’t pay taxes, or he is hiding his failures as a businessman — or both.
Trump Showed Strain At Pennsylvania Rally
The cascading bad news seems to have rattled the Republican nominee. When he arrived at the rally, an hour and 40 minutes late, he could not or would not stay on script. He had a nine-sentence statement to read about Hillary Clinton, but every time he finished a sentence, he strayed off onto tangents — mocking Bernie Sanders, trashing CNN, making an incoherent statement about what Clinton thinks of millennials.
But Trump really sounded unhinged in his repeated and varied descriptions of Clinton. Going beyond calling her “crooked Hillary,” he said:
She could be crazy. She could actually be crazy.
After his usual schtick of insisting Clinton should be in prison and accusing her of lies, he got off on the subject of tweets. Presumably, her tweets, but see if you can make sense of this:
How many people have acid-washed or bleached a tweet? How many? That you deleted? So you deleted it but that’s not good enough. No, this is getting crazy. Our country is becoming a third-world country.
What? A third-world country? How … ?
His “critiques” became more and more bizarre. He made fun of Clinton’s near collapse at the 9/11 memorial in New York last month, saying:
She has been a disaster. Here’s a woman she’s supposed to fight all these different things and she can’t make it 15 feet to her car. Give me a break.
Trump threw his hands in the air and shook, then shuffled off to one side and pretended his knees buckled. The imitation was no doubt an affront to women. It’s inconceivable that he would think his nasty performance would win anyone over to his side.
However, it got worse. Hammering on Bill Clinton’s infidelities was apparently not enough for the Republican. He went unbelievably dirty with an unsubstantiated smear on Hillary, saying:
Hillary Clinton’s only loyalty is to her financial contributors and to herself. I don’t even think she’s loyal to Bill, if you want to know the truth.
The assertion seemed to shock even his fans, who gasped audibly. ‘Raw Story’ tweeted its incredulity:
Did Donald Trump accuse Hillary Clinton of cheating on her husband?
"I don't even think she's loyal to Bill if you want to know the truth" pic.twitter.com/j82rL70GB2
— Raw Story (@RawStory) October 2, 2016
The Rally Emptied Early
Simon Maloy of ‘Salon’ noted that the hall began emptying out, even though Trump wasn’t through.
as Trump blows through minute 40 of his remarks, I look around the room and it has thinned out considerably
— Simon Maloy (@SimonMaloy) October 2, 2016
According to NBC’s Katy Tur, anonymous sources have told her that Trump’s adult children — Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric —are more and more worried about their father’s ability to carry through and deliver a meaningful message. They should be worried, and it should have started long before now. Their father still refuses to be coached before the next debate on October 9th. He has campaign events scheduled every day until then.
Apparently, Trump believes his own hype that his loose lips are what is going to win the election. That may well be, but the question is — for whom?
Watch the full speech here:
Feature photo, Trump at Pennsylvania rally, screenshot from YouTube video.