We try to avoid topics that are already overly covered. That’s why we haven’t brought you “news” of Donald Trump’s comments on the 2nd Amendment this week. You can hear all about it elsewhere—and you’re probably already sick of hearing about it, right? Or as Bernie Sanders might say, “people are sick and tired of hearing about your damned 2nd Amendment comments!”
However, let’s see it from a different angle. As the headline says, what is really odd is that what would be a disaster for others will probably help Trump, because of the way the media focus on him.
But first, let’s review what Trump actually said:
“Hillary wants to abolish — essentially abolish the Second Amendment. By the way, if she gets to pick, if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know,” Trump said.
He added: “But I tell you what, that will be a horrible day, if Hillary gets to put her judges in, right now we’re tied.”
NOTE: Most media outlets, including conservative media, are ending the quote after, “horrible day.” If you stop there, it sounds as if Trump is predicting a gun massacre. But with the end of the sentence, it seems that he’s saying it will just be a “horrible day” if Hillary gets a chance to name Supreme Court justices.
ON THE OTHER HAND: If you watch the video of his statement, you’ll see that he says the “Second Amendment people” part in the same way he said the “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of–wherever” quote, referring to Megyn Kelly.
Flashback to the Megyn Kelly quote:
So if you think his “bloody” comment about Kelly was inappropriate, it’s likely you’ll see his 2nd Amendment comment as “bloody,” as well.
Former National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden says some things are not a joking matter. Hayden sort of likens Trump’s gun talk to someone joking about bombs in an airport.
“If someone else had said that outside the hall, he’d be in the back of a police wagon now with the Secret Service questioning him,” Michael Hayden told CNN.
Indeed, the Secret Service investigated a Trump staffer after he threatened President Barack Obama on social media. The agency said on Twitter Tuesday that it was “aware” of the GOP presidential nominee’s remarks.
Hayden said it doesn’t really matter if Trump wasn’t intentionally threatening his Democratic presidential rival.
“You’re not just responsible for what you say,” he said. “You are responsible for what people hear.”
Fox News also discussed the issue on “The Five.”
Fox News’ The Five went back and forth today over what exactly Donald Trump was talking about when he said “Second Amendment people” can stop Hillary Clinton‘s Supreme Court picks.
Geraldo Rivera was mortified by what Trump said, declaring, “This is a federal crime if he means what he says.”
“Imagine,” Dana Perino said, “if [Clinton] had said, or somebody had said, that about Donald Trump––like carelessly say ‘Oh, maybe someone will assassinate him’––we would all be going crazy.”
Greg Gutfeld got a little snarky after he said this kind of thing puts pressure on Trump’s strongest defenders.
For all the talk, will it really matter? There’s an old saying, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Trump has steadily won over more than a year by just capturing the headlines. Of all the candidates, he has only paid about $5 per vote, compared to the $1,000 per vote that Lindsay Graham paid.
This week, there’s more free media, and Trump says the 2nd Amendment arguments “have been very good for me.”
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Tuesday night he’s benefitting from the controversy he created earlier in the day by suggesting “the Second Amendment people” might forcefully stop Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton from appointing Supreme Court justices. . .
“I have to say, in terms of politics, there is few things, and I happen to think that if [the media] did even bring this up, I think it’s a good thing for me,” Trump told Sean Hannity. . .
Trump’s campaign quickly went into damage-control mode, with his surrogates and aides floating various explanations for the remark.
Trump told Hannity “there can be no other interpretation” to what he said other than as a commentary on Clinton’s position on the Second Amendment. “Even reporters have told me,” Trump said. “I mean, give me a break.”
The great thing about being outrageous is that you can say just about any crazy thing you want, and people will say, “oh, that’s just Trump being Trump,” and it will be forgotten in a few days. My guess is that if you ask people about the “2nd Amendment kerfuffle” next week, people will just look at you blankly, and then excitedly ask, “did you hear what Trump said today??”
If Trump is the topic of attention, the “story” is either that people agree or disagree, but he’s still setting the media agenda. That’s why Trump keeps winning, and you probably don’t ever think much about what’s-her-name, who’s running against him.