It’s only September, but the fur is flying in the GOP presidential race.
Item: Ben Carson called out Donald Trump today regarding religion. Asked to identify what sets him apart from Trump, Carson said “I realize where my successes comes from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God.” Asked to amplify, Carson added:
Humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, and honor and life. That’s a big part of who I am. I don’t get that impression with [Trump.] Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t get that impression.
I don’t get that impression either; I don’t see how anyone could. But it’s a leap to suggest that Trump denies his faith in God. And it’s bad form, in my opinion, for a political candidate to speculate about the religious beliefs of his opponents.
Carson should have confined himself to questioning Trump’s humility (no need for speculation there), without tying it to religion. No doubt, Carson believes strongly in the connection (he cited Scripture), and maybe there are Iowa votes in making it. But I wish he had refrained.
Item: According to Rolling Stone reporter Paul Solotaroff, Trump, seeing Carly Fiorina on television, said:
Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president.
I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?
Did Trump really say this? A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign declined to comment. (At least the campaign hasn’t yet called the Rolling Stone man a third-rate reporter.)
Asked about Trump’s putdown, Fiorina responded: “I think those comments speak for themselves.” She’s right about that.
Fiorina added (contradicting herself, I think) that she has “no idea” what Trump meant. She then concluded that “maybe, just maybe, I’m getting under his skin a little bit, because I am climbing in the polls.”
Perhaps. Or maybe (assuming he made the remarks) Trump is too big of a sexist to resist insulting Fiorina regardless of her standing in the polls and too much of an egomaniac to resist showing off his sexism to a Rolling Stone reporter.
Either way, the Republicans are courting disaster if they nominate a candidate who says such things about women.