Trump fails the straight persona test

Donald Trump has tried to explain away this comment he made about Carly Fiorina: “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president.” Trump claims he wasn’t talking about Fiorina’s face, but rather her persona.

When Trump denied that his comment about blood pouring from Megyn Kelly was a reference to menstruation, there was an outside chance he was telling the truth. This time there is no chance. Face, the word Trump used twice, can’t mean persona. Trump’s explanation doesn’t pass the straight persona test.

Meanwhile, Ben Carson tried to explain away his comment that what differentiates him from Trump is that “I realize where my successes comes from, and I don’t in any way deny my faith in God.” Carson said he feels bad that Trump thought he was attacking him, and that the episode is a misunderstanding.

Dr. Carson added:

I would like to say to him that the intention was not to talk to him but about what motivates me. If he took that as a personal attack on him, I apologize, it was certainly not the intent.

It’s difficult to view Carson’s statements — he also opined that he doesn’t sense that humility and fear of the Lord is part of what Trump is — as other than a personal attack.

I suspect that Carson is playing Trump (though I don’t have a good enough feel for Carson to say this with great confidence). He probably wants to plant the seed that Trump isn’t a good Christian without jeopardizing his own image as a good guy.

Trump is less subtle. His only mode is attack.

Accordingly, he launched his typical scatter-gun attack on Carson. Trump called him “perhaps an okay doctor.” That’s better than being a third-rate radio announcer, but nonetheless sells short the first doctor successfully to separate twins attached at the head.

Trump also said that Carson “makes Jeb Bush look like the energizer bunny.” It’s a good line, but not likely to harm Carson. The doctor’s image, which has carried him far, doesn’t depend on high energy.

Carson does depend, though, on the support of evangelicals and other anti-abortion voters. Accordingly, Trump fired this salvo:

You look at Carson’s faith, you look at his views on abortion, and I think that’s why I’m leading with Evangelicals. If you look at his past, all of a sudden he’s become a man of faith.

He’s heavy into world of abortion… check out the past and now all of a sudden he’s totally anti-abortion. If you look back you’ll find he’s a very different Ben Carson.

Unfortunately for Trump, his own past support for abortion is also a matter of record. Voters seeking a candidate who has a consistently strong anti-abortion record should look past both Trump and Carson.

Trump’s efforts notwithstanding, the award for best attack of the day goes to Bobby Jindal who, unfortunately, is barely a footnote in this campaign. Jindal called Trump an unstable narcissist:

I want to say what everyone is thinking about Donald Trump but is afraid to say. He is shallow, there is no substance. He doesn’t know anything about policy, he has no idea what he is talking about. He makes it up on the fly. . . .

Like all narcissists, Donald Trump is insecure and weak, and afraid of being exposed. And that’s why he is constantly telling us how big and how rich and how great he is, and how insignificant everyone else is.

We’ve all met people like Trump, and we know that only a very weak and small person needs to constantly tell us how strong and powerful he is. Donald Trump believes that he is the answer to every question. . . .

You may have recently seen that after Trump said the Bible is his favorite book, he couldn’t name a single Bible verse or passage that meant something to him. And we all know why, because it’s all just a show, and he hasn’t ever read the Bible. But you know why he hasn’t read the Bible? Because he’s not in it.

Good stuff. As is a video released by the Jindal campaign comparing Trump to crazed actor Charlie Sheen:

Early on in Trump’s campaign I compared the candidate to a professional wrestler doing intermission interviews. Since then, I’ve learned that Trump participated (sort of) in a pro wrestling match and that he appeared at a fundraiser for Jesse Ventura when the ex-grappler was running for governor.

With even Ben Carson joining in the trash talking, the GOP presidential race has become far more entertaining than pro wrestling at its absurd best.