Trump defends the brand

Trump made a statement and took questions to claim victory in Tuesday’s primaries (video below. The event was staged at the Trump International Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida. The Trump brand of course looms large in his legend. Trump devoted a lot of time in his statement to speaking up for the success of the ventures carrying his name. I found his performance to be utterly bizarre.

It was also somewhat deficient in truth value. Michael Warren takes a look in the Weekly Standard column “Lies, damned lies, and Donald J. Trump.” Michael writes:

Donald Trump began his post-primary press conference in Jupiter, Florida, Tuesday evening by castigating the “$38 million dollars worth of horrible lies” against him by his political opponents over the last week. But in true Trump form, the GOP frontrunner delivered a litany of lies, falsehoods, and misleading statements of his own. Oh, and that $38 million figure Trump cited? It’s made up.

Mitt Romney’s speech last week blasting Trump for his underwhelming business record seems to have gotten under the candidate’s skin, and so Trump spent much of his Tuesday-night appearance boasting about his successes. Over at Mashable, Jonathan Ellis documents how much of what Trump said was simply wrong.

Trump Steaks? A defunct brand since 2007 that sold poorly in the first place, which explains why the meat being hawked at Trump National Golf Club as the real deal was actually from a local, non-Trump-affiliated butcher. Trump Water? Standard bottled water with the Donald’s branding. Trump Magazine? The actual publication closed down years ago, and the magazine Trump waved around at his press conference is actually a “glorified brochure” for Trump’s resort properties. Trump Airlines? Trump claims he sold it in a “great deal,” but the Wall Street Journal showed his attempt in 1989 to transform Eastern Airlines’s shuttle business into a luxury airline failed because it carried a “high debt load” and “eventually defaulted.”

Trump Vodka? Trump dismissed Romney’s criticism by ignoring it and talking instead about Trump Winery. To be fair, Trump Winery is a real, operating venture, but that’s as far as the truth goes. Trump claimed to own the winery in Charlottesville, Virginia, “100 percent,” but in fact Trump’s son Eric is the actual owner and neither Trump himself nor his organization have [any] ownership or management role. And the winery isn’t next to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, as he claimed Tuesday—that’s in Washington, D.C. He was probably thinking of Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, Monticello, on which the memorial was modeled. And none of this addressed Trump Vodka, which is indeed defunct.

The truth is Ellis just scratched the surface…

Trump’s performance should be an embarrassment to his supporters. He really shouldn’t do it to them; they don’t deserve it. As with the supporters of Barack Obama in 2008, however, the will to believe is strong and the man is adept at taking advantage of it.