Jennifer Rubin: Who wants to defend Trump for the next six months?

By Jennifer Rubin comment

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with former opponent now supporter New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Photo / AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump with former opponent now supporter New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Photo / AP

Donald Trump's noxious behaviour and erratic views force his supporters to condone all sorts of unacceptable things. Even his own advisers find it hard to excuse his conduct.

In an interview for Israeli News 2, Trump's top Israel adviser, Jason Greenblatt, was asked about Trump's language:

Interviewer: Don't you think it's a bit too flamboyant, aggressive, sometimes even harsh? The picking of the wounds, insulting, what do you feel about that?

Well, it has been made a whole lot dirtier by his boss.

Once-respected politicians such as former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wind up making inane defences, all the while acknowledging Trump's obvious flaws.

"I was one of the earliest and loudest critics of Mr Trump. I mocked his appearance, demeanour, ideology and ego in the strongest language I have ever used to publicly criticise anyone in politics," he argues.

"I worked harder than most, with little apparent effect, to stop his ascendancy. I have not experienced a sudden epiphany and am not here to detail an evolution in my perspective."

So what's the justification? "I am not pretending that Mr Trump has suddenly become a conservative champion or even a reliable Republican: He is completely unpredictable. The problem is that Hillary [Clinton] is predictably liberal."

Well, that's not exactly reassuring considering Trump is now to Hillary Clinton's left on issues including Nato, universal healthcare and financial responsibility. (Trump's tax plan - whatever it may be on any given day - would lose trillions in revenue, adding to the debt along with his refusal to reform entitlements or name any other significant savings.)

Alternatively, you can wind up sounding ridiculous on matters as important as nuclear war. In his first TV interview after losing, Senator Marco Rubio sounded as though his heart was not in it as he tried to defend prior criticism of Trump yet insist he would "support" him. CNN's Jake Tapper pressed him, "You have raised concerns about his campaign, about his temperament and his views on foreign policy, on trade policy and other things. Would those reservations keep you - do they right now preclude you from endorsing him?"

Well, Rubio doesn't want Clinton to be president. Besides, he signed a pledge. Tapper was a bit incredulous, reminding Rubio that he "had concerns about the nuclear codes being in the hands of an erratic conman".

Rubio lamely replied, "Here's what I'm not going to do over the next six months. I'm not going to sit there and be taking shots at him."

So instead he will sit through excruciating sessions like that?

Listen, folks. Life is too short.

If you find yourself criticising fundamental fitness, character and policy coherence, then you should rethink "support" or "endorsement" or whatever you want to call it. If not, you wind up sounding foolish and hypocritical. Trump has that effect on people.

- Washington Post

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