Dr. Ben Carson, the only GOP candidate who briefly topped Donald Trump in the polls this primary season, continued his now-expected tradition of backhanded defenses which read like smears of the man he endorsed. Were I Trump, I’d be thinking “nobody is a better friend than Ben.”
Carson leaked Trump’s acknowledgement that his “Mexican” remarks about Judge Gonzalo Curiel were a mistake. From Politico:
“He fully recognizes that that was not the right thing to say,” Carson said in an interview, noting he’s heard Trump say so himself during a private meeting this week at Trump Tower.
Carson went on to suggest that Trump might simply have a problem with blurting things.
“He was probably talking out loud rather than thinking,” Carson said. “That’s not a good thing to do when everything you say is going to be analyzed.”
Carson isn’t the only one who believes this. Billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has previously been sharply critical of Trump, told CNN that Trump isn’t racist (although he does lie), he’s just short on self-awareness.
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) June 10, 2016
To quote everyone who’s ever heard from Captain Obvious: “duh.” But lacking self-awareness doesn’t mean that Trump doesn’t intentionally say shocking and racist things to direct media attention from his less-compelling arguments.
It also doesn’t mean that Trump isn’t aware of the cadre of actual racists who salivate when they hear his dog whistles. It also doesn’t erase Trump’s history of defending his father’s overtly racist policies and history. Trump may not, personally, be a racist, but he is way, way too comfortable being around them and has no problem welcoming their support.
For several reasons, this latest round of shock-jock talk from Trump may be a bridge too far for him. First, the media is no longer on his side. Second, the GOP is growing weary of his tone. Third, and most important, those who control the organization and funds critical to Trump having a snowball’s chance of winning have put him on notice.
Starting with the leaked conference call, and continuing with Carson’s statement, these kinds of cracks in Trump’s foundation bode ill for him. It might be best if Trump started listening to Carson, Christie, and every single GOP leader who has supported him, along with his own daughter, and control his mouth.
I really don’t think, 4 days shy of 70 years old, that Trump is capable of change after all these years. That corner is just too sharp for him to make the turn without crashing.