This weekend the ad hominem attacks against Donald Trump took a sharp escalation when first a former Obama advisor, then a republican commentator, following by entertainment stars took sharp shots at the republican candidate.
It started with David Plouffe, Obama’s former campaign manager, who during NBC’s “Meet the Press” show, called Donald Trump “a psychopath.” Plouffe told Chuck Todd that “we have a psychopath running for president. I mean, he meets the clinical definition, OK?”
After Todd pushed back that Plouffe isn’t a psychologist and that such claims frustrate voters, Plouffe elaborated, “The grandiose notion of self-worth, pathological lying, lack of empathy and remorse. So I think he does; right, I don’t have a degree in psychology.”
Plouffe opined that the race is already unwinnable for Trump because, he said, Hillary Clinton is guaranteed 269 electoral votes, including those from Virginia and Colorado. “There’s maybe a 20 percent chance it’s close — 2 or 3 points; I think it’s likely going to be a landslide,” he said. While attacking Trump Plouffe naturally defended Clinton, saying there are “legitimate questions” about conflicts of interest at the Clinton Foundation. But he said the charity shouldn’t shut down, because it does great work.
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Then it was the turn of republican commentator, and former supporter of Jeb Bush, Ana Navarro who also on Sunday said Trump is worse than just unfit to be president. “Forget being unfit to be president. He’s unfit to be human,” Navarro said on ABC, when talking about the controversy regarding the GOP nominee’s tweet about the death of Dwyane Wade’s cousin.
“Was he raised by wolves? Who has that as a first reaction upon somebody’s death?” On Saturday, Trump faced backlash for his tweet about Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of a basketball player who was caught in crossfire and shot in the head and arm when leaving a school in Chicago.
“Dwyane Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” he tweeted. Navarro, a former supporter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, also addressed Trump’s immigration policies, noting the GOP nominee can change his words, but you “can’t change a person’s heart.”
“Hispanics are not going to forget Judge Curiel,” she said, referring to the Indiana-born judge presiding over a Trump-involved lawsuit. Trump repeatedly charged that the judge, who is Mexican-American, could not be impartial because of his heritage. “African-Americans are not going to forget that he started the birther movement. I don’t think Jewish folks forget the anti-Semitic ad against Hillary Clinton,” she continued.
“The problem that Donald Trump has is that most humans have a memory. And we’re not going to forget it within one week.” Navarro tweeted on Sunday she stands by what she said.
I stand by this. Someone whose 1st reaction upon a person’s death is, “I told you so”, is simply unfit to be human. https://t.co/dac1TGIHJf
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) August 28, 2016
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The torrent of personal attacks continued when entertainer Ice Cube made it clear he won’t support Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. “I will never endorse a mothafucka like Donald Trump! EVER!!!” the rapper tweeted on Saturday.
I will never endorse a mothafucka like Donald Trump! EVER!!!
— Ice Cube (@icecube) August 27, 2016
Ice Cube’s tweet was reportedly a response to a tweet by the “Trump News Global” account that featured a video of an April interview with the rapper, according to the New York Daily News. The tweet said Ice Cube was endorsing Trump, using an image of the artist. In the video interview, Ice Cube said Trump is what American’s love and aspire to be.
“Rich, powerful, do what you want to do, say what you want to say, be how you want to be,” he said in the video. “That’s kind of been like the American dream. So, he looks like a boss to everybody and Americans love to have a boss, so you know, that’s his appeal to me.”
He went on to criticize Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for her use of the term “super-predators.” But though he criticized the Democratic nominee, he made clear Sunday he’s not endorsing Trump.
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Finally, actor Don Cheadle added to the criticism of Donald Trump Saturday, after the GOP presidential nominee tweeted about the death of Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of a basketball player who was caught in crossfire and shot in the head and arm while leaving a school in Chicago. “Dwayne [sic] Wade’s cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” he tweeted, misspelling the athlete’s name.
The black actor responded with a harshly worded tweet.
Sorry. I misspelled “die in a grease fire.” https://t.co/16K2iq1pF4
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) August 27, 2016
It is unclear whether these escalating ad hominem attacks are part of Trump’s electoral strategy, or merely the continued devolution of the 2016 presidential campaign into the most memorable spectacle in US history.