In Saturday’s CBS Republican presidential debate Donald Trump was the biggest loser. It wasn’t even close. Worse, the Donald was whiney, uncivil and so very un-presidential. He threw Trumpertantrum after Trumpertantrum, interrupted again and again and was booed over and over.
Trump managed to get through his first question about replacing the irreplaceable Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. But after that it was all downhill. The Trump melt down began when he tangled with Jeb Bush on defeating ISIS. You can watch the Trump melt down begin at about the 1:34 mark of the following video:
DICKERSON: You said defeating ISIS requires defeating Assad. But wouldn’t that also put us into conflict with Russia, a country that supports Assad? So doesn’t that mean, effectively, Assad’s there to stay?
BUSH: No, it doesn’t, and that’s the problem. The lack of leadership in this country by Barack Obama, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, thinking that this is a policy that works, this policy of containment with ISIS. It’s a complete, unmitigated disaster. And to allow Russia now to have influence in Syria makes it harder, but we need to destroy ISIS and dispose of Assad to create a stable Syria so that the four million refugees aren’t a breeding ground for Islamic jihadists. This is the problem. Donald Trump brought up the fact that he would — he’d want to accommodate Russia. Russia is not taking out ISIS. They’re — they’re attacking our — our — our team, the team that we’ve been training and the team that we’ve been supporting. It is absolutely ludicrous to suggest that Russia could be a positive partner in this. They are on the run. [. . .]
DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, you’re…
DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, you were mentioned here. You did say that you could get along very well with Vladimir Putin. You did at one point say let Russia take care of ISIS…
called me a genius, I like him so far, I have to tell you. Let me just tell you this. Jeb is so wrong. Jeb is absolutely self — just so you understand, you know what that is? That’s Jeb’s special interest and lobbyist talking. Look, let me just tell you something, Jeb — Jeb is so wrong. You got to fight ISIS first. You fight ISIS first. Right now you have Russia, you have Iran, you have them with Assad, and you have them with Syria. You have to knock out ISIS. They’re chopping off heads. These are animals. You have to knock ’em out. You have to knock them off strong. You decide what to do after, you can’t fight two wars at one time. If you listen to him, and you listen to some of the folks that I’ve been listening to, that’s why we’ve been in the Middle East for 15 years, and we haven’t won anything. We’ve spent $5 trillion dollars in the Middle East with thinking like that. We’ve spent $5…
TRUMP: Lindsey Graham, who backs him, had zero on his polls. Let me just say something — we’ve spent — we’ve spent. I only tell the truth, lobbyists. We’ve spent $5 trillion dollars all over the — we have to rebuild our country. We have to rebuild our infrastructure. You listen to that, you’re going to be there for another 15…
DICKERSON: … All right…
TRUMP: … You’ll end up with World War III…
DICKERSON: … All right, Governor Bush, please respond.
BUSH: The very basic fact is that Vladimir Putin is not going to be an ally of the United States. The whole world knows this. It’s a simple, basic fact.
BUSH: They’re not taking out — they’re not even attempting to take out ISIS. They’re attacking the troops that we’re supporting. We need to create a coalition, Sunni-led coalition on the ground with our special operators to destroy ISIS and bring about stability. And you can’t do that with Assad in power. He has…
TRUMP: … We’re supporting troops…
BUSH: … Let me finish…
TRUMP: … that we don’t even know who they are.
DICKERSON: … O.K., settle…
BUSH: … This is ridiculous…
TRUMP: … We’re supporting troops that we don’t even know who they are…
DICKERSON: … All right, Mr. Trump, all right…
TRUMP: We have no idea who they are.
DICKERSON: Gentleman, I think we’re going to leave that there. I’ve got a question for Senator…
BUSH: … This is coming from a guy who gets his foreign policy from the shows.
TRUMP: … Oh, yeah, yeah…
BUSH: … This is a guy who thinks that Hillary Clinton is a great negotiator in Iran…
TRUMP: … Let 44 million in New Hampshire, it was practically
BUSH: … This is a man who insults his way to the nomination…
TRUMP: … 44 million — give me a break.
DICKERSON: … All right, all right, gentlemen, gentlemen, let’s leave it there so I can ask a question of Senator Cruz, who’s also running for president.
Then Trump was asked about his despicable extreme Left-wing comments that President George W. Bush got us into war with lies and should have been impeached. Trump is so wrong about his accusations that W lied. That Lefty talking point will not die because people like Trump continue to repeat it even though three separate investigations have found this bogus Trump allegation to be unfounded:
Everyone was convinced that Saddam had WMDs. It remains a fact Saddam used WMDs against and his own people. The intelligence and common wisdom that Iraq still possessed such weapons at the time we liberated Iraq proved to be wrong, but that doesn’t equate to a lie. So lets go over the facts again.
The Bipartisan Senate Select Committee Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community’s judgments related to Iraq’s weapons programs. At pages 284-285 the report states:
Conclusion 83. The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities.
Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President’s visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.
Besides that report, two other independent investigations came to the same conclusion.
The Robb-Silberman Commission On The Intelligence Capabilities Of The United States Regarding Weapons Of Mass Destruction likewise found “no evidence of political pressure.” At pages 50-51 the Robb-Silberman report states: The Commission found no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community’s pre-war assessments of Iraq’s weapons programs. As we discuss in detail in the body of our report, analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments.
The British Butler Report, Review Of Intelligence On Weapons Of Mass Destruction similarly “found no evidence of deliberate distortion.”
The consensus that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction formed in the Clinton administration. The consensus was more than evident in 1998, when President Clinton was threatening to attack Iraq. But apparently we shouldn’t expect people like Trump to care about the facts. Trump never recovered from his melt down during the exchange with Bush. After a couple of questions for Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump was again invited to go after the Bush family and this time there was so much booing the transcribers could not ignore it:
DICKERSON: … On Monday, George W. Bush will campaign in South Carolina for his brother. As you’ve said tonight, and you’ve often said, the Iraq war and your opposition to it was a sign of your good judgment. In 2008, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, talking about President George W. Bush’s conduct of the war, you said you were surprised that Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi didn’t try to impeach him. You said, quote: “Which, personally, I think would have been a wonderful thing.” When you were asked what you meant by that and you said: “For the war, for the war, he lied, he got us into the war with lies.” Do you still believe President Bush should have been impeached?
TRUMP: First of all, I have to say, as a businessman, I get along with everybody. I have business all over the world.
TRUMP: I know so many of the people in the audience. And by the way, I’m a self-funder. I don’t have — I have my wife and I have my son. That’s all I have. I don’t have this.
TRUMP: So let me just tell you, I get along with everybody, which is my obligation to my company, to myself, et cetera. Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake. All right? Now, you can take it any way you want, and it took — it took Jeb Bush, if you remember at the beginning of his announcement, when he announced for president, it took him five days. He went back, it was a mistake, it wasn’t a mistake. It took him five days before his people told him what to say, and he ultimately said, “It was a mistake.” The war in Iraq, we spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don’t even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq, with the second-largest oil reserves in the world. Obviously, it was a mistake.
TRUMP: George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.
DICKERSON: But so I’m going to — so you still think he should be impeached?
BUSH: I think it’s my turn, isn’t it?
TRUMP: You do whatever you want. You call it whatever you want. I want to tell you. They lied. They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.
DICKERSON: All right. O.K. All right. Governor Bush — when a member on the stage’s brother gets attacked…
BUSH: I’ve got about five or six…
DICKERSON: … the brother gets to respond.
BUSH: Do I get to do it five or six times or just once, responding to that?
TRUMP: I’m being nice.
BUSH: So here’s the deal. I’m sick and tired of Barack Obama blaming my brother for all of the problems that he has had.
BUSH: And, frankly, I could care less about the insults that Donald Trump gives to me. It’s blood sport for him. He enjoys it. And I’m glad he’s happy about it. But I am sick and tired…
TRUMP: He spent $22 million in… CROSSTALK)
BUSH: I am sick and tired of him going after my family. My dad is the greatest man alive in my mind.
BUSH: And while Donald Trump was building a reality TV show, my brother was building a security apparatus to keep us safe. And I’m proud of what he did.
BUSH: And he has had the gall to go after my brother.
TRUMP: The World Trade Center came down during your brother’s reign, remember that.
BUSH: He has had the gall to go after my mother. Hold on. Let me finish. He has had the gall to go after my mother. TRUMP: That’s not keeping us safe.
BUSH: Look, I won the lottery when I was born 63 years ago, looked up, and I saw my mom. My mom is the strongest woman I know.
TRUMP: She should be running.
BUSH: This is not about my family or his family. This is about the South Carolina families that need someone to be a commander in chief that can lead. I’m that person.
Trump needs to be more careful when he claims he was against the Iraq war. He didn’t oppose the war before we invaded. In fact his opposition wasn’t expressed until long after the invasion. There was another Trmpertantrum, this one involved Cruz. Trump was asked about how he now has changed positions and which Conservative Ideas he disagrees with. After some back and forth during which Trump again defended eminent domain the exchange devolved into another Trump meltdown:
CRUZ: You know, flexibility is a good thing, but it shouldn’t — you shouldn’t be flexible on core principles. I like Donald, he is an amazing entertainer, but his policies for most of his life…
TRUMP: Thank you very much, I appreciate it.
CRUZ: For most of his life, his policies have been very, very liberal. For most of his life, he has described himself as very pro- choice and as a supporter of partial birth abortion. Right now, today, as a candidate, he supports federal taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. I disagree with him on that.
That’s a matter of principle, and I’ll tell you…
TRUMP: You probably are worse than Jeb Bush. You are single biggest liar. This guy’s lied — let me just tell you, this guy lied about Ben Carson when he took votes away from Ben Carson in Iowa, and he just continues. Today, we had robo-calls saying, “Donald Trump is not going to run in South Carolina,” where I’m leading by a lot.
I’m not going to vote for Ted Cruz. This is the same thing he did to Ben Carson. This guy will say anything, nasty guy. Now I know why he doesn’t have one endorsement from any of his colleagues.
CRUZ: Don, I need to go on…
TRUMP: He’s a nasty guy.
CRUZ: I will say, it is fairly remarkable to see Donald defending Ben after he called, “pathological,” and compared him to a child molester. Both of which were offensive and wrong.
But let me say this — you notice Donald didn’t disagree with the substance that he supports taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood. And Donald has this weird pattern, when you point to his own record, he screams, “Liar, liar, liar.” You want to go…
TRUMP: Where did I support it? Where did I…
CRUZ: You want to go…
TRUMP: Again, where did I support it?
CRUZ: If you want to watch the video, go to our website at Tedcruz.org.
TRUMP: Hey Ted, where I support it?
CRUZ: You can see it out of Donald’s own mouth.
TRUMP: Where did I support?
CRUZ: You supported it when we were battling over defunding Planned Parenthood. You went on…
TRUMP: That’s a lot of lies.
CRUZ: You said, “Planned Parenthood does wonderful things and we should not defund it.”
TRUMP: It does do wonderful things, but not as it relates to abortion.
CRUZ: So I’ll tell you what…
TRUMP: Excuse me. Excuse me, there are wonderful things having to do with women’s health.
CRUZ: You see, you and I…
TRUMP: But not when it comes to abortion.
CRUZ: Don, the reasoned principle matters. The reasoned principle matters, sadly was illustrated by the first questions today. The next president is going to appoint one, two, three, four Supreme Court justices.
If Donald Trump is president, he will appoint liberals. If Donald Trump is president, your Second Amendment will gone…
[. . .]
DICKERSON: Senator Cruz, 30 seconds on this one.
CRUZ: I did not nominate John Roberts. I would not have nominated John Roberts.
TRUMP: You pushed him. You pushed him.
CRUZ: I supported…
TRUMP: You worked with him and you pushed him. Why do you lie?
CRUZ: You need to learn to not interrupt people.
TRUMP: Why do you lie?
CRUZ: Donald, adults learn…
TRUMP: You pushed him.
CRUZ: Adults learn not to interrupt people.
TRUMP: Yeah, yeah, I know, you’re an adult.
CRUZ: I did not nominate him. I would not have nominated him. I would’ve nominated my former boss Liberman, who was Justice Scalia’s first law clerk. And you know how I know that Donald’s Supreme Court justices will be liberals? Because his entire life, he support liberals from Jimmy Carter, to Hillary Clinton, to John Kerry.
In 2004, he contributed to John Kerry. Nobody who cares about judges would contribute to John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid.
DICKERSON: We’re going to switch…
CRUZ: That’s what Donald Trump does.
And so it went. It was not only Trump’s worst debate performance by far, it was the most un-presidential exhibition I’ve ever seen from a presidential candidate.