(Rochester, NH, 09/17/15) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Staff photo by Christopher Evans

(Rochester, NH, 09/17/15) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Rochester, New Hampshire on Thursday, September 17, 2015. Staff photo by Christopher Evans

Something like this happens to a GOP candidate every election cycle. Some random person — maybe famous, maybe not — says something untoward and there is a feeding frenzy to get him to denounce the individual, renounce the opinion expressed, and accept responsibility for something that he or she in no way participated.

This happened to Donald Trump on Thursday at Rochester, NH. In a Q&A session a man this ensued:

“We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims,” said the first man Trump called on to ask a question. “We know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.”

Trump first interrupted, “We need this question–this is the first question?” he said, laughing. Trump, who was a driver of the “birther” movement that claimed Obama wasn’t born in the U.S, let the man continue.

“We have training camps growing where they want to kill us. That’s my question,” the questioner continued. “When can we get rid of it?”

Trump did not dispute the man’s assertions and said he’d heard others raise the issue.

 

And it is because Trump did not climb down from the podium and gut this miscreant with his own bare hands that he is being criticized by one of his fellow candidates.

“If somebody at one of my town hall meetings said that, I would correct them and I would say, ‘The President’s a Christian and he was born in this country. Those two things are self-evident,'” the New Jersey governor told NBC’s “Today” show on Friday.

 

[mc_name name=’Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’G000359′ ], speaking with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Friday, said Trump should have stood up to the questioner.

“I’ve had this happen to me in Iowa, where a guy used the ‘N-word’ and it was very derogatory towards President Obama and Muslims. And I said, ‘I am not seeking your vote,'” Graham said.

Josh Earnest took time out from trolling Pope Francis to troll Donald Trump:

“My first observation is, is anyone really surprised that this happened at a Donald Trump rally?” Earnest asked. “I don’t think anyone who has been paying attention to Republican politics is at all surprised. … The reason for that is the people who hold these offensive views are part of Mr. Trump’s base.”

Hillary, anxious comment on any non-email question, jumped in

What was refreshing was that Cruz, Jindal, Santorum, and Bush refused to get dragged into the brawl showing our candidates are several levels brighter than we are used to seeing. This is a bull**** issue for several reasons.

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Mueller Report Fallout

Democrats do this stuff all the time and the media eats it up.

If you look back at the 1988 Presidential campaign, Al Gore was the first person to use Willie Horton on Michael Dukakis. No one said boo. It was only when George H. W. Bush used Willie Horton that it became a symbol of racism or meany-pantsness or something. Let’s take a quick trip back to March 2008 when a not-as-dissicated-as-today Hillary Clinton was campaigning against the same Barack Hussein Obama and appeared on 60 Minutes.    

You don’t believe that Senator Obama’s a Muslim?” Kroft asked. Of course not. I mean, that’s, you know, there is no basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn’t any reason to doubt that,” she answered. “You said you’d take Senator Obama at his word that he’s not a Muslim. You don’t believe that he’s a Muslim?” Kroft said. “No. No, there is nothing to base that on,” Clinton said, adding, “As far as I know.”

This was obviously a dog whistle to her supporters that she didn’t oppose Obama being cast as a Muslim. Did anyone in the media follow up on this and demand that she revise and extend her remarks to make it clear she didn’t think he was Muslim? Of course not. She’s a Democrat. Via HotAir, we have this from Slate in 2008:

Today, the Drudge Report posted a big, fat headline that howled, “Clinton staffers circulate ‘dressed’ Obama.” Accompanying the headline was a picture of Obama on a diplomatic trip to Kenya in 2006, wearing some type of traditional dress of the area—complete with a turban-looking headdress…

So I find the whole issue of Obama is a Muslim to be very disingenuous.

Candidates do not engage in food fights with random people at town hall meetings

Town hall meetings, during the primary season, bring a certain risk. You don’t know who is going to be there. And, in the words of Mark Twain: Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. Ron Paul was famous for making 9/11 Truthers think that he agreed with them. (I’m being charitable in assuming Paul is just playing them to get them to send him money) Trump wasn’t there to create a spectacle. He made fun of the question and moved on.

How many Democrats have told people shouting “Hands up. Don’t shoot.” that they were spouting bull****? Not very many. How many ever defended George Bush against the bogus “AWOL” charges? When was the last time you heard a Democrat actually call someone out for claiming Bush had advance notice of 9/11? It still happens today. All it took was Jeb Bush saying his brother kept us safe.

If Trump had confronted the man, what reasonable outcome would we expect? The guy saying, “hey, you’re right, I never thought about it?” Look, Chris Christie made an industry out of attacking feckless New Jersey union members in town hall meetings. It can be done but it really isn’t a good strategy because the fight becomes the story.

And as Rick Santorum said, do we really have to defend Obama every time someone insults him? 

Is Obama Christian?

According so Chris Christie he would have assured the man that Obama is Christian. On what basis? When Christie hugged Obama did he peer into his soul as well?

Obama went to a black nationalist church for years and listened to a regular series of hate-filled sermons by Reverend Jeremiah Wright. If he’s basing his Christianity upon that slender reed then I think there is a lot of doubt. Has he done anything in office that indicates he has any Christian instincts? Hardly. He has carried out anything that looks like a Christian policy? Well, he’s forced nuns to buy birth control coverage. He has overseen the destruction of ancient Christian communities in the Middle East. His administration has punished people for adhering to Christian beliefs.

Has his administration been characterized by generosity of spirit?

Personally, not having the same access to his soul as does Chris Christie, I find scant evidence to indicate that he’s anything other that a grasping, secular opportunist who uses Christianity as a shield and a cudgel.

Is Obama Muslim?

Has he ever made the Muslim profession of faith? I don’t know. I do know that when his father registered him for school that he listed young Barry Sotero’s religion was Muslim. I have no indication of how one would prove or disprove the proposition that he remained a Muslim. But, so what? Is being called a Muslim an insult? Is it “racist” as the ever dimwitted Doug Mataconis Failaconis thinks? (ever notice how fast these guys are in calling people racists when it is almost like they don’t know what the word means)

And in the immortal words of George Costanza: It isn’t a lie if you believe it.

As Jim Treacher writes

He didn’t correct the random guy who blurted out something he wasn’t supposed to! Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life? This will finally convince people who think Trump would be a good president that they’re wrong.

This whole game is dumb and dishonest for yet another reason, as novelist Andrew Klavan points out:

If there’s nothing wrong with being a Muslim, why is it such a horrible slur to call someone a Muslim? It’s almost as if Democrats are incoherent, illogical children who don’t think about the implications of their words.

 Will this hurt Trump?

The only way this will hurt Trump is if he reveals himself to be a craven Beltway politico and begins an apology tour. His persona and campaign are built, in very large part, on telling people to F*** off. So far it looks like he’s holding his ground.