Patterico's Pontifications


Donald Trump Calls Off Tonight’s Campaign Rally In Chicago

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:57 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A Trump rally scheduled for tonight on the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion was cancelled due to safety concerns resulting from clashes between protesters and supporters, both inside and outside of the arena. The campaign released this statement:

Mr. Trump just arrived in Chicago and after meeting with law enforcement has determined that for the safety of all of the tens of thousands of people that have gathered in and around the arena, tonight’s rally will be postponed to another date. Thank you very much for your attendance and please go in peace.

But a spokesman for the Chicago Police Dept. said, not exactly:

CPD spokesman Anthony Guglielmi tells The Associated Press that the department never told the Trump campaign there was a security threat at the University of Illinois at Chicago venue. He said the department had sufficient manpower on the scene to handle any situation.

Guglielmi says the university’s police department also did not recommend that Trump call off the event. He says the decision was made “independently” by the campaign.

After the Chicago PD released the clarification, Trump still claimed law enforcement had advised him to cancel:

“I think I did the right thing. You know, I came here and met with law enforcement, and I said ‘What do you think?’ They were very professional. They said, ‘It would be better not to do it, because if you do it tonight, you could have a clash and people could get hurt.’ I did not want to see people get hurt.

He continued to double-down on his claim:

“We met with security and the law enforcement, who I think did a terrific job, and they told me it’d be best not to go in and do the speech,” Trump reiterated in an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

When asked again by Hannity on whether law enforcement motivated his decision, Trump again responded affirmatively.

I guess it’s easier to blame the authorities rather than having to admit to being a “disgrace” and “weak” for allowing a group of protesters to take over, right?

But what struck me as a bit ironic was Donald Trump complaining about being denied his First Amendment right to speak tonight:

“And we made a decision, even though our freedom of speech was violated totally.

Because you know, nobody is a bigger champion of the First Amendment than Donald Trump:

This has nothing to do with free speech – this is taunting, and all it does is cause trouble.”

“She should be much more responsible because what she’s doing is completely irresponsible!”

“She’s a person that is doing this for her own purpose and she’s doing a terrible thing for our country!“

“…if she went after, instead, JESUS, instead of the Muslim, went after JESUS, let’s see how long she’d last! If she went after the African-Americans, and went after the N-WORD, where she was positive on it as opposed to… let’s SEE how long she would last! That would also be freedom of speech! Let’s see if she has the guts to do that. …

All she’s doing, she is a provacateur! All she doing is provoking and taunting people!!”

And let’s not forget Trump’s other crusade to protect the First Amendment.

It’s utterly amazing that the leading GOP candidate, whose campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again,” has no real respect for that which has already made America extraordinarily great, unless it’s his speech being stifled.

And about whether his inflammatory rhetoric on the campaign trail may have played a part in tonight’s protests?:

“Until today, we’ve never had much of a problem,” Trump later told CNN’s Don Lemon. Asked if he had any regrets about the charged rhetoric at his rallies, Trump was defiant.

“I don’t have regrets,” Trump said. “These were very, very bad protesters. These were bad dudes. They were rough, tough guys.”

From his own campaign event 30 miles away (where no brawling was reported), Ted Cruz weighed in about Trump, and tonight’s turn of events:

“In any campaign, responsibility starts at the top,” Cruz told reporters in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

“When you have a campaign that affirmatively encourages violence,” he continued, “you create an environment that only encourages that sort of nasty discourse.”

“When the candidate urges supporters to engage in physical violence, to punch people in the face, the predictable consequence of that is that is escalates. Today is unlikely to be the last such incidence.”


Andrew Klavan Is Angry, And So He’s Voting for Donald Trump

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:28 pm

This is worth two minutes of your time. I have already watched it twice and could easily watch it four or five more times.

I think my favorite part is this:

I’m angry about free trade for some reason, and about people making stuff cheaper overseas so it costs less here and I can afford it.

I’m always trying to think of ways to convey the fact that free trade helps the poor. This is just one passage in an excellent and funny video, but it is a brilliant way to get that message across.

Thanks to qdpsteve. UPDATE: And Simon Jester too!

Breitbart Reporter Assaulted by Trump Campaign Manager Files Police Report

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:39 pm

Michelle Fields has filed a police report regarding the assault that Washington Post reporter Ben Tellis says was committed by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

Meanwhile, Trump supporters put on their brave face today and linked to this post at Breitbart, in which Joel Pollak rather leapt to Lewandowski’s defense, titling his post “The Scrum: Video Emerges to Suggest WaPo Reporter Ben Terris Misidentifies Lewandowski in Fields Incident.” Here’s Lewandowski tweeting out a link to it:

Except: D’oh! That’s not the title any more. Go ahead, click the link in Lewandowski’s tweet. The title of Pollak’s piece is now: “The Scrum: Video Shows Lewandowski Reaching in Michelle Fields’s Direction.” Yes, it appears that, had Pollak waited for things to shake out a little more, he might not have posted his original exoneration of Lewandowski. Even as a pack of Trump supporters demanded apologies from me on Twitter, video emerged that appears to show Lewandowski reaching towards Fields’s left arm — the one with the bruise.

Moreover, Ben Terris, the Washington Post reporter and eyewitness who pointed the finger at Lewandowski, is sticking by his story:

“I saw what I saw,” said Terris in a brief chat with this blog. During the whole incident, says Terris, he had his “eyes trained on Corey Lewandowski,” because Terris was there to profile the campaign team with a focus on Lewandowski. Terris took strong issue with Pollak’s assertion that mistaken identity is the “likeliest explanation” based in part on Lewandowski’s denials. “Because he denied it?” asked Terris. “This is Breitbart.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Boyle has come forward (as I predicted he would) and denied the report that Lewandowski admitted all this to him. (You’ll remember that this part of the Daily Beast report had been sourced anonymously.) Boyle’s support for Trump has at times been perplexing to me, but I’m going to believe him on this — meaning we don’t have an admission from Lewandowski. It also means that the folks at the Daily Beast should have a little sit-down with their anonymous sources, because what the hell?

Nevertheless, what looked like a valiant defense seems to be crumbling.

If I were Michelle Fields, I’m not sure how I’d feel about working for an organization that rushed to exonerate a guy who assaulted me. But that’s up to her.

And I think it’s fair to say that Corey Lewandowski needs to resign. Not just for the assault, but for the nasty way he went after Fields in the aftermath.

National Review Endorses Ted Cruz

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:30 am

[guest post by JVW]

Those “nasty establishment RINOs” and “GOPe enablers” at National Review have endorsed Ted Cruz for the Republican Party nomination for President. In an editorial signed by “the Editors” they describe Cruz as “a brilliant and articulate exponent of our views on the full spectrum of issues,” and add:

Conservatism should not be merely combative; but especially in our political culture, it must be willing to be controversial. Too many Republicans shrink from this implication of our creed. Not Cruz. And this virtue is connected to others that primary voters should keep in mind. Conservatives need not worry that Cruz will be tripped up by an interview question, or answer it with mindless conventional wisdom when a better answer is available. We need rarely worry, either, that his stumbling words will have to be recast by aides and supporters later. Neither of those things could be said about a lot of Republican nominees over the years.

This endorsement is significant, as readers of the magazine and blog have likely noticed that a number of NR contributors had become quite supportive of Marco Rubio’s candidacy over the past couple of months, judging him to have the charisma to bring a conservative message to young voters to counter the fetid quasi-socialism they have been force-fed these past eight years. This coalescing around Cruz likely reflects the reality conservatives now face that the Senator from Texas is the only possible remaining candidate who can forestall the party’s implosion. In tempering their enthusiasm, the editors do send their candidate a friendly warning:

His tax plan is admirably growth-oriented but contains too much indirect taxation of employees. He has done little to lay out a plausible replacement for Obamacare, and especially to counter the idea that replacing it would involve stripping insurance from millions of Americans. His occasional remarks to the effect that the general election can be won by mobilizing conservatives who have been heretofore quiescent politically seems fanciful. As the nominee he will have to adopt a more empirically grounded strategy, just as he has done in the primaries.

I would bet that if William F. Buckley were alive today he would approve of this editorial and of this decision that his magazine has made.


Trump Campaign Manager Denies Assault, Calls Victim “Delusional” Even As Evidence Against Him Mounts

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:44 am

The Trump campaign released a statement yesterday utterly denying that campaign manager Corey Lewandowski ever laid a hand on reporter Michelle Fields:

The accusation, which has only been made in the media and never addressed directly with the campaign, is entirely false. As one of the dozens of individuals present as Mr. Trump exited the press conference I did not witness any encounter. In addition to our staff, which had no knowledge of said situation, not a single camera or reporter of more than 100 in attendance captured the alleged incident.

Actually, a reporter did see it happen. More about that in a second. Here’s Lewandowski himself:

It’s unclear why Lewandowski is targeting Fields. She is not the one who identified him as the perpetrator. Washington Post reporter Ben Terris did:

As security parted the masses to give him passage out of the chandelier-lit ballroom, Michelle Fields, a young reporter for Trump-friendly Breitbart News, pressed forward to ask the Republican front-runner a question. I watched as a man with short-cropped hair and a suit grabbed her arm and yanked her out of the way. He was Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 41-year-old campaign manager.

Fields stumbled. Finger-shaped bruises formed on her arm.

“I’m just a little spooked,” she said, a tear streaming down her face. “No one has grabbed me like that before.”

Fields has tweeted out a picture of the bruise that Terris saw at the time:

And because she was recording the question, audio and a transcript have been made available:

Fields: “Mr. Trump, you went after the late Scalia for affirmative action, do you — are you still against affirmative action?”

Voice (allegedly Corey Lewandowski): “Excuse me, thank you.”

A few moments later (noise of the room can be heard)…

Terris: “You OK?”

Fields: “Holy sh*t.”

Terris: “Yea he just threw you down.”

Fields: “I can’t believe he just did that that was so hard. Was that Corey?”

Terris: “Yeah, like, what threat were you?”

Fields: “That was insane. You should have felt how hard he grabbed me. That’s insane. I’ve never had anyone do that to me from a campaign.”

Go to the link for the audio.

In addition, a Daily Beast story claimed, through anonymous sources, that Lewandowski had spoken with Breitbart reporter Matt Boyle and admitted grabbing Fields, saying he had not realized she was a Breitbart reporter. I can’t find any evidence that Boyle has said anything publicly about this, although his Twitter feed seems very supportive of Fields. I hope he speaks out soon.

Despite the bruise, the statements from Fields and Terris, and the contemporaneous audio that corroborates everything Fields and Terris have said, we have seen Trump and Lewandowski attack Fields’s professionalism and assert that absolutely nothing happened. The attacks appear to be bogus (e.g. she is accused of making up a story about being knocked to the ground during an Occupy protest but there is a photo of it) but that is not stopping Trump and his people. Here is Trump accusing Fields of making the story up:

There are now “assault truthers” out there supporting Trump, of course. As I have said many times, if someone has made up their mind not to be convinced of something, no amount of evidence will convince them. Apparently the level of insane paranoia is such that there exist people who believe the evidence was somehow concocted. These people apparently believe that Fields and Terris agreed to make up a story about Lewandowski, and got together after the fact and manufactured audio evidence to support it, along with a bruise.

These are (at least some of) your Donald Trump supporters, folks. This is your electorate. This is the man who is the Republican front-runner. Does anyone see a problem?

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