Donald Trump's presidential campaign--er, make that his exploration of a presidential campaign--for the GOP nomination is off to a rocky start. Trump has broken ranks with Republicans (and Americans) by finding something to love in Saddam Hussein's playbook and praising collective bargaining rights. But he is on sturdier party ground by feuding with Ron Paul and getting laughed at by Hollywood.
- Trump told Human Events' Jason Mattera Monday:
Whether you like Saddam Hussein or not, and I don’t—he was a bad guy—but he used to shoot the terrorists; he used to kill them. He didn’t give them a trial like this country, where the trial lasts for 21 years. He used to shoot the terrorists and kill them. There were no terrorists, very little terrorists in Iraq.
- The Apprentice star also told Mattera that since he grew up with unions, "collective bargaining doesn’t bother me so much." On other issues, he seems to think governing is like a corporate PowerPoint presentation, as though he can will you can will something into existence through executive decree. Take Somali pirates: "Give me one good admiral and a few ships and I will wipe them out so fast." On entitlements, "We don’t have to cut Social Security; we don’t have to cut Medicare and Medicaid. We can take care of people that need to be taken care of. And I’ll be able to do that."
- And one of Trump's statements might have gotten him in actual legal trouble. On Rush Limbaugh's radio show, Trump said, "We have formed ShouldTrumpRun.com," referring to a website intended to show he has grassroots support for a 2012 bid. A Ron Paul supporter in Florida used the statement as evidence that Trump is engaging in campaign activity without filing the necessary papers to do so with the FEC. As Paul Alexander reports for The Daily Beast, Trump's lawyer flew to Iowa to meet with Republican leaders and fundraisers--by his own admission--a violation of federal law if he spent more than $2,500 of his own corporate resources.
- Tuesday night, Comedy Central will air its roast of Trump, taped last week--and experience he says was "was one of the tougher things I've done in the world of show business." Comedians "beat the hell out of me and I think that's fine, [but] only for one reason: they paid me a lot of money and they were very generous. And all of that money goes to charity." What jokes did Trump find so rough? A sampling:
Seth MacFarlane: “Please welcome the second worst tragedy ever to hit New York City, Donald J. Trump.”
MacFarlane on social issues: “Donald opposes abortion, which makes sense, because that may be his next wife you’re killing.”
MacFarlane on Trump's inheritance: “For all of his self-started bullshit, he’s basically Jaden Smith with a comb over.”
Lisa Lampanelli: “Donald is very happy with his lovely wife Insert Name Here.”
Anthony Jeselnik: “The only difference between you, Donald, and Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street is that nobody’s going to be sad when you get cancer.”