Friday, June 17, 2016

23 things Donald Trump has said that would have doomed another candidate

Donald Trump has, as of Thursday, been running for president for a year. It's been ... quite a year. Literally within the first five minutes of his speech announcing his candidacy, Trump declared that illegal immigrants from Mexico were rapists and drug dealers — the sort of comment that, for another candidate, would probably be disqualifying and ended his or her campaign before it really began.

For Trump, it wasn't. In fact, one could argue that the comment made his campaign — or at least set the tone for it; the ensuing fight with Univision sparked the flood of media attention that allowed Trump to crowd his 16 opponents off the airwaves.

Over the next 365 days, Trump said so many things that would have stumbled or destroyed other candidates that we tend to forget them. Remember when he got in a fight with the pope? Trump got in a fight with the pope. Then he went on to win the Republican nomination.

We did our best to collect every comment offered by Trump that, for a normal candidate, might well have been deadly. In doing so, we developed a "how deadly this would be to normal candidates" scale, expressed in a measure we call a "Jeb." How many normal, milquetoast Republican candidates out of 10 would have been doomed by that thing Trump said? A 1-Jeb comment may have taken out an already-weak candidate, but would probably be survivable by most. A 10-Jebber? Impossible to survive — for a mere mortal.[...]

So, buckle up. Marvel at the things Trump has gotten away with that another candidate would have had to spend weeks rebutting. If you're a candidate reading this at home: We cannot recommend the "say any old thing as frequently as possible" strategy for everyone.

1. Calls Mexican immigrants rapists

2. Says John McCain isn't a hero

3. Refers to Megyn Kelly's menstruation

4. Insults Carly Fiorina's looks

5. Says voters don't care about policy issues

6. Gets his military advice from news shows

7. Suggests 9/11 was George W. Bush's fault

8. Calls Iowa voters stupid

9. Says Muslims in New Jersey celebrated 9/11

10. Mocks a disabled reporter

11. Says Muslim migration should be banned

12. Doesn't know about the nuclear triad

13. Encourages rally violence, part I

14. Repeats a vulgar insult of Ted Cruz

15. Calls the pope "disgraceful"

16. Encourages rally violence, part II

17. Threatens to unwind the First Amendment

18. Declines to disavow racists

19. Refers to a certain part of his anatomy

20. Dismisses his campaign manager's grabbing a reporter

21. Blames the Internet for an unfounded allegation he made

22. Declares that women who have illegal abortions should be punished

23. Accuses a judge of being motivated by race

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