Even before Donald Trump could return from his golf courses in Scotland, the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign put out an ad mocking his weekend trip.
It used video of the White House and then of Trump golfing in Scotland just after the British people voted to leave the European Union.
“Every president is tested by world events,” the narrator said. “But Donald Trump thinks about how his resort can profit from them.”
Next came a clip of Trump discussing how English currency lost value last week and why that is good for him.
“If the pound goes down,” Trump said on the golf course, “more people are coming to Turnberry.”
The ad ended in words printed out in red in case viewers couldn’t hear them over the sound of bagpipes.
“In a volatile world,” the narrator said, “the last thing we need is a volatile president.”
At least part of the ad appeared as a news item on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos; and on CBS’s Face the Nation with John Dickerson; and on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd; and on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper.
In fact, of all the Big Five Sunday shows, the only one that didn’t show the ad as news was Fox News Sunday, with Chris Wallace, who nevertheless managed to find 12 free minutes for an interview with Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House and a longtime Fox hack who wants to be Trump’s vice-presidential pick.
However, late in the hour, in at least some markets, the Fox current-events show ran a paid commercial from “Delegates Unbound,” which appeared to be a group of Republicans who don’t like Trump as the presumptive presidential candidate and hope to dislodge him at the convention next month in Cleveland.
The ad showed clips of President Ronald Reagan juxtaposed next to clips of Trump.
REAGAN: “This national feeling is good.”
TRUMP: “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya.”
REAGAN: “But it won’t account for much—it won’t last, unless it is ground in thoughtfulness and knowledge.”
TRUMP (imitating a handicapped reporter having spasms): “Ahhhhhh, I don’t know what I said . . .”
REAGAN: “Starting to realize I think that we need God more than He needs us.”
TRUMP: “I didn’t bring God into that picture.”
REAGAN: “Use of force is always and only a last resort.”
TRUMP: “I would bomb the (bleep) out of them.”
The ad ended with a printed message to the delegates.
“GOP Delegates: Choose your values.”
Hand me the remote . . .
STATE OF THE UNION Bernie Sanders, still contending for the Democratic nomination in order to influence the party platform, told Tapper that Trump couldn’t win.
“The American people understand that it’s absurd for a billionaire to be campaigning on giving hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to billionaire families like his own,” Sanders said for the billionth time.
Although hinting that he would vote for and endorse Clinton eventually, Sanders urged her to “Stand up and be bolder than you have been . . . have the guts to stand up to big money interests, to the greed of corporate America.”
Tapper showed a clip of President Obama discussing Trump without using Trump’s name.
“We don’t have time for charlatans,” Obama said. “We don’t have time for hatred. We don’t have time for bigotry. We don’t have time for flim-flam. We don’t have the luxury of just poppin’ off and saying whatever comes to the top of our head.”
This led to tense exchange between two ex-governors, Republican Jan Brewer of Arizona and Democrat Martin O’Malley of Maryland.
Brewer called the president’s words “ridiculous” and accused him of bringing up racism and bigotry every time he disagrees with someone.
O’Malley, sitting next to her, disagreed.
“Donald Trump is a bigot,” he said. “Donald Trump is a racist. Donald Trump, in fact, is making fascist appeals. That’s why many self-respecting Republicans are not supporting Donald Trump for president. Donald Trump is an unstable character who is appealing to the worst instincts in people.”
O’Malley accused Trump of a “con and a flim-flam” by “trying to rip off people” with his Trump University real estate school.
“Oh, Puh-leeze!” Brewer said.
Regarding that series of seminars, Trump is being sued for fraud and said the Mexican-American judge, Gonzalo Curiel is biased against him.
“Donald Trump tried to say the judge isn’t qualified because he’s of Mexican background,” O’Malley said. “Donald Trump hates Mexicans. That means that judge can’t do his job.”
Turning to Brewer, he added: “Now, surely, governor, you can’t agree that is proper behavior for a man who is running for President of the United States.”
BREWER: “I don’t believe Donald Trump meant it in the way he said it. I believe he felt he was being treated unfairly in regards to his—”
O’MALLEY: “Because he hates Mexicans?”
They stared at each other for two or three seconds of silence.
“I can’t believe you’re supporting Donald Trump, Jan,” O’Malley said.
“Believe it,” Brewer said with a smile. “Believe it.”
‘If you’re a Democrat and want Hillary Clinton elected, you should be afraid—very, very afraid . . . Watch this guy. Don’t underestimate him.’
FACE THE NATION Dickerson opened his CBS show with an interview recorded in Miami on Saturday with Florida’s Republican Senator Marco Rubio, who changed his mind and decided to run for reelection after Trump beat him (and 15 others) in the presidential primaries.
After asking Rubio twice about presidential candidates and their trustworthiness in a crisis, Dickerson said: “Let me try it another way: Do you think that Donald Trump has better character and judgment in those alone situations than Hillary—”
Mr. Rubio interrupted.
“So that’s the challenge Donald has over the next two, three months.”
Mr. Dickerson persisted.
“What does Senator Rubio think?”
“Well, but, I, there’s a campaign,” Rubio said. “So that’s what I’m going to watch.”
Of Trump’s plan to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants, Rubio said: “You can’t round up and deport 11 million people.”
Of Trump’s plan to ban Muslims from America, Rubio said: “That’s also not going to happen.”
Among Dickerson’s guests was David Rennie of The Economist. He said the British voters who won the “leave the EU” vote were like bitter middle-class people in the Rust Belt of the United States—an area Trump has said he will target.
“They’re committing economic suicide,” he said of the British voters. “They’re going to suffer.” He said those politicians who pushed to leave the EU “have kind of gone into hiding. They don’t know what to do.”
He said German chancellor Angela Merkel is panicking, “and that should panic Americans.”
Referring again to British voters motivated by dreams of prosperity and isolation, Rennie added: “They’ve been lied to. So, if you think this is the end of the anger, this is the beginning of the anger because we just saw a revolt against the experts and the elites and the elites cannot now deliver what the people demanded.”
FOX NEWS SUNDAY Panelist George Will explained why he left the Republican Party recently after being a member since 1964, when he joined to support Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater against President Lyndon Johnson.
He used a quote from Reagan, who once said—disingenuously—“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.” (It sounded funny but, in fact, it was a canard. Reagan changed far more than the Democratic Party.)
On screen, Fox showed a Trump tweet that said: “George Will, one of the most over-rated political pundits (who lost his way long ago) has left the Republican Party. He’s made many bad calls.”
Will countered, saying Trump “has an advantage on me because he can say everything he knows about any subject in 140 characters. I can’t.”
When Wallace interviewed Gingrich, he asked him “What does Trump stand for?”
Gingrich replied: “I think he stands for an evolving process of trying to come to grips with really big problems.” Without getting much of an answer, Wallace asked: “But does evolving mean that what he said last week doesn’t stand this week?”
Robby Mook, managing Clinton’s campaign, represented the other side.
He called Trump “One of the most reckless, unfit candidates to ever seek the presidency. Hillary Clinton is probably one of the most prepared.”
MEET THE PRESS Todd opened with an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that showed Clinton leading Trump, 46 to 41. He also spoke of how the “Leave” campaign in Britain preyed on anxiety about increased competition for resources and jobs from immigrants.
Then came a video clip from Trump on the golf course.
“People want to see borders,” Trump said. “They don’t necessarily want people pouring into their country.”
David Milibrand, the former British Foreign Secretary, expressed dismay at the results of the EU vote.
“When Vladimir Putin is cheering, you know you’ve got a problem,” Milibrand said. “We have deep fears . . . Populism is popular until it gets elected. And then it has to make decisions. And that’s where the trouble starts.”
On the panel, presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin showed that even the best writers can misspeak.
“Churchill must be dying in his grave right now,” she said.
Another visitor was Senator Tim Kaine, who might be considered for vice-president by Clinton.
In view of recent gun massacres (50 dead two weeks ago in Orlando), Kaine discussed gun safety legislation supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.
He said one way to cut down the killing is to limit the number of rounds in a magazine so killers can’t kill so many people so quickly without pausing to re-load their hand-held murder machines.
When Todd told Kaine he’s been called boring, Kaine smiled and said: “I am boring but boring is the fastest-growing demographic in this country.”
THIS WEEK Stephanopoulos opened his ABC show with a poll that showed Clinton leading Trump, 51 to 39. Visiting the set was a dour Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader.
“They’re beginning to right the ship,” he said of the sloppy Trump campaign. “It’s a long way to November. The burden will be on him.”
Another guest—Labor Secretary Tom Perez—called Trump “a chaos candidate.”
This and most other shows noted that Trump—praising the British vote—didn’t seem to know that Scotland, where he stood, voted heavily against leaving the EU.
Gillian Tett of The Financial Times called Britons who chose to leave the EU “a protest vote. They were angry about everything” and added that there is a “tremendous sense of remorse” now that the “Leave” vote defeated the “Stay” vote by 52 to 48 percent.
“This is going to be chaotic,” she said of the transition. “Frankly, that is terrifying.”
On the panel, Michael Eric Dyson said Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric against Mexicans and Muslims and many others, “amplifies some of the worst instincts and some of the more irrational tendencies in American politics.”
He called Trump’s “America First” patriotism “a white, racist, supremacist nationalism” that is “vicious, narrow.”
MEDIA BUZZ Fox host Howard Kurtz got off to a good start, showing NBC’s Katy Tur asking Trump in Scotland: “Is today’s vote here an indicator for you that your rhetoric and extreme rhetoric is something you should continue?”
Trump replied: “I don’t think I have extreme rhetoric.”
Some have speculated that the xenophobic and racist tactics of the winners in England will be used by Trump against Clinton.
Kurtz also showed a reporter with a British Isles accent (perhaps Scotland) telling Trump: “You’re regarded as toxic.”
Trump replied: “Nasty guy.”
Guest Michael Tomasky used words like “silly” and “incomprehensible” in discussing Trump’s timing and awareness of his surroundings.
“He could have done his homework to the extent of knowing, for example, how Scotland voted,” he said. “And not putting out that tweet that suggested Scots were going crazy over this when they voted against it.”
Kurtz—guardian of all that is fair and balanced in American journalism—kept trying to get his guests to say Trump is being treated unfairly compared to Clinton because Trump’s lies were discussed so much more than Clinton’s lies and other flaws.
Mara Liasson wasn’t buying it.
“He says a lot of things that aren’t backed up by evidence,” she said.
She said Clinton “tends to deliver the attacks by repeating outrageous things that he (Trump) has said. Those are easy. You don’t have to fact-check those.”
Tomasky told Kurtz: “Trump deserves a tougher fact-check because he just says stuff that pops into his head.”
As for last week’s sit-in by Democrats in the House of Representatives to urge laws against gun carnage, Kurtz kept using the word “stunt” just as Speaker Paul Ryan did on Thursday.
Neither showed much respect for an effort to improve gun safety in a way that will result in fewer massacres.
Kurtz blurted “MSNBC was almost wall-to-wall” with coverage of the sit-in Wednesday night and Thursday morning and said “most of the press was buying into their narrative.” He neglected to say his own network—Fox News Channel—was woefully short-handed and slow to react.
Simon Rosenberg said “Paul Ryan blew it by turning off the cameras. It allowed conflict.” Without regular cameras, the protestors used smart phones to send video streaming on the internet and to the networks from C-Span on down.
The unusually heartfelt protest included speeches from Democrats like Michigan’s Debbie Dingell, whose father threatened to kill her family with his gun. The effort was led by John Lewis, who marched for Civil Rights with Dr. Martin Luther King.
RELIABLE SOURCES Host Brian Stelter interviewed Dan Rather, who told him the polls in Britain were “as useless as a pulled tooth” and that he is disappointed with the lack of tough questions and tough follow-up questions from reporters covering Trump.
“Nobody bores in,” Rather said. “He’s very media-savvy. While the Hillary Clinton forces have been off swimming, he’s stealing their underwear.”
Could Trump become President?
“If you’re a Democrat and want Hillary Clinton elected, you should be afraid—you should be very, very afraid coming into November . . . Watch this guy. Don’t underestimate him.”
Stelter also went to Cannes, France to talk to (among others) Mark Thompson, the chief executive officer of the New York Times. Thompson, who speaks British, discussed how the Trump campaign has selectively banned reporters from press accreditation when annoyed by reporting.
The Washington Post is on the list; The Times isn’t—yet.
“You never compromise your reporting because of a consideration about whether or not you’re going to get shut out of a meeting,” he said. (He might’ve said “chucked out.” I dunno. I’ve heard it 10 times and it sounds different every time. Good night).
Disclosure: Donald Trump is the father-in-law of Jared Kushner, the publisher of Observer Media.