I believe last night did not go well for either candidate. I think Hillary Clinton did better than her rival, at least when Matt Laure didn’t cut her off or rush her answers. Lauer spent at least one-third of the time allotted to her with questions about her emails.
I have already said that was her mistake and that she needs to own it. She tried to own it, but I think she could have done better than she did. The rest of her time she was rushed to answers by Lauer and at one point when asked about her plans to combat ISIS, Lauer said “as quickly as you can”.
I did find one glaring error in her comments. She stated that there would be “no ground troops sent to Iraq”. There already are ground troops in Iraq. We have about 5,000 ground troops in Iraq right now. Maybe she meant she would not send in more ground troops, or maybe she meant that she would not send in the numbers of ground troops to “fight a war on the ground”. I don’t know which she meant, so that is an error.
The 5000 ground troops already in Iraq are there in what is called “supportive and training and advisory” actions. But, if anyone thinks they are not involved in combat, they are crazy. Whenever ground troops are in a war zone, they will inevitably be involved in combat.
On the other hand, as I watched Donald Trump, I couldn’t help but get angrier and angrier. Trump displayed to me last night he has absolutely no clue about anything to do with foreign policy, international law, or the military in general.
What really made me angry was the fact that Lauer did not stop him and challenge him on his facts, or lack thereof. He continuously rambled on and on about nothing and answered absolutely no questions either from Lauer or the audience.
The audience, by the way, asked far better questions than Lauer did. They showed intelligence, and asked pointed questions to both candidates. Clinton tried to answer them and Trump tried to gloss over them.
Like when a young woman asked trump about the 20 veteran suicides taking place each day and asked what he plans to do about it to help stop this epidemic.
First Trump inaccurately corrected her number, then went on to say that they are mostly “in great pain” and that is causing them to commit suicide. That is false. PTSD has far more to do with veterans committing suicide than chronic pain. He also made sure to point out that “they need help”. That may seem innocuous, but that “they” adds to the stigma that vets who suffer the mental stresses fear the most.
Just about everybody in this country knows that we have a mental health crisis in terms of getting help for those who suffer. Now, Trump claims that if someone isn’t close to a VA Hospital or has to wait for a couple of days, he proposes to let that vet walk down the street to a private hospital to get treatment.
Local hospitals cannot adequately handle mental health cases in the civilian population. What makes this idiot think they can handle the stress that vets face? To me his answer was more like “yeah you have a problem, but don’t expect me to do anything about it. Just man up.”
When the question of rape in the military came up, he was reminded about his tweet a few years ago when he said that “rape in the military is a natural cause of men and women being put together.” His response was “that was a correct tweet.” Lauer let him get away with that answer. Oh, he tried to ask if that meant we should separate men and women in the service, but never pushed of a definitive answer when Trump refused to answer.
Another asked about undocumented immigrants serving in the military. There are about 20,000 non-citizens serving in our military. The question was should those who serve or have served be allowed to stay legally in the country?
He answered in his usual uninformed rhetoric. “Oh that would certainly be an extreme case that I would have to consider if they should stay.” Something you would have to consider? I served with non-citizens who deserve far more than Trump’s consideration.
The question never asked was “what about the parents of that non-citizen who serves, should they be allowed legal status too?” I really would have liked to hear his answer to that follow-up, but Lauer never asked it.
When Trump said in answer to a question that he heard something “shocking” in his intelligence briefings, he was lying. Unless he knows so little about what is happening in the world that anything would shock him. But, when he went on to say that the Intelligence Officials who gave him the briefing were unhappy with Obama and that he went against all of their recommendations, I was waiting for him to burst into flames.
And how did he know that fact? He was able to read their body language. “I am good at reading body language” he said. These briefings are what we call 30,000 foot overviews. They do not go into great detail about anything, much less if their ideas were followed or not.
Plus I have news for Bozo. None of the past Presidents have done everything our Intelligence Community or Military Leaders have wanted them to do. That is called listening to everything and making a decision based on facts and not just someone’s opinion or their interpretation of those facts.
If Kennedy had listened to his military advisors during the Cuban Missile Crisis, there would have been all out nuclear war. Our Military leaders wanted to invade Cuba at all costs. Only, they didn’t know at the time that Russia had placed “tactical nuclear warheads” meant for the battle field and would have launched them at an invading force. That would have meant a full retaliatory attack on Russia and vice versa.
Probably the most staggering thing Trump said was that our “Generals have been reduced to rubble.” This idiot was sitting in front of veterans who served in our last two wars and he was calling our Generals “rubble”. Just how stupid can you get. These Generals are professionals who were trained in combat over the last 15 years. If anyone is “rubble” it is Trump for even suggesting such idiocy.
Look, anyone who has been in the military knows all of the bad jokes about our military leaders in the enlisted ranks. But, no enlisted person will follow an idiot into battle. Overall, our enlisted men and women have total confidence in their leaders. That is one of the things that does make our military the best in the world.
I came away from the exchange that Trump has decided that only he can decide which Generals are good and bad, and they will have to kiss his ring to make it to the rank of General. It sounded to me like he was planning a “purge” of our leading military personnel should he win the election. Sounded more like Stalin than a President.
Trump did his best to cozy up to his man-crush idol Putin. Would someone please explain to me how Trump can go off about a Russian jet buzzing one of our spy planes over the Baltic calling it “provocative” and in the next sentence say we should be pals with Russia and Putin?
He claims that Putin is “loved” by his countrymen. He bases that on the idea that Putin has an 82 percent approval rating among his people. He also got about 110 percent of the vote in the last election, so I don’t quite see the relevance here.
His idol has been accused of being behind the recent cyber attacks of the DNC, NATO, and other U.S. Government agencies. He has also been accused of murdering journalists who have written articles against him. Of course, with his blacklist of U.S. Journalist who cannot attend his rallies, Trump probably thinks that is a good idea.
He has illegally annexed the Crimea, a part of another country. He has in Trumps vocabulary “thousands upon thousands” of troops on the border with the Ukraine. He has fought a war against Georgia. He is trying to disrupt NATO and keep the Baltic States from getting too close to us. He supports the ruthless dictator in Syria and his planes have bombed the “insurgents” we have been helping instead of ISIS targets.
That is the man Trump wants to be most like and thinks is a “wonderful leader”. If there was ever a candidate in our country who is perfectly set up to become a dupe of a foreign government, Trump is your man.
The final thing that seems to have fallen under the radar is the fact that Trump has a plan to defeat ISIS, no he doesn’t have a plan to defeat ISIS, yes he does have a plan to defeat ISIS. And, that all came out in one sentence.
First he said he has a “secret” plan to defeat ISIS. Then he said “when I have a plan” which tells me he doesn’t have a plan, then he said he has this “secret” plan. This all came out because earlier yesterday he said he would tell his Generals “to come up with a plan to defeat ISIS in 30 days.”
When he was asked if that was his secret plan, we got that I have a plan, I don’t have a plan, I do have a plan. Which seems to make Clinton correct when she says “Donald Trump’s secret plan to defeat ISIS is that he doesn’t have a plan.”
All in all, neither candidate really shined out last night. Matt Lauer was very poor in handling the forum and the questions and answers. There are pundits who claim that Trump did well last night. Has the bar for “performance” of a Presidential Candidate gone so low that if Trump doesn’t drool he did well?
We did see that Clinton seems to be considered a serious candidate who is worthy of hard questions and rebuttals. Trump is an amateur and gets away with 20 second bites and no rebuttals. He was allowed to ramble on and on without answering any serious questions. He was also not challenged as he should have been about some of his ramblings.
We can only hope that the actual debates will be better for all concerned. Both candidates need to be fact checked right on stage. If the moderators won’t do that, then they are failing the American Public and the debates will turn out to be a puppet show without any substance for us to decide on the candidates.
I applaud the IAVA for their forum. I do think it should be longer than a half hour for each candidate. I hope this is the first of them and that we see it again and again during each election. My only other recommendation is to ensure you get a moderator who is not afraid to get answers and challenge falsehoods.
In the end, Clinton did not do as well as I had hoped. She fumbled the ball a few times. Trump was even worse that I thought he would be. The one thing I did get out of this forum is that he has no clue, and he has no desire to even get a clue.
That lack of curiosity of facts and figures is a definite sign to me that he is unfit to be our Commander-in-Chief.