Donald Trump on waterboarding: ‘If it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway.’

24 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Donald Trump Is Not Backing Down.

Under attack by Republican rivals and critics for comments about monitoring Muslims and the response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, presidential front-runner Donald Trump didn’t back down during a Monday speech in Ohio. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says the U.S. should engage in much more aggressive interrogation techniques on terrorism suspects as he continues to push a hard line on national security after the Paris attacks.Trump’s arrival — for an evening rally in Columbus — was perfectly timed for Kasich, who is seeking to become the tip of the spear of the establishment Republican effort to dislodge the brash real estate tycoon from his position atop the GOP presidential polls.

Speaking to thousands at a packed Columbus rally, Trump said techniques practiced until late in the Bush administration and disavowed by President Barack Obama should be brought back because they work. First he claimed on Saturday that “I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as [the World Trade Center] was coming down.” Confronted with the fact that this is completely false, Trump insisted on Sunday, “There were people that were cheering on the other side of New Jersey where you have large Arab populations…that tells you something.” Then on Sunday he (or someone from his campaign) tweeted out a graphic with phony statistics purporting to show how murderous black people are (and illustrated with a picture of a young black man with a bandana over his face, pointing a gun sideways, gangster-style). Jeb Bush tried this approach back in September and without any effect, but the latest Kasich-backed PAC ads may bring different results since they hit Trump where he is most vulnerable – in foreign affairs. In his Columbus speech, the real estate mogul defended his comments about Muslims, though he avoid using the word “databases” and talked instead about “strong surveillance” and creating lists of Syrian refugees.

He said he’d restore waterboarding “in a heartbeat” and approve “more than that.” A Senate Intelligence Committee report last year concluded that harsh interrogation techniques failed to produce information that the CIA couldn’t have obtained elsewhere or didn’t already have. Republican leaders objected to the report’s findings, as did some former CIA officials, who said they gained vital intelligence that still guides counterterrorism efforts. Team Kasich’s attacks on Trump follow the news, first reported by POLITICO, that the pro-Kasich super PAC New Day for America was planning a multimillion-dollar effort to go after the GOP front-runner.

The ads pulled sound bites from previous Trump interviews where he acknowledged he was “very pro-choice,” and supported universal health care as an entitlement. Trump repeated his past calls to stop “anchor babies,” children born to undocumented immigrants who become American citizens, and led the crowd in chants of “build a wall.” He also vowed to restore the outlawed practice of waterboarding terrorist suspects, which critics have deemed to be torture. Just over the past few days, Trump stated he’d seen television footage of “thousands and thousands” of people in New Jersey cheer the collapse of the twin towers of the World Trade Center on 9/11. The crowd reacted with loud cheers to most of Trump’s muscular lines about protecting the homeland, including when he said of the attacks in Paris that killed 130 people, “If some of those folks carried guns, you wouldn’t have this.” Trump, making his first campaign stop in the must-win swing state of Ohio, spoke only blocks from the office of rival John Kasich, the Ohio governor.

Yet Trump made only a brief mention of him at the beginning of his one-hour speech when he referenced Kasich’s low national poll numbers, drawing a smattering of boos. When he tries to convince people that most white murder victims are killed by black thugs (again, false), he isn’t arguing for some policy approach. Can’t debate, loves #ObamaCare—dummy!” Kasich’s support for expanding Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul has come in for repeated criticism from conservatives. Our lives depend on a Commander-in-Chief with experience … who understands the world.” The voice then plants seeds of doubt by reinforcing Americans fear of terrorism.

Kasich has aggressively targeted Trump in recent weeks, attacking his position on immigration and other issues and saying he lacks the experience and temperament to defeat expected Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and be an effective commander-in-chief. Before the speech, Kasich’s campaign held a conference call with Ohio supporters blasting Trump, and a press event with Ohio veterans including Thomas Moe, who spent five years in the infamous Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam with U.S. They are intended to whip up fear and anger among citizens who are either uninformed or predisposed to believe hateful rumors even when faced with evidence to the contrary. That kind of story sticks to the who-what-where-when approach: Trump tweeted this, he was criticized for it, here’s how it was inaccurate, here’s Trump’s response.

Any value judgments that appear will be spoken by Trump’s critics (though not his primary opponents, who for the most part are dancing around any criticism of what Trump said). Trump said in July that McCain was a war hero only because he was captured. “Can we expect to draw together as a nation and face the increasing threats against our livelihood, against our fundamental freedoms, when a leading candidate for president sows hate and discord against anyone who simply disagrees with him?” Moe asked at the event. “I say enough is enough.”‘ The super-PAC supporting Kasich is running an ad in New Hampshire as part of a $2.5 million campaign questioning Trump’s ability to deal with international crises such as the Paris attacks. But think about this: If he keeps going and he actually becomes president, he might just get around to you, and you better hope that there’s someone left to help you.” “You have Lindsay Graham attacked me.

A new “guerilla campaign” called Trump Card LLC run by a former Republican operative also is forming to target Trump, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday. Interestingly enough, fact-checking as a formal genre of journalism can be traced to another campaign that prominently featured Republican race-baiting, the 1988 election. Tim Miller, his wife, Cheryl, and their 15 year-old daughter Michaela sporting a “Make America Great Again” hat, drove two hours from Grafton, Ohio, and stood in line to see Trump and “be part of something great,” as Cheryl Miller, 53, put it. The media buy will be more expensive in local markets that intersect with Boston, but it will be nowhere near the cost of a national or New York-centered media blitz.

Bush’s campaign into not only focusing on distracting issues that had little or nothing to do with the presidency, but also into becoming a conduit for ugly attacks with little basis in fact. Over the following few years, many decided to institutionalize fact-checks, at first for television ads in particular, and later for all kinds of claims made in politics. While there’s plenty of slippage — you still see claims that have been proven false referred to as “controversial” or “questionable” — the existence of the fact-checking enterprise has allowed reporters to be clearer with their audiences about what is and isn’t true. Wow, your governor’s only 2 [percent],” Trump said. (Kasich’s latest standing in the RealClearPolitics average of national polls is 2.8 percent.) “What happened?”

Commentary by Mark Macias, head of Macias PR, a global public relations firm that has run media and branding campaigns for politicians,tech start-ups, financial firms, nonprofits and companies. When David Duke nearly won the governorship of Louisiana in 1991, it was reported in the national media as a story about racism, with a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan garnering a majority of the white vote as he lost a runoff election. Few in the media hesitated to call Duke a racist, in large part because even at the time he was perceived as representing yesterday’s racism, antiquated for its explicitness (even if Duke did try to clean up his views for the campaign). It simultaneously insists that Muslims can be good Americans, and accuses them of hating America and says their places of worship ought to be kept under government surveillance. In every case, Trump proclaims that he’s no racist while tapping into longstanding racist stereotypes and narratives of the alleged threat posed by minorities to white people.

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