Donald Trump has said outrageous things that aren’t worthy of a tabloid, much less a presidential race. Saying that Mr. Trump isn’t a conventional politician is missing the point. While Mr. Trump is a DC insider, he isn’t a typical politician only because he’s part special interest magnate, part reality TV show star and part conspiracy theory activist.
Tuesday morning, Mr. Trump engaged in some of the most outrageous speculation in U.S. presidential history. Mr. Trump, the all-but-official GOP presidential nominee, said Sen. Cruz’s ” father, you know, was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s, you know, being shot. I mean the whole thing is ridiculous. I mean what was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald, shortly before the death? Before the shooting? It’s horrible.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper separated himself from Fox News’s hosts because Tapper had the audacity to take Trump to task for his statements about Sen. Cruz’s father:
Every time you think this race can’t get more ludicrous, it does. This latest episode started this morning when Trump cited a bizarre and uncorroborated report, and I use the term report loosely, in the National Enquirer, the supermarket tabloid. The National Enquirer, which has endorsed Trump and is owned by a friend of Trump’s, has been launching smear after smear after Sen. Cruz and his family. This story was a photograph from 1963 of soon-to-be JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, handing out pro-Castro literature and the story suggests that the man is Cruz’s father Raphael. Now, the problem is there really is no proof that the photo really is Cruz’s dad and Cruz’s dad says it is not him. Nonetheless, Mr. Trump called into the Fox morning show and said the following:
His father, you know, was with Lee Harvey Oswald prior to Oswald’s, you know, being shot. I mean this whole thing is ridiculous. What is this, right, prior to his being shot? And nobody even brings it up. I mean, they don’t even talk about it. That was reported and nobody talks about it. What was he doing with Lee Harvey Oswald right before the death? Right before the shooting?
Tapper’s reply is pretty much what most sane Americans think:
I cannot believe I need to say the following but here goes. There is no corroborated evidence that Ted Cruz’s father ever met Lee Harvey Oswald or, for that matter, any other presidential assassin. We in the media don’t talk about it because there’s no evidence of it. In fact, there is contrary evidence of it. Well before the picture was taken, Raphael Cruz’s sister was brutally beaten by Castro forces and Raphael Cruz had renounced the regime. So any suggestion that Sen. Cruz’s father played a roll in the Kennedy assassination is ridiculous and frankly, shameful. Now that’s not an anti-Trump position or a pro-Cruz position. It’s a pro-truth position.
The thought that the high profile man spreading those insane conspiracy theories is the GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting should frighten Republicans of all stripes. The thought that such a fanatic could win a major party’s presidential nomination should frighten all thoughtful Americans. Fanatics like Trump shouldn’t have the ability to win 10% of the vote, much less win a major party’s presidential nomination.
That’s why Hillary Clinton will defeat him handily. (More on that later.)