So, by releasing his birth certificate did President Obama slay the kraken that is Donald Trump, or did he merely embolden him?
Granted, Trump doesn’t need much of kickstart to be what he has called “braggadocious.” It's his standard operating mode. But last night on cable news, the Donald elevated his braggadocity to a new level, telling anyone who would listen that he had brought Obama to his knees—and that he more than ready to press onward into the president’s background, Ken Starr-style.
“I got him to do something nobody else could get him to do, and I’ve been given great credit for that,” Trump told CNN’s John King Wednesday evening.
Pressed by King about whether Obama, by releasing the original certificate, had refuted Trump's claims about his birthplace, Trump retorted. “I don’t make up anything. Let me tell you something. I have done a great service for the American people.”
King also pressed Trump on his incessant China-bashing, asking the billionaire if he was being a hypocrite because many of the items used in his hotels, such as curtains, and other buildings come from China and his wife, Melania, sells jewelry products made in China on cable’s QVC.
“You see no hypocrisy there?” King asked.
“Zero,” Trump replied.
“You’re supposed to be this great reporter, even though your ratings are no good,” he added for King’s benefit. "I want to buy here so badly, I want to buy in this country so badly that your head would spin. Okay? So badly. The problem is half of these products I want to buy, they don’t even make them in this country.”
Trump said he would not run as an independent, but as Republican. “I’m doing very well,” he said.
His parting shot at Obama: “Our president is incompetent.”
If CNN took notice of Obama’s White House admonishment about not following “sideshows and carnival barkers,” there was little evidence of that Wednesday night. But on CBS, veteran Washington correspondent Bob Schieffer blasted Trump, suggesting his new questions about the president’s academic background at Columbia and Harvard universities smacked of racism.
“That’s just code for saying he got into law school because he’s black,” Schieffer said on the CBS Evening News. "This is an ugly strain of racism that’s running through this whole thing.”
So as Trump shows no signs of going away, the question remains whether the White House really wants him to. That’s why some Republicans Wednesday claimed it was the president who is keeping the birth-certificate issue alive.
The 24-7 Trumpathon has blown the likes of Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, and Newt Gingrich off the media map. And the longer it goes on, the more Obama and Democrats hope the GOP presidential race becomes defined by Trump’s actions.
Here is the Bob Schieffer commentary: