Donald Trump and a bunch of Republican Jews walked into a convention center on Thursday, and the punch lines were as offensive as you’d expect.
In his speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C., the Republican front-runner served up a not-so-kosher mix of Jewish stereotypes and braggadocio, topped with a sprinkling of conspiracy theories – all of which seemed to go down surprisingly well with his audience of GOP heavyweights. Here’s a quick rundown of what American Jews learned from the Donald’s remarks:
Trump is a negotiator, much like the Jews
“I’m a negotiator, like you folks,” the candidate told the assembled Jewry. As the speech unfolded, it became clear that the line was not spontaneous and that Trump had decided his passion for saving money would be a real winner with this audience.
After touting his plans to renegotiate the Iran agreement, Trump asked, “Is there anybody in this room who doesn’t renegotiate deals?” After a moment of reflection, Trump concluded that there were probably more renegotiators here than in “any room I’ve ever spoken.”
The Jews will never support Trump, because they like to buy their politicians
The candidate went on to clarify that, while he admires much of the way Jews handle their money, he isn’t crazy about how they try to buy up our political system.
“I don’t want money, so, therefore, you’re not going to support me because, stupidly, you want to give money,” Trump said. “You want to control your own politician.”
Trump repeated this point about how he wouldn’t take the money that his audience was desperate to give him several times in his short speech.
Trump isn’t a fan of Shabbat.
Trump entered to a standing ovation, which he abruptly, albeit jokingly, dismissed.
“You just like me because my daughter is Jewish,” he said. Trump went on to say that he was perfectly happy about his daughter’s conversion, though he wasn’t crazy about some of her faith’s new rules. “Only bad thing is I can’t reach her on Saturdays.”
Obama is a secret Muslim …?
Trump complained that Obama refuses to acknowledge that “radical Islamic terrorism” is the greatest threat facing the country, then suggested that there may be some secret reason why he refuses to utter the phrase.
“We had an event yesterday that was probably related [to] radical Islamic terrorism,” Trump said, referring to the shootings in San Bernardino. “And we have a president that refuses to use the term. He refuses to say it. There is something wrong with him that we don’t know about.”
Obama controls Hillary Clinton through blackmail
Early in his speech, Trump described Obama as the “worst thing to ever happen to Israel.” Surprisingly, much of the audience seemed to agree that a U.S. president who increased aid to Israel was more calamitous for the country than that time it was attacked by several neighboring countries.
To tie the Democrat’s current front-runner to this deeply mistruted incumbent, Trump suggested that Obama has complete control over his former Secretary of State. “And Obama – she can’t go against him because if she does, she’s indicted,” Trump said, referring to Clinton’s use of a private email server during her time in the State Department.
Trump is the biggest thing since Elton John
Trump spent much of his speech touting his own popularity, as measured in poll numbers and event attendance. “We set a record everywhere,” he said. “In one place we beat the record of Elton John. I’m no longer competing with politicians – I’m competing with musical talents!”
ISIS is kind of badass
After arguing that Clinton was too low-energy and weak to win the war on terrorism, Trump briefly praised ISIS for their high energy and toughness.
“I think you’ll admit it, these people fight dirty but they fight better than we used to think,” he said. “They’re not bad. They’re tough. They’re not the JV.”
If you boo Trump for refusing to reveal his parameters for a two-state solution, he will threaten you with the faux-subtlety of a mafioso
During a Q&A session, Trump assured the audience that his master deal-making skills would allow him to broker a two-state solution — if Israel were committed to reaching one. But when he was asked to state the terms he would seek in a peace agreement — specifically, whether he would allow the Palestinians to take half of Jerusalem — Trump refused to show his cards. That led one attendee to loudly boo him.
“Who’s the wise guy? Just relax, okay? You’ll like me very much,” Trump said. “Then you wonder why you get yourself in trouble.”
Trump wasn’t the only Republican candidate to give an unpredictable barnburner at Thursday’s event. Earlier in the day, South Carolina senator and nominal presidential candidate Lindsay Graham did his best Howard Beale impersonation, decrying his party’s turn toward Trumpian hatefulness. Later in the day, Dr. Ben Carson read a book report someone wrote for him about Israel, finding an impressive number of ways to mispronounce the name of Hamas in the process.