On Tuesday morning, Donald Trump woke up and did what he does every morning: He appeared on so many news programs that it makes you wonder if he has access to a Time-Turner. (J.K. Rowling does seem to think he has been networking with wizards.)
This Tuesday, less than a week from the Iowa caucus, he seemed to have a specific purpose for his morning check-in with America: practicing his insulting skills by playing word-association games with the names of his greatest adversaries. As befitting the adolescent nature of this exercise, Trump’s taunts did not contend with the political arguments made by those who might disagree with his candidacy, but comfortably stayed in the realm of superficial, tweet-size observations, a field in which the Republican front-runner has great expertise.
Unsurprisingly, Trump was mostly asked to offer his views on Cruz, the only threat to his electoral chances at this point, who happens to be running a few ads against the billionaire in Iowa right now.
The words that instantly came to mind were jerk, liar, nervous, Obama, nasty, and Canada.
“He looks like a jerk,” Trump told Morning Joe, adding, “He’s a liar.”
“I think actually,” Trump said, going for the kill, “Ted is more strident than Obama, if you want to know the truth. Nobody gets along with Ted. At least some people like Obama. Nobody likes Ted. I don’t find anybody that likes him.” He added that Cruz “is a nasty guy, he says things that are very nasty, so I have to be nastier than him and it’s just one of those things.”
His interview on Good Morning America had the same basic story line, although he managed to compress every complaint into a non sequitur–filled paragraph. “He really does lie,” Trump said. “He’s so nervous. I saw him the other day. He is so nervous. He is such a mess. His polls have gone down. People realize that he probably can’t even run for president. He was born in Canada.”
During the last GOP debate, when asked why he was suddenly going after Cruz, Trump noted that it was “because now he’s going a little bit better … It’s true. No, it’s true. Hey look, he never had a chance. Now he’s doing better. He’s got probably a 4 or 5 percent chance.”
On Monday, Cruz told supporters that “Each morning is interesting. I learn a lot about myself from Donald every day.”
In an interview with Fox Business Tuesday morning, Trump was asked about Mike Bloomberg, who might get into the race if Trump and Sanders win their respective primaries. Trump didn’t say he was nervous about that possibility — although he also shared the first doomsday scenario that came to mind when he pictured a hypothetical Bloomberg presidency.
“I don’t think she’s a very talented person,” he told ABC News. “I don’t think she’s a good reporter.”
But he’s not nervous or anything!
On Morning Joe, he was also asked about Glenn Beck, the irrelevant former Fox News host who joined the National Review anti-Trump offensive last week. Trump, a steadfast anti-crier who seemed to be in danger of overdrafting at his word bank this morning, also declared that Beck was a “mess.”
“Every time I see him he’s crying,” Trump said. “He’s like so emotional. What a mess.”
Meanwhile, all of the other GOP candidates still think that their best chance for victory is insulting each other instead of the people who actually have a chance to win primaries in the next few weeks, a strategy that one politician told the New York Times is “not helpful.”