Donald Trump Feuds With Hugh Hewitt, But The Candidate Should Be Thanking The Host, Not Insulting Him
The Donald already has beef with one of the moderators of the second GOP presidential debate. Donald Trump is feuding with debate moderator Hugh Hewitt, a conservative radio host who interviewed the GOP candidate on his show. After Hewitt tripped him up on foreign policy, an angry Trump called the host a "third-rate radio announcer." (May I remind you that this all happened before the debate?) However, if Trump were smart, instead of vindictive, he would have used the flub as motivation to study up on issues he's less familiar with. So, essentially, Hewitt did Trump a favor, but of course the Donald would never see it that way.
Trump already exhibited his fearlessness in breaching the debater-moderator barrier when he sparred with Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly during the first GOP debate. First, he made threatening comments from the podium during the event, telling Kelly, "I've been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be, based on the way you have treated me." Then, he dragged the feud out offstage after the debate was over, making his now-infamous "blood from wherever" comment.
This time, it's Hewitt in Trump's crosshairs, and while the candidate's comments are decidedly less sexist, they're no less virulent.
During an interview on The Hugh Hewitt Show, the radio host didn't waste any time before launching a series of foreign policy questions, which he called "commander-in-chief questions," on Trump. First, he brought up the Iranian Quds Force, a unit in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, which Trump mistook for the Kurds, an ethnic group in the Middle East who has been helping the U.S. in its fight against ISIS. Then, Hewitt rapid-fired questions about the leaders of Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, al-Nusra Front, and ISIS:
You're a builder. But on the front of Islamist terrorism, I'm looking for the next commander-in-chief, to know who Hassan Nasrallah is, and Zawahiri, and al-Julani, and al-Baghdadi. Do you know the players without a scorecard, yet, Donald Trump?
Instead of giving a response, Trump talked around the question by assessing that these extremist leaders will have all changed by the time it matters for him to care. Feeling indignant, Trump then accused Hewitt of asking "gotcha questions":
That is a gotcha question, though. I mean, you know, when you’re asking me about who’s running this, this this, that’s not, that is not, I will be so good at the military, your head will spin. But obviously, I’m not meeting these people. I’m not seeing these people.
(Donald, you have heard of the Internet, right?)
Trump's indignation had not subsided by the next day, when he went on MSNBC's Morning Joe and slammed Hewitt, completely overcompensating for his relatively minor flub in the process. He told host Joe Scarborough:
I thought he said Kurds, this third-rate radio announcer that I did the show — it was like got you, got you — every question was do I know this one and that one? It was like he worked hard on that. But I thought he said Kurds.
But because this is Trump, of course his tirade didn't end there — it continued over on his Twitter feed.
The same day, Hewitt responded to the feud by showing he was not in the least bit daunted by Trump's bullying. Hewitt told The Huffington Post:
His critique won't change my debate questions or prep.
However, while Trump is focusing his energy on tweeting insults at Hewitt, he's missing the bigger picture here. Not only should he not be insulting Hewitt, he should be thanking him, because the radio host inadvertently helped the stubborn, short-tempered candidate's campaign. Trump may have fallen short on answering questions during Hewitt's radio show, but it's all the more motivation to study up on these less-familiar subjects before the next presidential debate (a nationally televised event), because if he messes up then, it'll be a lot more embarrassing. Hewitt provided Trump with both a lesson plan and a cautionary tale, but the real question now is will Trump use the opportunity wisely or continue to rant about being duped?
Even Jeb Bush has weighed in on Trump's gaffe on Hewitt's show, telling reporters in New Hampshire:
You gotta know who the players are. I'm sure he'll bone up now.
Image: Gage Skidmore/Flickr