It's becoming hard to take Donald Trump's claims of getting serious seriously. On Monday in Youngstown, Ohio, Trump spoke about his proposed immigration ideology test, as well as further claims about how he would be strong on terrorism. After a week of bad news for Trump, coming on the heels of an even worse week for Trump, his speech in Ohio was supposed to convince voters skeptical of his antics that he could act like a normal presidential candidate, talk about issues, and get his message out.
We've seen this before. Trump says something crazy, and then, just a few days later, he tries to start a new week off fresh with a show of how serious he can be as a campaigner. And then, usually within a day, he proves himself wrong. NBC's Alex Seitz-Wald has assembled a list of seven previous times Trump had "reset" and then done something crazy immediately afterward. Seven times he had tried to hose his campaign's flames with water, only to switch to gasoline. And Seitz-Wald is not the only one who thinks that Trump's attempts to change the conversation are starting to get ridiculous.
Many of the reactions to Trump's Monday speech have been to immediately disregard most of his policy proposals and point out all of the falsehoods and contradictions in Trump's words.
In the meantime, Trump's position in the race hasn't changed, no matter how much his team wants it to. Trump is still down in the polls — by a full 8 points, according to the Huffington Post polling average — and his campaign is still failing to move forward on important campaign functions like hiring staff in important states and running television ads.
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial calling on Trump to fix his campaign:
If [Trump's allies] can’t get Mr. Trump to change his act by Labor Day, the GOP will have no choice but to write off the nominee as hopeless and focus on salvaging the Senate and House and other down-ballot races.
There are still 19 days left until Labor Day, and it's become very difficult for me to believe that those 19 days will come with the big change that Trump would need to turn things around, at least before he starts to lose the support of the party leaders he needs. Already, more than a hundred GOP operatives, along with two sitting Republican Congressmen, have signed a letter asking the Republican National Committee to stop funding the Trump campaign and spend money instead on trying to win House and Senate races.
Trump claimed during his primary run that once he became the official Republican nominee, he would turn away from his unhinged style and start acting presidential:
At some point, I'm gonna be so presidential that you people will be so bored and I'll come back as a presidential person ... And they'll say, "But boy, he really looks presidential"
That was all the way back in April, and America is still waiting to figure out what he meant by "at some point." It seems like that point may be never.
Image: Bustle/Dawn Foster