So Trump is going to visit a black church in Detroit this weekend, but his campaign seems to be very uneasy about it. Why else would they script answers to the pre-selected questions that Bishop Wayne Jackson will ask him? Seriously. That’s what they did. The New York Times obtained a copy, and it sounds nothing like Trump.
It’s not uncommon for campaigns to submit pre-written questions that they want a specific interviewer to ask. It is unusual, though, for a campaign to take this step, to say nothing of involving their party’s national committee in the scripting process. Trump, lauded by the crazies on the right and his campaign staff as merely “freewheeling,” and “unscripted,” reverts into racism, sexism and childish personal attacks without scripts. Of course, that has the GOP terrified.
The first question that Bishop Jackson will ask, according to The Times, is, “Are you a Christian and do you believe the Bible is an inspired word of God?”
Trump has always had trouble with questions like that, seeing as how he’s really not very Christian. He can’t name his favorite Bible verses and has fallen flat on his backside when asked about his faith and the Bible. His scriptwriters hope to gloss over all of that with the following answer (if, indeed, it can be called that):
“As I went through my life, things got busy with business, but my family kept me grounded to the truth and the word of God.”
His family? Which of his three wives does that answer refer to? It’s like they’re trying to make evangelicals forget that he thinks wives are disposable.
They also want him to say:
“I treasure my relationship with my family, and through them, I have a strong faith enriched by an ever-wonderful God.”
Har de har har.
Another question is, “What he would say to undecided black voters?”
This answer is more Trumpian, and less Christian than the previous because it ends with a silly lie of a boast:
“If you want a strong partner in this journey, you will vote for me. I will never let you down. By the way, my support is now up to 8 percent and climbing.”
Let’s be clear: Trump’s favorability rating with the black community had reached the lofty dregs of zero less than a week ago. But, this is the GOP. When the truth, or even distorted versions of the truth, don’t work, lie. Then get all righteously indignant when someone has the gall to point that lie out.
They want him to give this half-answer when asked what his vision is for the black community:
“‘If we are to make America great again, we must reduce, rather than highlight, issues of race in this country,’ and ‘I want to make race disappear as a factor in government and governance.'”
And they want him to avoid the word “racism” altogether, even though he’s likely to be asked outright whether he’s racist.
Interestingly enough, that script isn’t the only thing the campaign is doing to keep Trump from tripping over his own tarnished-silver tongue here. The interview will air on Bishop Jackson’s television network a week after it takes place so the campaign has time to edit it.
Yes, they want to be able to edit it. When Trump is reading prepared remarks, he either sounds lifeless and bored, or he goes off-script anyway. So they’re prepping for that very strong possibility. They need this interview to reflect what the campaign wants, and not what Trump really thinks.
In short, this is the GOP trying to spin Trump’s racism into something grand and good. It’s also nothing but a show – it’s not a real attempt at outreach, and really, why should it be? The GOP is made up of racists who must cater to the racists. They’re kin, after all.
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