Donald Trump’s seemingly impassioned defense of New Yorkers’ courage in the face of 9/11 at the GOP debate last night has made the media swoon, and possibly nailed him the nomination.
“That was heart,” Mika Brzezinski said on Morning Joe this morning. It “Proves Donald Trump Is Human,” a video on MSN hailed. Even conservative Trump foe Charles Krauthammer declared, “That was the moment of the debate. That was a moment where Trump clearly had won.”
But that win is based on one of Trump’s grander fake-outs. What Trump didn’t say, and what most media haven’t mentioned, is that his emotional attachment to New Yorkers’ bravery has never extended to guaranteeing healthcare for the first responders to the tragedy, the one he so successfully made his own last night. (big h/t to Michael McAuliff)
Trump’s 9/11 spiel came, of course, after Ted Cruz attacked him for his “New York values.” Cruz was winking at South Carolina and Iowa voters because they know what those values are—New Yorkers will take your guns, turn you gay, hand out free abortions, and Jesus knows what else.
Wow, I thought at first, Cruz is out-demagoguing the champ. But then Trump came right back at him, and with a lot more than a noun, a verb, and 9/11:
New York is a great place. It’s got great people, it’s got loving people, wonderful people. When the World Trade Center came down, I saw something that no place on earth could have handled more beautifully, more humanely than New York. You had two one hundred…
…you had two 110-story buildings come crashing down. I saw them come down. Thousands of people killed, and the cleanup started the next day, and it was the most horrific cleanup, probably in the history of doing this, and in construction. I was down there, and I’ve never seen anything like it.
And the people in New York fought and fought and fought, and we saw more death, and even the smell of death—nobody understood it. And it was with us for months, the smell, the air.
Cruz looked mortified, and Trump’s prospects look better than ever. Standing up for New York could easily gain him more Democratic votes, maybe even win him the deep-blue state.
But here’s the thing: When it came to actually doing something for the people who fought and fought amid the smell of death, Donald Trump has done nothing. Maybe worse than nothing—he’s ignored them.