Do we have Bill Clinton to blame for Donald Trump? According to a report in the Washington Post, Bill called the walking power suit in May, just as Donald was mulling a 2016 run, in which Clinton encouraged him to play a larger role within his party. Joke’s on you, Republicans.
Clinton’s people say that the pair didn’t explicitly discuss a presidential run, but four anonymous Trump associates told the Post that the steak man “was candid about his political ambitions and his potential interest in seeking the White House.” Clinton, they said, told Donald that “he was striking a chord with frustrated conservatives” and “a rising force on the right.” Hmm.
Trump’s current status as unlikely front-runner is bad news for the GOP. Aside from lending his general appearance of lunacy to the entire party, Trump’s disconnection from establishment Republicans means he gets to be an unabashed bigot about, say, Latin American immigrants—a stance that evidently still resonates with some Republican voters but that don’t jibe with the party’s kinder new direction. “Trump is a huge problem for the party. He is appealing to a very important part of the base, and bringing on the issues other candidates don’t want to be talking about,” pollster Stanley Greenberg told the New Yorker this week. And if he wins the nomination—which he won’t, but still—he’s taking it away from Jeb Bush or some other candidate who actually stands a chance of winning the general election.
In other words, if Bill Clinton’s encouragement to Trump had anything at all to do with the latter’s decision to run for president, it made things much more difficult for every other Republican running this year. The perfect troll.