What do two (ostensibly) serious candidates for President of the United States do when they butt heads on one of the most significant and sobering moments in American history to date? They do the same thing all petulant teens do when they want to cause a scene—they take it to Twitter.
In an interview with Bloomberg earlier today, when inquiring about Trump’s ability to lead, reporter Stephanie Ruhle mentioned how “George W. Bush had to stand in front of America after 9/11.” To which Trump responded:
When you talk about George Bush, and say what you want, the World Trade Center came down during his time.
...He was president. Blame him, or don’t blame him, but he was president. The World Trade Center came down during his reign.
Which, to Trump’s rare credit, is a perfectly legitimate point. Bush certainly did not “keep us safe.” We were brutally attacked—a fact that the Bush administration then used as posturing for a disastrous, drawn-out, and highly unnecessary war.
But all that aside, how dare Trump say all those mean things about Jeb’s strong and tough big bro.
How pathetic for @realdonaldtrump to criticize the president for 9/11. We were attacked & my brother kept us safe.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 16, 2015
It’s worth noting that Jeb, as the establishment candidate, is generally supposed to be above these sort of low-grade, middle school catfight tactics—and yet! He was the first one (in this instance, at least) to hit send. Donald Trump, for his part, was more than happy to oblige.
.@JebBush, At the debate you said your brother kept us safe- I wanted to be nice & did not mention the WTC came down during his watch, 9/11.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2015
Apparently not wanting to risk Jeb (or more importantly, his rapt followers) missing the point, Trump decided to rephrase slightly and go for round two.
No @JebBush, you’re pathetic for saying nothing happened during your brother’s term when the World Trade Center was attacked and came down.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2015
All of which is, again, a fair and actually necessary point. But then that somehow led to:
A largely non-sequiturial string of words that could maybe mean one of two things: 1) Trump is attributing Jeb’s defense of his brother’s term to Jeb’s own lack of energy (?), or 2) Trump is implying that only his special brand of caustic energy could stop another 9/11 and, thus, save America(??). Alternatively, Donald Trump is just having another one of his keyboard night seizures and none of it means anything at all.
Similarly and for no discernible reason, Trump then decided to end his string of social media-fueled jabs at his fellow candidate with a semi-retweet of what may or may not actually just be a Trump-themed Twitter bot.
Only 388 days more to go.