All of a sudden, the reality TV star in the Oval Office thinks lack of political experience is a bad thing.
Trump has tried to make his political inexperience into a virtue, but now he’s attacking Democratic candidates who have never held elected office.
In other words, he’s warning against candidates just like him.
During a speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) dinner Tuesday night, Trump fretted about the upcoming midterms, in which Republicans are bracing to lose the House and maybe even the Senate.
“Our opponents are fielding the most candidates they’ve ever had in a quarter century,” he said. “Many have not held office before, which means it will be easier for them to conceal their true beliefs.”
This new criticism is coming from the same man who has insisted since the beginning of his campaign that he’s not a politician and his total lack of experience is a good thing. This, Trump said countless times, was what uniquely qualified him to “drain the swamp.”
It’s also the way he and his enablers have justified his unpresidential and potentially illegal behavior, like obstructing justice.
“The president’s new at this,” Speaker Paul Ryan said last June. “He’s new to government, and so he probably wasn’t steeped in the long-running protocols that establish the relationships between DOJ, FBI and White Houses. He’s just new to this.”
And just as Trump observes about others, he has freely discarded views and promises he made as a candidate, most infamously, his insistence that Mexico — not American taxpayers — would pay for Trump’s border wall.
But there is a world of difference between a reality television star with a demonstrated track record of chronic bankruptcies, lying, overt racism, and sexual predation, and some of the Democrats who are running to unseat Republicans this cycle.
Many of them are women who have been inspired to run by the massive resistance that sprung up on day one of Trump’s presidency, including one of his accusers. Another was inspired to run by a Republican’s attack on Parkland school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez.
Some of the Democrats Trump refers to have spent their time in military service to their country. Trump, on the other hand, avoided service in Vietnam using a dubious claim of bone spurs, and called avoiding STDs his “personal Vietnam.”
These Democrats all have records they can be proud of. But if Republicans insist on attacking them for never having held office, Trump is the wrong person to do deliver that message.