Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Giving Trump a Mulligan

Remember, vets vote:

"Trump’s words rile, amuse, and resonate with former POWs; Many take exception to being cast as heroes for surviving their plight" by Nestor Ramos Globe Staff  July 25, 2015

For many men who spent years of their lives in hellish Southeast Asian prison camps, the controversy struck an unexpected chord. Their service records made them collateral damage in Donald Trump’s widely-derided attack on senator and fellow Republican John McCain. But instead of finding the same offense in Trump’s comments that so many on both sides of the political aisle did, some former Vietnam POWs say the insult that lit up the presidential primary race mirrors their own misgivings about a label they have long worn uneasily: hero.

Of course, the status of hero is not self-appointed, but rather conferred by the grateful fellow citizens the captives fought for. But it’s a label few former POWs say they feel comfortable wearing — largely because it honors a kind of defeat, however unavoidable, they endured, and not an act of bravery they initiated.

The difference between McCain and Trump — who avoided the war thanks to student deferments and one medical draft deferment for a bone spur — was that “Trump shot himself down. McCain and American veterans are true heroes,” Mitt Romney wrote on Twitter.

Leaders of the National League of POW/MIA Families, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars also denounced Trump sternly for his criticism of McCain and disrespect for the service of millions of others.

So did John Kerry, and McCain still attacked him.

Several former POWs with New England roots reached for this story were likewise irked that Trump would go after McCain....


RelatedHome Base gives vets hope in PTSD battle

Also seeLawmakers say VA hid budget woes

"McCain backers pounce in N.H., but Trump may stand strong" by James Pindell Globe Staff  July 21, 2015

Trump placed second in the most recent New Hampshire GOP presidential primary poll, trailing former Florida governor Jeb Bush by a handful of points in a CNN/WMUR survey from late June.

Nationally, Trump leads a crowded GOP field of 16 candidates in the most recent polls. On Monday, an ABC News/Washington Post survey showed him at 24 percent — an increase of 20 percentage points since the last poll in May — and second only to Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. At the same time, the poll showed a majority of respondents said he didn’t represent the GOP’s values.

The presidential nominating process starts in Iowa and New Hampshire, and political analysts say Trump’s best shot at winning one of those contests is in the Granite State. The New Hampshire primary is dominated by moderate Republicans and independent voters — many of whom supported McCain when he won the contest in 2000 and 2008.

While some top New Hampshire Republicans, like Ayotte, have chastised Trump, there is little indication he has lost supporters over the comment.

“Do I agree with his comment about McCain? No, but politicians have said a lot worse,” said state Representative Peter Varney, who is supporting Trump. “No candidate is perfect, and I am not going to drop my support over one comment.”

The uproar began at a weekend forum in Ames, Iowa.


On the surface, Trump’s bombastic manner has certainly drawn attention in the Granite State and elsewhere, but he may have gone too far, said New Hampshire Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey, another McCain ally.

“People like Trump because he says want he thinks and people believe he is not beholden to anyone,” he said. “But whether John McCain cares or not about the comment doesn’t matter. The fact that New Hampshire has one of the highest number of veterans per capita who could be offended is Trump’s real problem.”

There are about 127,000 veterans in New Hampshire, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs, in a state population of 1.3 million.

University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante Scala says Trump’s statements may not turn off independent voters who are barely paying attention to the race, six months before voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“Independent voters who say they like Trump are people who don’t pay much attention to politics, and know Trump because he is a celebrity,” said Scala. “As long as the media keeps playing him up, he will have the attention of these otherwise inattentive voters.”



"The first debate of the Republican presidential race is a week and a half away, but only the 10 candidates ranking highest in polls will be able to take part. As of now, Governor John Kasich of Ohio, Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, and former senator Rick Santorum, who won 11 states in the 2012 race, will not even make it on stage, while Donald Trump will stand center stage."

He's now a provocateur.

"Owners of the former Trump Plaza casino plan to keep it shut for at least 10 years as a tax-saving measure. Trump Entertainment Resorts has filed a deed restriction for the casino, which closed last September, preventing it from being used as a casino for at least a decade. It could be used for another purpose. Potentially, the move avoids higher payments under a bill Governor Chris Christie could sign soon to have casinos make payments in lieu of taxes for 15 years as part of an Atlantic City rescue plan. The bill applies to any property licensed as a casino in 2014 that does not have a deed restriction. Trump Plaza feared it might be included in the alternative tax program. ‘‘The Plaza could be required to make mandatory payments under the PILOT program notwithstanding the fact that it generates no revenue and its hotel rooms are closed,’’ the company wrote in its filing with a bankruptcy court. Trump Plaza closed Sept. 16, the last of four Atlantic City casinos to go out of business last year. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is in the process of buying Trump Entertainment out of bankruptcy."

Maybe he doesn't have as much money as he claims.

Also see:

Trump widens attacks against GOP rivals

Hispanics love me, Trump declares at Mexican border

Hope you will give me a mulligan on those.