Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trump World: The Electoral College Margin

One of the highlights of Donald Trump's bizarre press conference on February 16th was the fact that a reporter actually called Trump out on one of his favorite falsehoods. It was a very welcome turn of events.

Trump had claimed that he won the election by the biggest electoral college margin since Reagan (Trump got 306 electoral votes). This is a dead-easy thing to check. And it’s similar to the claim Trump made repeatedly soon after the election that he won by a “massive landslide”.

Obama got 365 electoral votes in 2008, and 332 four years later. Bill Clinton got even more. George H. W. Bush got 426.

FACT: All those numbers are bigger than 306.

When confronted by the reporter over this fact, Trump first countered that he meant the biggest electoral college win of any Republican president. 

FACT: George H.W. Bush, who followed Reagan, was a Republican president and his electoral college win was 120 higher than Trump’s.

When the reporter confronted Trump with this last point, his response was: “Well, no, I was told. I was given that information. I don’t know... Actually, I’ve seen that information around...”

So, my takeaway is that:

1) Trump isn’t responsible for what he says, since in this case “someone” gave that fake fact to him, or because he saw it “somewhere”.

2) If the “someone” feeding him this fake fact is a member of this staff, Trump should be pissed off because one of his comms team is making Trump look foolish by giving him fake facts that are easily disproved. That, to me, doesn’t sound like a well-tuned machine.

3) Alternatively, Trump knows it’s a fake fact and doesn’t care and is willing to say anything to fool this base and bolster his delusion that he won a great victory.

Of course, this dovetails perfectly with Trump's cavalier approach to the truth, as has been demonstrated over and over. It doesn't matter, of course, since his supporters don't care. And that is again a sign of what a weird world Trump has ushered in. 

No comments:

Post a Comment