Donald Trump: Natural Performer
RUSH: You know, the Democrats, they’re also off and harping about something now, and it’s funny. Mayor Pete. I just watched a clip of Mayor Pete out there. “I guarantee you,” said Mayor Pete, “if I become president, you won’t have me writing love letters to Kim Jong-un.” This is all because Trump said he got a lovely letter from Kim Jong-un and Kim Jong-un sees a lot of potential.
Trump’s thinking of condos and ocean resorts over there trying to talk Kim Jong-un into it. He says Kim Jong-un’s getting close to liking the idea, if he can own it all. Trump wants to own some of it, no doubt. I’m… Folks, I’m having fun with things here. But… (impression) “This is really crazy. Trump sending love letters to Kim Jong-un.” You know (sigh), speaking of polls, I have an observation to make here. (interruption) No, no. I’m gonna answer the landslide question in a minute.
Hang on. Do you know that Donald Trump is probably the first president in our lifetimes who has not used focus groups to figure out where to go, what to say, how to dress, where to vacation? I mean, the Clintons focus grouped he give. They focus grouped where to go on vacation. They focus grouped whether or not to go down to the Virgin Islands and pretend to be dancing in their swimsuits on the beach the week before the Lewinsky story came out.
They focus grouped everything. Trump doesn’t. And why not? Donald Trump has the ear and the sense of a successful insult comic. Donald Trump… There’s a strain of Don Rickles in Donald Trump, and this is one of the things the Democrats who keep talking about “our values” just can’t… Well, Republicans, too, some of them. They just can’t accept it. But Trump’s nicknames are not focus grouped. They’re improvised.
He thinks of this stuff on the fly. It’s another reason people like Trump irritate traditional politicians. Traditional politicians, network news anchors, they don’t do anything that’s not on the teleprompter. Politicians and TV people have that in common. They don’t do a damn thing that’s not written for them on the prompter — and much of it tested, focus grouped, tested, run by lawyers or what have you. That’s not Trump. He’s improv.
He’s got a prompter at some of his speeches where the serious policy stuff is talked about, but he also goes “off prompter,” as we say, and starts improvising, ad-libbing. And that’s how he creates a bond with voters. It’s when he is real. Trump synthesizes his impressions into descriptions that are insightful, hilarious, and defining. He studies people. He captures their vibe. He captures their identity in a single nickname.
Another way to look at it: Trump is a branding genius. Normally it’s a source of pride of some famous guy comes along and gives you nickname. In Trump’s case, if you’re a Democrat and he gives you a nickname, it ain’t good because Trump is successfully branding you. “Make America Great Again” has aged excitedly well. (laughing) Oh, you want to hear something funny? Biden goes out yesterday in his speech where CNN said he was gonna “eviscerate” Trump.
And he said, “I don’t need to Make America Great Again. We need to make America ‘America’ again.” And you know who popped up? The creepy porn lawyer, Michael Avenatti. “That’s my line!” said Avenatti. “I said that when I was exploring my presidential run [laughing] that CNN said I was a great choice for and a frontrunner in!” Michael Avenatti, who’s gonna be in jail soon! “That’s my line. I created that line.” But then he said, “I don’t care. Since I can’t use it, somebody may as well.”
Biden stole another line! But you know who actually used the line first? Let me clue you in. It was at the Republican National Convention in 2016 in Cleveland. It was the actor Scott Baio on stage at the RNC who first used the line, “Make America ‘America’ Again.” He was trying to add to Trump’s branding of Make America Great Again. So Avenatti comes along and steals from Scott Baio, then Biden comes along and plagiarizes Avenatti.
And Avenatti says, “That’s okay! Since I can’t use it anymore, it’s okay that somebody else does.” (laughing) Ah, folks, some days it’s just so much fun. Make America Great Again is a slogan — and you talk about something aging very well? It still works. With that phrase, Trump captured the mood of the country. It was shorthand for his platform. It lined up with his skill set. “Crooked Hillary.” “Crooked Hillary” works as well today as the day he coined it. “Nervous Nancy.” She’s very nervous about Democrat activists and their agenda, her grip on power.
These are brilliant. There are a lot more examples of this, and I doubt that any of this is focus grouped. I doubt that any of it is researched. And that’s why these people cannot abide it. They cannot relate to it. There aren’t any natural — and don’t misunderstand the word here. There aren’t any “natural” performers, or very few, in American politics — and don’t be off-put by the word “performer” because it is a performance.
A campaign is a performance. If you’re on TV, you are performing. Writing a column, you’re performing. It is a performance. It doesn’t mean that you’re not serious. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be taken seriously. It doesn’t mean that you are not qualified. It’s just another added skill set that others don’t have — most don’t have — and so it stands out. Trump is a natural performer, a great communicator. He doesn’t need polling data, doesn’t need focus groups.
The Clintons are incapable of this, as an example. And I think every time Trump unveils a new nickname or position, these people in effect quake in their boots because, folks, I don’t care who you are, in any business or any area where you compete, you hate it when somebody’s better than you are. You hate it when somebody is more popular than you are. You hate it when somebody gets more laughs than you do. You hate it when somebody gets more applause than you do.
If you don’t hate it, it bothers you, in a competitive sense. And some people don’t deal with not dealing well in a competitive sense. Look at the Clintons. They said, “We’re gonna schedule our own national tour. We’re gonna do rallies. We’re gonna show we can do that too.” Except they can’t. Nobody’s willing to pay, and nobody’s willing to show up. Hillary can’t draw flies. Nobody can draw flies.
I made the guess yesterday that the reason the close-up shot on Biden never changed at his rallies is ’cause the crowd wasn’t very big. And it wasn’t. Trump’s crowd yesterday was overflowing. Biden’s was zilch, zero, nada. And they’re back to saying, “Well, crowd size in politics doesn’t mean anything.” Don’t believe them. It bugs them every Trump rally they see, that they can’t do it, and they wish they could.
They wish they could draw crowds like that. They wish the crowds they drew were naturally effervescent like that rather than having to be coached by cue cards and warmup acts. A Trump crowd doesn’t need to be warmed up. They are loaded for bear from the moment they get there until Trump leaves, and they’re motivated because of Trump.
And Trump demonstrates every day what these lifelong professionals in American politics can’t do. And that is another reason they hate him. They can’t do what he does without a teleprompter, and they can’t do what he does with a teleprompter. They can’t do what he does naturally unless they go out and focus group it, and then when they focus group it, it’s not theirs, it’s always somebody else’s. They cannot make it look like it’s original to them.
Everybody knows they’ve got writers just like the late-night comedy hosts have writers, a whole staff of writers. Trump doesn’t have any writers, doesn’t need any writers. He’s his own producer, he’s his own director, and he is the talent. And Democrats tell us that Trump is an idiot. Trump is running circles around them in all of the ways they wish they could compete.
And he’s doing it without the usual army of paid advisers, paid consultants, comedy writers, speechwriters, nickname creators. I don’t know how long it’s gonna be before we see his kind again in politics. And I’ll tell you, no matter where you look on the Democrat or Republican side, they’re all gonna try to outdo Trump by not being Trump.
They’re all gonna try to outdo Trump by being buttoned down and sophisticated and presidential and real and upholding our values and blah, blah, blah, blah, sophistication and all that. Because they tell themselves, “Well, nobody wants what we can’t do anyway. They hate Trump. People hate Trump. We’re not gonna be Trump.” They would love, they would love to have Trump’s talent.
RUSH: I was watching Trump, and I’m sure we’re gonna get some audio sound bites of this because he had some interesting things to say about polling data and the media. He’s meeting in the Oval Office with the president of Poland, and the press is shouting, “What about the polls, Mr. President? What about the polls?” “I don’t believe in polls. I don’t like polls? I like ideas. Ideas are what I focus on. Not crazy about not polls.” Somehow the subject of his speech at the 75th commemoration of the Normandy invasion came up.
I wasn’t able to hear the question as asked by whoever in the media asked it. And, by the way, Trump looks — and this is important. The news all morning has been that Trump is rattled, that Trump is prowling the Oval Office enraged over this polling data showing him losing in landslides, that he’s holding meetings with the staff telling them to lie about it, telling them to deny it or they’re gonna be fired — telling them not to talk about the truth of the polling data that Trump is losing and is gonna lose.
So they’re creating this impression that Trump is running around the Oval Office almost out of control in a fit of rage. And you watch him here, he is thoroughly relaxed. He is appearing as confident as you’ve ever seen him — unrattled, unruffled, and literally enjoying himself to the max sitting there with the president of Poland. He’s talking about his new relationship with Poland. He’s gonna send some troops to Poland to help them deal with some problems that they’ve got.
He’s fielding every question the press asks him. He’s not being snarky. He’s not doing anything. It doesn’t look at all like the guy that the Drive-By Media is portraying all morning long in the news. Well, then this question comes up about the speech at Normandy. This is classic Trump, and when he says this, I just… I imagine Biden and the Never Trumpers and all the rest of these people just fuming. Just fuming! Privately fuming, calling each other up, “Can you…? Are you watching this? Can you believe…? Can you believe how he behaves!
“This is so unpresidential. I can’t believe he’s doing this,” and all that happened was somebody asked him about his speech. He said, “Well, you know, I would never say it. I would never say it. But you people… You people… In fact, some people said that not only was it a great speech, that it was the best speech ever in Europe by any American president.” (laughing) Just staring… He’s got this little glint in his eye and he’s got a half smile.
He looks dead serious but smiling about it, and I just bust out laughing. This is a… (laughing) I was talking about performance ability. This is just a natural talent, and Trump is one of these people who can be as braggadocious as the day is long and make you laugh at it instead of being offended by it. Except these people (laughing) in Washington and in the Democrat side of things are offended. I actually think… Now that I have studied this, I don’t think it’s anger so much as it is jealousy.
I don’t think it’s anger so much as it is envy. He stands so far out from these people. There is such a contrasting difference. No, don’t misunderstand, folks. I know that there are a lot of people who think that Trump’s personality and style are not “presidential.” I understand what people mean when they say that. I’m not talking about the disinterested faction of people who would say this. But the Democrat presidential candidates, official elected Democrats who are in this daily political competition every day who will look at Trump?
I think rather than being genuinely outraged by it, they’re jealous as they can be of it. And they mask the jealousy and the envy with feigned outrage. Look, there probably is some genuine anger, too, over the fact that they know they’re envious. Let me give you… You know as well as I do that back during the era of Clinton… You back me up on this. Back in the era of Clinton, there were a lot of people in our side who professed not to like the way Clinton was womanizing, but they wished they were him, wished they could get away with it, wished they could do what did.
They envied him and so forth. For example, Clinton had an event on Catalina Island, and some babe in the Washington Post wrote… No, it was a guy! Some guy wrote a story, and the lede was, “Bill Clinton sharply dressed in his crackling jeans, bulging below the waist strode the streets of Catalina today, crackling with power, crackling with power.” There was just outrage from people about media bias. What it really was, is there were just a lot of people jealous of that. Just jealous of it.
It seemed like women were throwing themselves at Bill Clinton and their underwear at Bill Clinton every day. And I think, upon reflection, that some of this professed anger at Donald Trump… Some of it’s real. Don’t misunderstand. But a lot of it is envy, at Trump. I think a lot of it is envy, particularly when he says of the speech (laughing), “I didn’t say it. I would never say it. I would never say. Don’t tell anybody I said it. I would never say it. But you people wrote — many people have written — that it was the best speech by any American.”
(laughing) And of course, then you can see them just running to Twitter to express their outrage. “How unpresidential. You’d never see Joe Biden doing.” That’s exactly right. You couldn’t ever see Joe Biden this way. You couldn’t see Crazy Bernie doing this. You couldn’t see any of them this way, and they all know it.