Trump has ‘doubled down and reversed the dynamic’ against critics
On Friday, protesters at a Donald Trump campaign rally in Chicago forced the presidential hopeful to cancel the event. Trump’s supporters pointed out that by forcing the candidate to scrap the campaign event, the protesters violated Trump's freedom of speech.
RT: What do you think about Trump suggesting the chaos in Chicago was pre-planned?
Patrick Henningsen: It hasn’t really been reported in the media that the community organizers petitioned with civic authorities to actually stop the event up to two weeks ago. They were not able to do that because contracts had already been signed for the venue. So then they launched another petition on MoveOn.org which is a Democrat Party community organizing national portal. They got around 5,000 signatures. But then they organized on social media for the past week and got thousands of people to show up to this event. So, from their standpoint they see it as a real success: They shut down the campaign rally for Donald Trump. Until this time it was the Republican Party that was attacking Donald Trump, his competitors. And now it took on a partisan tone last night. And that’s a huge pivot, a huge shift in this kind of anti-Trump coalition.
RT: Trump was also making suggestions that this was connected to followers of Bernie Sanders. Who could have been responsible for organizing it?
PH: This wasn’t organized by the Bernie Sanders campaign, but it just so happens that there were people with Bernie Sanders signs and chanting ‘Bernie!’ on the floor of the University of Illinois arena. It is just a coincidence that these are the same activists who would support Bernie have showed up to shut down the Trump rally. If the show had been on the other foot, and these were Trump supporters shutting down a Hillary Clinton or a Sanders rally, the president would be weighing in on it basically. This shows you the political relativism which has descended on America on both sides, left and right, unfortunately.
RT: What impact do you think the incident will have on Trump's popularity?
PH: Instead of being conciliatory or trying to build bridges, Donald Trump has doubled down this morning. What he is doing, if you’ve read his book, ‘The Art of the Deal,’ he is trying to force the establishment to the table. And so he is doubling down, he is taking an even stronger stance and this has been working in his favor to this point. So, his campaign, and people need to understand, has been under siege from day one, from the first debate on television. They lined up the media and the Republican establishment to attack him. And now he is being attacked by the Democratic community organizing machine. So, he is getting it from all sides. And Donald Trump, true to character, is not going to back down and he is not going to fold, which is normally the way in politics when the media and community activists attack you, you have to submit to their demands – this is normally the way. Donald Trump has basically reversed this dynamic. And he is having trouble though; he is definitely taking a dent in the polls. And he has gotten the media more ammunition to attack him. He is the first candidate whose presidential campaign has been stopped for ‘health and safety’ reasons. So they seem to have found a new angle to shut down Trump when all others have failed before.
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