Donald Trump is defying "conventional belief" by doubling down and refusing to apologize to Sen. John McCain for comments made
over the weekend that at first questioned the senator's reputation as a war hero before saying that he is one, talk show host Rush Limbaugh said Monday.
"The American people haven't seen something like this in a long time," Limbaugh said on his radio program.
"They have not seen an embattled public figure stand up, double down, and tell everyone to go to hell."
Limbaugh insisted that he is not a Trump apologist, but said the media and politicians are following a typical trail they use when they want to get rid of a public figure, and the talk show host said a similar pattern is often followed on his own controversial statements.
"Under conventional belief, a public figure makes a politically incorrect statement that offends somebody," said Limbaugh. "The Washington establishment and media react in outrage, and the media replays the offensive comment over and over and over."
Eventually, the establishment "gets together with the media" and all demand the public figure apologize, beg forgiveness, and withdraw from public life and "stay in chagrined irrelevance," said Limbaugh.
"This charade plays whenever this circumstance happens," said Limbaugh, and there is one fatal mistake made, when it is assumed that "the collective outrage of the Washington establishment and the media is reflective of the American people."
He noted that journalist Sharyl Attkisson wrote
a "great analysis" of the Saturday incident.
"It is a fact that Trump did not say what he is being reputed to say," said Limbaugh, that "McCain's not a hero, and so forth. Four different times, he said McCain is a war hero."
"Facts don't matter in a circumstance like this," Limbaugh said, but instead, statements are "purposely blurred, lied about or ignored, much like my ill fated commentary on ESPN.
Take something that wasn't said and blow it out of proportion."
He also pointed out that Trump said what he did "following McCain's insult of Trump's supporters, calling them 'crazies.' This ticked Trump off, [because] he doesn't want to think they're a bunch of crazed wackos."
But nobody is suggesting McCain apologize, but the media and Washington's establishment are all demanding apologies and saying that Trump's campaign can't survive, as is the usual pattern, said Limbaugh.
"Except one thing hasn't happened: Trump hasn't apologized," said Limbaugh. "Not only he hasn't, but he doubled down and added to his original criticism."
And the "architects" of the scandal "don't know what to do...the guilty party is begging for forgiveness but Trump has not," he said.
Meanwhile, the outraged reaction takes for granted that the American public will find Trump's words "unpalatable, unforgivable, and unacceptable," said Limbaugh, because the assumption is that media is reflecting public opinion.
But Limbaugh said that didn't happen in his own case and he doesn't think it will happen with Trump either, as the assumption that everybody is outraged "is always erroneous."
"They're doing everything they can to destroy Trump by acting like he's destroying himself with voters," said Limbaugh. "That's what presumes this new political reality, but I don't think that's the case."
He noted that polls will likely come out that will show if Trump was damaged by his words, but the Republicans don't want to be seen as mean people.
"The conventional wisdom is...everybody is outraged the fact that he doesn't have a lot of public humility, that he's a mean guy," said Limbaugh. Meanwhile, McCain has "called tea party people hobbits, crazies."
And, he pointed out that Trump was not the first to question McCain's war service, but when attacks come from the left, "they're warranted because they're nice people, compassionate people."
Unlike others, "Trump is not following the rule that targets are supposed to follow," said Limbaugh. "Targets are supposed to immediately grovel, apologize, say 'I have the utmost respect for Sen. McCain' and everybody cheers because the the target has seen the light. [That] usually means another Republican has been taken out."
"There is an arrogant presumption that the majority of the American people are as outraged as the media," he concluded.
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