Might as well butter him, Trump is toast

September 18, 2015
Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley

Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Donald Trump has jumped the shark.

TV shows can reach a point when they begin to get stale and have to rely on gimmicks, becoming a virtual parody of themselves or “jumping the shark” to try to stave  off the inevitable decline. “I think Mr. Trump is a wonderful entertainer,” Carly Fiorina said during the Republican presidential candidate debate on Wednesday night.

It is not that Trump’s poll numbers are immediately going to crater. He is still leading all the polls. But when we look back at the 2016 presidential election, the second Republican candidate debate might well emerge as a crucial turning point for Trump.

He tried to keep his show going by ramping up the gratuitous insults: “Rand Paul shouldn’t even be on this stage,” “I went to Number 1 and you [Scott Walker] went down the tubes.”

Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina speaks during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley

Carly Fiorina at the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 election at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

But this time his competitors were prepared.  When Fiorina was asked about Trump’s attempt to explain his mean-spirited remark about her appearance (“Look at that face”), Fiorina replied acidly, “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”

The sharpest put-down came when Walker was asked whether he felt comfortable with Trump’s finger on the nuclear trigger.  Walker replied, “We don’t know who you are or where you’re going.”  Exactly.

Trump is like the wise-ass kid who brags about how smart he is but never does his homework. Sooner or later, the fact that he doesn’t know anything is going to catch up with him. That process began Wednesday night. When the debate turned to serious issues like the Syria crisis and the nuclear deal with Iran, Trump vanished from the discussion for long periods of time.

What would he do about Russian incursions into the Middle East?  Trump offered this reassurance: “I will get along, I think, with Putin and I will get along with others and we will have a much more stable world.”  Explaining his opposition to the Iraq war, Trump said, “I’m a very militaristic person.”  What the hell does that mean?

Asked about his criticism of childhood vaccinations, Trump talked about “a beautiful child [who] went to have the vaccine and came back and week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick and now is autistic.”  There’s scientific evidence for you.

Republican U.S. presidential candidates Cruz, Trump and Carson talk during a break in the the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley

(L-R) Senator Ted Cruz,Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson talk during a commercial break in the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 election at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Americans take their vote for president of the United States more seriously than their vote for any other public office.   And right now, 60 percent of Americans don’t believe Trump is qualified to be president.  One of them is former New York Governor George Pataki, who asserted during the earlier debate, “Let me say this flat out. Donald Trump is unfit to be president of the United States or the Republican Party’s nominee.’’

A vote for president is not like voting for Congress or for state and local offices, when people can use their vote to send a message. Or when they express a preference in a poll or vote in a presidential primary to make a statement. That’s what the candidacies of Republican Patrick J. Buchanan in 1992, Democrat Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 and independent Ross Perot in 1992 and 1996 were all about.

But voters don’t take chances with their presidential vote. There’s too much at stake.

What kind of statement are people making with Trump? Simply that the United States is changing and they don’t like it. “I think white people think their sovereignty has been infringed on,” a Dallas resident was quoted as saying at a Trump rally this week. Trump wears a hat that says, “Make America great again.”

It’s a protest against the New America coalition, including immigrants, minorities, gays, working women and liberals, that brought President Barack Obama to power.  The message for Trump supporters is, “Bring the Old America back” — when the country was run by older white men.  Like Trump.

Trump rallies have begun to draw Latino demonstrators. They are protesting his statements that Mexican immigrants are “rapists” and “criminals” and that all “illegal immigrants” must be deported. “It’s not good,” a protester in Dallas said to the Washington Post, that “we are out here and all the white people are inside, cheering him on.” It’s certainly not good for the Republican Party.

Mitt Romney warned GOP contributors in 2012 that if Republicans don’t start doing better with Latino voters, “It spells doom for us.” It certainly spelled doom for him.

The sharpest rebuke to Trump to date is likely to come next week when Pope Francis visits the United States.  The pope is due to address a joint session of Congress. One of his big concerns is immigration. According to a Vatican source, “He won’t say, ‘Open all borders,’ but there’s no two ways about it.  He will say, ‘Let’s give our immigrant brothers and sisters a fair chance.’”

Trump recently criticized former Florida Governor Jeb Bush for speaking Spanish to Latino audiences. “He should really set the example,” Trump said, “by speaking English while in the United States.”

The pope will be meeting with immigrant groups in New York and Philadelphia.  When he does, he will likely speak in his native language — and theirs: Spanish.

We’ll see what Mr. Trump feels compelled to advise the pope.

63 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Trump may not win but he will continue to drag down the GOP. In Pew polls the majority of GOP respondants still believe Obama is a Muslim and the majority want illegal immigrants rounded up and deported. In all the post debate instant polls Trump won with more than half the respondents. Equally impressive is that the establishment candidates Scott Walker and Jeb Bush polled at less than 2%.

Posted by RAJensen | Report as abusive

Trump is a man’s man a proven leader who asks for nothing and pays his own way. America needs a man like Trump running things and giving America strong leadership and guidance. The one person one vote rule is ruining America and will hurt a qualified man like Trump. America deserves strong leadership but letting every freeloader vote is destroying America. Trump is what America needs.

Posted by BearcatLoner | Report as abusive

The Liberal powers that be in America just do not want Trump to become president as their own weak liberal existence will be threatened in a Trump America. Fact.

Posted by BearcatLoner | Report as abusive

Bill Schneider seems to have turned a blind-eye to what the polls are indicating… There’s MUCH truth to a headline I saw on another site… “Everyone hates Trump except the voters!” … Do you really expect to maintain any credibility as a ‘journalist’ penning such nonsence Mr. Schneider?

Posted by RogerDaguerre | Report as abusive

Donald Trump will be the next President of the USA, Mr. Schneider… Uber-Liberals such as yourself should just relax and get used to the idea.

Posted by Heimdallr | Report as abusive

What ‘the Donald’ was attempting to say about Carly Fiorina in a nice way was that she is a dog-faced failure as CEO of HP… His accusation was two-fold, both correct.

Posted by Heimdallr | Report as abusive

I can’t help but think that this whole Trump thing is an orchestrated attempt by the GOP to make the other real candidates look better in the eyes of the US electorate.

Posted by Calvin2k | Report as abusive

I personally detest Trump because I believe he is a showboating clown who is utterly ignorant of facts and just makes things up as he goes along. You can only get so far with empty slogans and meaningless rhetoric.

Still, I do hope that he ends up winning the GOP nomination or worst case, run as an independent so he can siphon off conservative voters and demolish any GOP chances of taking back the White House. As for Trump’s chance of winning, not a chance. His lack of knowledge will be fully exposed in nominee debates which are far more moderated than the circus free-for-alls that is the GOP ‘debates’. He won’t be allowed to interrupt and his bluster alone won’t be able fend off the dozens of pointed policy related questions being thrown at him.

Posted by blah77 | Report as abusive

Trump is correct and will make a great President and will make America great again.

Posted by BearcatLoner | Report as abusive

1. The man that made the comment about Obama was exercising his freedom of speech. For Josh Ernest to imply that Mr. Trump should have silenced that person is just further proof of this administration’s contempt of the First Amendment rights of American citizens;

2. Obama may not BE a Muslim, but her certainly has an affinity for that religion and disdain for the Judeo-Christian roots of the United States;

3. Trump is not a polished politician, but the fact that he can not be bought terrifies the mainstream political establishment.

Posted by WayneVan | Report as abusive

First time voter only because of him.

Posted by Macedonian | Report as abusive

Cornball soothsayer routine from the dinosaur press.

Posted by Jbiomarker | Report as abusive

Ummm, CNN post debate poll. Trump 36, Carson 12, Fiorina 10.

Posted by ems1 | Report as abusive

It’s the immigration, stupid.

Trump 2016!

Posted by Morton_Kowalski | Report as abusive

“Sooner or later, the fact that he doesn’t know anything is going to catch up with him.”

Hasn’t caught up with Obama yet.

Posted by toobored | Report as abusive

I will only deal with one misrepresentation in the article. Trump is NOT against vaccinations and he did NOT say vaccinations cause autism. He only gave a personal anecdote and suggested that vaccinations should be spread out to reduce any risk of complications.

I assume that the rest of the article is equally dishonest, so I wont’t read more. I suggest everyone go somewhere else for their news.

Posted by rbrndnbrg | Report as abusive

This bears repeating over and over and over:
“But voters don’t take chances with their presidential vote. There’s too much at stake.” You and Gruber deserve each other.

Posted by prcat3vet | Report as abusive

I am a lifelong Democrat. I voted for Jack Kennedy, Jimmie Carter, Bill Clinton, Barrak Obama. But now, after seeing ALL politicans take our Country to the edge of the cliff, debt, no respect, weak and understaffed military – I’m done
NO MORE POLITICANS
DONALD TRUMP 2016

Posted by Caddie1902 | Report as abusive

If Trump is what America needs, America is in great trouble

Posted by BMacGillivray | Report as abusive

Phase 1.0: The Republican establishment ‘pre-decides’ that the conservative electorate WILL comply, and anoint yet another Bush as our eventual and inevitable candidate… to their shock and dismay, the conservative electorate disobeys.

Phase 2.0: The Associated Press grabs the ‘steering wheel’ from the Republican establishment, and informs (with a tidal wave of media) the conservative electorate that ‘Trump is toast’. For the next solid month, and with no quantitative evidence to substantiate their claims, they will attempt to force feed the ‘Kool-Aid’ down the collective throats of the conservative electorate – ‘Trump is done… no one wants him anymore, and neither do you’. The bait and switch game has begun… ‘Fiorina is rising’, ‘Carson has pulled along side of Trump’, ‘Bush schools Trump’, etc.

Posted by DBirtchfeld | Report as abusive

Donald Trump does not necessarily have to correct everyone who asks him questions …why should he defend the opposition in any case ..not his job.

Posted by wondering_too | Report as abusive

Like Trump or hate him, he brings up subjects the mainstream politician is afraid to address. Illegal is illegal, and coming to America or any other country illegal is a crime, end of discussion. Also, what’s so wrong about representing “white people” they still live in this country and have needs and wants like every other race. Trump may be rough around the edges, but is a highly educated and able business man that is fed up with the nonsense and failed economic policies that are dragging the middle class and hard working people down the drain. America needs to get this liberal socialist mindset turned around reward hard working people instead of encouraging people not to marry and have kids the system has to raise. I just hope Trump can do what he says, because if not, he will be just another great talking politician.

Posted by cheeze | Report as abusive

Donald Trump is the epitome of a “summer fling”, the hot girl that you date for a while because she’s naughty and fun but that you know deep down inside that you’ll never take home to meet your parents.

Many of his current supporters will eventually come to their senses and switch to a more qualified, more electable candidate. Then “The Donald” can return to being the irrelevant circus clown that he’s always been.

Posted by Danram | Report as abusive

When he was up against the governors talking shop, Trump went very quiet. He must have realized for the first time that routine government business is a serious matter of which he doesn’t have a clue. You can’t fix everything with money and a big mouth.

Posted by pbgd | Report as abusive

I said I would never vote for another Republican ever again, but if the election was held today I would vote for Trump solely on the fact that he is in no one’s pocket.

I will vote for Trump or no one, unless John Kerry enters the race!

Posted by rossrb | Report as abusive

Trump rules. the problem with mccain trying to appease the media and “defend Obama” is that the demand for appeasement is endless. the more you appease the more they will take. there is no point where the leftist grievance industry stops. Instead of appeasement, deal with these ppl like The Don.

Posted by yobro_yobro88 | Report as abusive

A major point missed in this article. People with vote for Trump because they are sick of the same professional politicians over and over. I’m a liberal Dem. and I’ll vote for him because the others running are recycled same old same old.
If he wins he owes the establishment NOTHING. THAT SHOULD ROCK CONGRESS.
Who carSe if he getS impeached three days later

Posted by kehenaliving | Report as abusive

Pundits like Bill Snyder keep writing Trump off because of stupid comments that he makes however Trump plays to the masses well with nostalgia and nostalgia for the past is what is driving his campaign. The Republicans better watch out for the monster that Fox News created because he can beat Hillary Clinton

Posted by kencarver | Report as abusive

TRUMP 2016 and 2020!

Posted by DB33 | Report as abusive

Trump is only running for the publicity. He always pulls a media ploy when his finances are in trouble and needs to generate revenue.

Posted by anonymous7777 | Report as abusive

Don’t forget Ronald Reagan was a movie actor and he got elected. how much worst can Trump be?

Posted by cheeze | Report as abusive

The headline declares Trump finished, the first line implies he’s not yet finished but is in decline, and the rest of the article merely raises a series of potential problems that Trump may or may not face.

Perhaps next time the headline might correspond to the body of the story? Or better yet, the story might bear out the premise of the headline?

Posted by AlexiosK | Report as abusive

Haha! Every time these people predict a crash and burn for Trump, his numbers go up! Super entertaining watching these liberal journalists fall flat on their faces time after time. They apparently still don’t understand the complete rejection the GOP establishment is getting from the base. Too funny!

Posted by homesalesguy | Report as abusive

DONALD TRUMP 2016

Posted by forzapista | Report as abusive

Schneider is indulging in liberal wishful thinking. How many self-defined experts or pundits are going to have to eat crow before they finally wake up and smell the coffee. This is a new day. Trump is speaking boldly and unapologetically to millions who would love to see these so-called experts humiliated by their unwavering arrogance.

Trump is hardly toast. He’s the main course. I look forward to casting my vote for him to be president. I only wish (as does he) that the election was today.

Posted by upyourssideways | Report as abusive

Start the Dump Trump movement today.

Posted by TheNewPolitics | Report as abusive

The GOP favorite candidate of the week is Fiorena, the executive who is renowned for failing Lucent & HP. How is this person going to trump Donald Trump who has a $10,000,000,000 success story? I think Donald Trump is in ascendance.

Posted by julianzr | Report as abusive

More wishful thinking from the media-
I’m not a Trump guy but he’s sure making fools out of the press

Posted by ReaganiteGOPer | Report as abusive

if u dont agree with this BS article comments not posted

Posted by FREDDY113 | Report as abusive

Reuters seems to be out of touch with reality. Trump is dominating ALL poles.

Posted by BobbyBrown1885 | Report as abusive

If Americans are dumb enough to let Trump become President, I am going to sell all of my stocks in U. S. companies and purchase only American Depository Receipts of foreign companies. I am not such a big investor anyone though will notice if I am the only one to do that. At least Trump’s opponents are starting to demonstrate just how little Trump knows to say when he is put on the spot for specifics.

Posted by SeniorMoment | Report as abusive

Trump did exactly what he set out to do in that debate. He was accused of being a “hot head” unable to handle any pressure when attacked. He said going in “I am going to be nice”. He took the shots, and did not blow up. He was laid back and similar to Carson’s style. He showed he can be Presidential, and that he is not the personality the media and its establishment candidates kept pushing. Everyone is coming at him from all sides: Operation “HUMBLE” was a success!

Posted by WestCa | Report as abusive

What this opinion piece fails to consider is the actual Latino and other ethnic communities polling. You will find that trump carries these groups who are registered GOP. We will work on the DEM side when that time comes, but the important thing to understand that these groups SUPPORT ridding their communities of the crime ILLEGALS bring to them in gangs, smuggling, and murders. It is ridiculous to allow an open border where a fugitive fleeing the Mexican authorities can simply cross the US Border to safety and “sanctuary”. This is something we see in the old Westerns! Trump supports a nation of laws….and that is the dividing line this article failed to mention.

Posted by WestCa | Report as abusive

Fiorina couldn’t run HP …she pretends she can have aim at US Presidency

Posted by Jingan | Report as abusive

Donald Trump is not really running for president. This is all a self promoting publicity stunt to raise money to cover his failing investments. Just like the Apprentice, the beauty pageants, etc … he constantly needs to generate money to cover his losses. It is what he is good at.

Posted by anonymous7777 | Report as abusive

According to who? watch Trump win big time! You libtards better get ready!

Posted by bill1212 | Report as abusive

We don’t need another promise making lying politician in Washington. We need a businessman who is not afraid to hurt peoples feelings!

TRUMP!

Posted by bill1212 | Report as abusive

Trivial of both Reuters and Mr. Schneider to run this at all, much less on the front page.

One would think pundits would have learned from all their recent wrong calls on Donald Trump. Just because they want him down doesn’t mean he’s down.

The NYT presently has much more thorough reasoning online, about Trump’s chances of securing the necessary delegates.

Posted by nln | Report as abusive

Every time an article comes out saying Trump is done I ask myself why they are so desperate to put him down. He stands for most of middle America, Main Street, not Wall Street, and common sense people. We are anything but low information voters, and we are sick of the elite class telling us what to think. Trunp 2016. He is not a candidate. He is a weapon.

Posted by vman9999 | Report as abusive

I think when the Pope puts his feet on this land, he should speak English, including with the illegal aliens he’ll meet.

Posted by TetraBall | Report as abusive

The fact that Donald is doing so well makes the USA look like a joke to the whole world.
Who would want a president that has driven 4 companies into bankruptcy ? That threatens to deport the families and friends of the fastest growing segment of the US population?
Support him if you want but you may as well be voting democrat. He hasn’t a chance.

Posted by Leperman | Report as abusive

Tetraball complains: “I think when the Pope puts his feet on this land, he should speak English, including with the illegal aliens he’ll meet.”

Yes, much like the Pilgrims and their preachers spoke Wampanoag upon touching soil here.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

If you trump people want a country that’s more white…. too bad. The world isn’t white, and the brown people were here first. By thousands of years. Your grand daddy left Europe at some point…. and you are free to move back there.

Posted by Solidar | Report as abusive

Fiorina isn’t electable after her tenure at HP. Jebbers has so many old friends and family, and he hasn’t really started yet. Trump is fun.

Posted by snapkraklepop | Report as abusive

Americans serious about voting for their president? Really? Which planet do you live on Mr. Schneider? If that were the case Obama wouldn’t have been elected! You are an Obama supporter, aren’t you? Obama had zero qualifications for the presidency and his behavior – especially in the areas of foreign policy and presidential appointments is proof. For example, he nominated to the Supreme Court someone who had never been a judge! Unbelievable, yet no one seemed to care. I guess if you’re misguided enough to support Obama, having a judge with zero experience sitting on the highest court in the land is no big deal.
How about the “line in the sand” with Syria that Assad promptly crossed? Obama ran scared. Putin is running over him like a tank. Businesses – especially small businesses – are choking under an avalanche of regulations. I could go on and on. Thank God he can’t run again!
No, I’m sorry, the presidential election is nothing more than another “American Idol” contest. Obama was elected because he is black – period. Hillary will be elected because she is a woman. That’s about as “serious” as American voters get. Then they wonder why the economy struggles, the debt skyrockets, business suffers, the middle class shrinks, and America fades.

Posted by beofaction | Report as abusive

I don’t think the pundits really get what is going on here. But then again, they make their living saying things about trifling matters that turn out to be wrong, and count on no one remembering.

Posted by JoyceClemons | Report as abusive

The thought of Donald Trump becoming President scares the heck out of me even though I think his chances are almost nill. It has nothing to do with his being Conservative because I actually beleive he is just pandering to the right and will do a 180 if he is lucky enough to secure the nomination. It also has nothing to do with his disgusting and condecending attitude towards immigrants and latinos. It is simply because he is in way over his head. He never actually says what he will do about anything. He just used adjectives like fantastic, excellent and best or when speaking of others he uses adjectives like horrible, worst and ugly. He is also an elitist born with a silver spoon in his mouth and is only running because he sees dollar signs. He is a narcisist. Just forget abut him and start looking at more serious choices. I don’t care which side of the isle they are on.

Posted by oakpkdude | Report as abusive

The thought of Donald Trump becoming President scares the heck out of me even though I think his chances are almost nill. It has nothing to do with his being Conservative because I actually beleive he is just pandering to the right and will do a 180 if he is lucky enough to secure the nomination. It also has nothing to do with his disgusting and condecending attitude towards immigrants and latinos. It is simply because he is in way over his head. He never actually says what he will do about anything. He just used adjectives like fantastic, excellent and best or when speaking of others he uses adjectives like horrible, worst and ugly. He is also an elitist born with a silver spoon in his mouth and is only running because he sees dollar signs. He is a narcisist. Just forget abut him and start looking at more serious choices. I don’t care which side of the isle they are on.

Posted by oakpkdude | Report as abusive

“Sooner or later, the fact that he doesn’t know anything is going to catch up with him.”

You sure about that? Cause I think the vast majority of voters don’t know a dang thing either.

Posted by Spawn_of_Santa | Report as abusive

America should be about Americans not special interest or crazy radicals like scott walker.

People in this country illegally should be deported and if they return put in internment camps. We are not about saving the world from itself but making life better for us in america. Manufacturing moved to foreign countries only benefits the very rich and screws the middle class. The days when a person could work hard and get ahead are dying. We have polarized again hard and are all fools. Trump is no good but we need to get rid of this patriot act and spy network and bring back the right to free speech and not be told what to think and to say by special interest.

Posted by funnystuff | Report as abusive

We don’t need a leader who made himself richer by running companies into the ground like Trump does. He takes his and then runs to watch things burn. We already have enough people doing that

Posted by funnystuff | Report as abusive

I read many of the comments about people who oversimplify everything: deport the illegals, blah, blah, blah and everything will be fixed. What a joke. The main problem in the USofA today is the lack of critical thinking. No one has a monopoly on wrong headed approaches to solving our complicated world. Half the people in the U.S. won’t even acknowledge they read a book or speak with someone with whom they don’t agree. “The other guy is an idiot”. Sure. The election will be a slam dunk for the dems if Mr. “T” is nominated since he can’t do anything more than throw abuse and insults, a person who’s unfit to be dog catcher.

Posted by Cwaspire | Report as abusive

Trump You got this, Your exactly what America needs Like I said before you got my vote and the majority of the American votes too. You keep fighting. And don’t pay no attention to the media, We already know their a joke.

Posted by Janet_Bell | Report as abusive