Donald Trump’s meteoric rise to fame in the Republican Party hasn’t come without the criticisms of his fellow Republicans. Whether it’s for his “Mexican rapists” comment or the damage he does to the Republicans — and the American democratic system in general — other Republicans haven’t been shy about expressing how they feel about Trump.
Rick Perry is the most recent Republican to come out swinging against Trump. In a statement released on Thursday, Perry referred to Trump as “a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.”
The Trump Card
The Republican field is shaping up into an amorphous disaster, in an eerie echo of what happened in 2012.
While the field wasn’t lacking crazy before, when Trump dove in, he created a splash that’s still resounding in the pool. He opened with his comments about immigrants from Mexico being rapists, and despite that, the venomous populist still took the lead in several major polls of Republican primary voters.
Earlier this week, while speaking to Bloomberg TV, Paul Krugman explained Trump’s appeal — that he’s a “belligerent loudmouth racist” — and predicted that the Republican field would end up like it did in 2012, with Jeb Bush filling the role of Mitt Romney.
Trump’s presence reveals how ugly and how far gone the Republicans actually are, and how culturally atavistic their behavior has become. Of course, there’s no way the Republicans can not be aware that this is what’s happening. They either don’t care or there’s nothing they can do to stop it.
Trump versus Perry
On Wednesday, Trump joined Fox News’ Sean Hannity to inform Hannity that Perry had “failed at the border.”
“When he was governor of Texas he could have done a lot better in terms of securing the border,” Trump said. “The job he did in terms of border security was absolutely terrible.”
Well, as the old saying goes, “Them’s fighting words.” Perry took notice and fired back on Thursday, referring to Trump as “a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense” in a statement. He continued:
I have a message for my fellow Republicans and the independents who will be voting in the primary process: what Mr. Trump is offering is not conservatism, it is Trump-ism – a toxic mix of demagoguery and nonsense.
He added that Trump has a “fundamental misunderstanding of border security,” and warned conservatives that Trump isn’t “the President America needs”:
We need a president who will finally act to secure the border after decades of failed leadership in Washington, D.C. and Mr. Trump has done nothing to prove that he is the President America needs.
Not that Perry has, either, but don’t pay any attention to the little man behind the curtains.