Feedback
Politics

The Lid: Will Being the Bully Ever Backfire on Trump?

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…. Donald Trump answered Bobby Jindal ‘s barrage of attacks today by saying “I only respond to people that register more than 1% in the polls.” Which is, coincidentally, an EXCELLENT comeback for the next time your ex complains that you never return their texts.

Get The Lid straight to your inbox each afternoon -- click here to sign up.

’16 AT 30 THOUSAND

Being the bully has worked for Donald Trump. He’s funnier, faster, and more insulting than any candidate in this race, and, probably, modern presidential history. So far Republican primary voters have rewarded him handsomely for his tough candor, and that’s why it’s not surprising he is now engaging Ben Carson as the former neurosurgeon's campaign has surged. (According to Trump, the first surgeon to separate conjoined twins is just an “okay doctor” who recently discovered religion.) And he now claims that his comments about Carly Fiorina’s looks (“That face!”) were not about, um, her face. (“Her persona!”)

Now, the Fiorina comments aren’t exactly Trump’s first offense when it comes to questionable comments about women who are popular with conservatives; remember, he took on FOX’s Megyn Kelly and took no detectable hit in the polls. But inside the numbers - particularly in Iowa polling - we still think there could be a potential for a widening gender gap. (In last week’s Monmouth poll, for example, women favored Carson (30 percent) over Trump (19 percent). The same poll also showed Carson edging out Trump with evangelicals. The question is: Do personal attacks like the last round from Trump serve as a crowbar in those gaps to widen them a little bit? Or does Trump’s exhaustive media coverage and hard-knuckled edge mean that Being Donald just further nails down his lead.

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

  • Bobby Jindal called Donald Trump an “unserious, unstable, narcissistic egomaniac” in a fiery speech aimed partly at helping his own struggling campaign.
  • Donald Trump claims he wasn’t talking about Carly Fiorina’s physical appearance when he took a shot at “that face.”
  • Trump and Ben Carson are also warring, although the former neurosurgeon says he doesn't want to be goaded into “gladiator fights.”
  • NBC’s Shaquille Brewster writes that Scott Walker is promising to “transfer power from the big government union bosses to the hard-working taxpayers.”
  • We’re getting a better idea of what kind of voters back Donald Trump. NBC’s Dante Chinni takes a look at our latest poll to show why.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

BIDEN: So this could be problematic in a Democratic primary: Joe Biden has taken credit for writing legislation similar to the 2001 Patriot Act, Buzzfeed notes.

O’MALLEY: He teamed up with IJReview for a video about how *he* tries to make an honest buck on Wall Street -- by playing acoustic guitar.

BUSH: Let there be no doubt that Florida's Republican establishment wants Jeb Bush for president, the Miami Herald writes. Republican House speakers are throwing their weight behind Bush over Rubio.

TRUMP: The Washington Post looks at the long fight between Donald Trump and a widow whose property he wanted.

FOR THE RECORD…

“He was a doctor, perhaps an OK doctor, by the way.”

  • Donald Trump talking about Ben Carson on CNN.

TOMORROW’S SKED

Scott Walker and Rand Paul campaign in Iowa.

Ben Carson is in Missouri, Carly Fiorina is in Arizona, Rick Santorum is in Tennessee, Jeb Bush is in New Hampshire, and Bernie Sanders is in Georgia.

Donald Trump appears on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.