(AP/Chuck Burton)

Trump will be everything to every bigot -- claims police being "the most mistreated people this country"

GOP strategists must have told the candidates to float it all, see what doesn't sink


Scott Eric Kaufman
January 15, 2016 9:11AM (UTC)

It's becoming increasingly clear that GOP strategists told the candidates in the main debate tonight to throw absolutely everything at the wall -- irrespective of its relevance to the question asked or anything remotely topical about the state of America today -- and that they would sort out what did and didn't work in the morning.

Chris Christie is talking about "keeping the bad folks out and making sure they don't harm us"; Marco Rubio is talking about slavery and the oppression of women in Muslim countries; Donald Trump is assuring American "that there's something going on, and it's bad."

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He then added, apropos of absolutely nothing, that "by the way, the police are the most mistreated people in this country, I'll tell you that -- the most mistreated people."

From this shambles of illogical assertions surely some point will emerge come morning -- a narrative capable of glossing over the meandering answers to indirect questions and making it seem as if these candidates came into the debate with points they wanted to make and strategies as to how to do so effectively -- but for the moment, it seems as if they are floating potentially xenophobic arguments in an attempt to see which resonates most profoundly with the most bigoted segments of the Republican base.

Watch a recap of the debate below:
[jwplayer file="http://media.salon.com/2016/01/RepubDebateHighlights.petercooper.1.15.16_SD.mp4" image="http://media.salon.com/2016/01/gop-2016-debate.jpeg3.jpg"][/jwplayer]


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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