Stumped Trump lashes out at Hewitt for foreign-policy questions

posted at 10:01 am on September 4, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

After a few relatively friendly appearances on the Hugh Hewitt Show, Donald Trump got put through a series of tough foreign-policy questions in Hugh’s usual style for candidates. Trump got stumped and complained during the interview about dealing with “gotcha” questions, and was not much happier today, either. Trump called Hugh Hewitt a “third-rate radio announcer” in a phoner on Morning Joe, during a surprising answer on the Iran deal:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_QsrPyHMbE

Full disclosure, just to cover the bases: Hugh Hewitt’s show is broadcast through Salem Media Group, the parent company of Hot Air, and Hugh is a personal friend and mentor to me on nearly everything except NFL football. Therefore, I’m inclined to defend Hugh anyway, as most readers would already know. With that said …

It’s true that Hugh asks tough questions of presidential candidates, and sometimes questions that seem inordinately detailed. What most seem to forget is that this has its basis in the mainstream media questioning of Republican candidates in general election coverage, and specifically an exchange with George W. Bush during his first presidential run in which he could not name the leader of a Central Asian country. If candidates think Hugh’s tough and don’t like his questions, they will be in for a rude shock when the mainstream media begins taking its potshots as the primaries approach. Plus, unlike the question asked of Bush, the questions Hugh asked have direct relevance to the wars the US is currently fighting and the Iran deal that the next President will have to handle. This is exactly the kind of test that Republican primary voters should want to ensure the necessary capability in dealing with the national media later on down the road.

On the topic of Iran, Trump offers a surprising approach. He told MSNBC’s panel that he’d work with Barack Obama and John Kerry’s deal, a pact that is wildly unpopular with voters at the moment and emblematic of Obama’s naïveté on foreign policy. Trump says he can improve the deal rather than trashing it, a position that will challenge the Republican base’s desire to effect a major change in foreign-policy direction. Furthermore, why would Trump keep the deal when he doesn’t have to do so?

Finally, this childish response is yet another indication of Trump’s temperament. Angry conservatives are cheering Trump’s belittling of media figures for obvious reasons, but let’s check the scorecard of his targets. He’s slagging people like Charles Krauthammer, George Will, Megyn Kelly, and now Hugh Hewitt, who has provided conservatives with a consistent voice on talk radio and television for decades. What was Trump doing during those years for conservatism? Putting money into Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, arguing for single-payer health care, opposing abortion restrictions, and identifying as a liberal Democrat. Why are conservative media figures the only targets of Trump’s attacks? That’s a question that Republican primary voters should consider.

Update: Fixed a typo and a clumsy construction.


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Comments

Hewitt asked her the exact same questions about foreign policy that he asked Mr. Trump.

So why didn’t Carly get to go first? Instead, she got to Google the names while HH was putting Trump on the spot.

Right Mover on September 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM

You posts grow more and more incoherent

If I happen to be posting on a thread that’s easy to see. I have a drinking problem.

AYNBLAND on September 4, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM

So why didn’t Carly get to go first? Instead, she got to Google the names while HH was putting Trump on the spot.

Right Mover on September 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM

Leave the turn as it was and she still fouled it up.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:47 PM

You posts grow more and more incoherent

If I happen to be posting on a thread that’s easy to see. I have a drinking problem.

AYNBLAND on September 4, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:46 PM

I’m going to take that non answer as a yes. Good luck with that, seriously.

AYNBLAND on September 4, 2015 at 2:48 PM

I’m going to take that non answer as a yes. Good luck with that, seriously.

AYNBLAND on September 4, 2015 at 2:48 PM

Dummy, you missed your own idiocy and you accuse others of “incoherence” and “drinking”? Heh

Bishop and the Puppy will get it.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:49 PM

I interviewed Ronald Reagan once.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Disclaimer: not really a Trumpeter but there are times when I cannot abide Huge Hew-wittless. His is smug, condescending, and probably dwells a long time over the “morning bowl” admiring how the sweet essence of his offal emits no discernible odors.”

(To be fair, there are times when he’s on fire and his shows are eminently listenable; mostly formulaic, condescending crap about all that “good little conservatives” should be, do, and buy. In other words, as tasty as ingesting a tub of Crisco.

This is about a blow-hard fluffing a couple of insider trivia questions and predictably pouting about it by letting that smug little Salem prick live rent-free in his brain.

He’s butt-hurt.

The War Planner on September 4, 2015 at 2:50 PM

Fiorita and the Donald didn’t know it all, if you look at the Hewitt interviews. The rest is all bull crap.

Hewitt is the next ‘debate”s Kelly/Wallace. Trump knows this.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:28 PM

I have, Schade: including reading the full transcript.

Thats why I said Trump did well: He wasn’t in the weeds as much as someone might like (I would have preferred more in depth, but FP is a hobby for me) but he was rather good on the whole…call it a B/B-.

His answers on getting the best Generals to prosecute the war, well thats to be expected…I doubt that he would hire the WORSE. But it is a boilerplate answer, but no real dealbreaker.

Trump just lost points saying the question is a “Gotcha”…and complaining about about it when he’s been on the show multiple times beforehand. Making the claim during the Debate #1 is one thing, but if he’s not used to the style or mannerisms of the host from prior interviews, then that’s a different horse altogether.

He stumbled that’s all: he couldn’t name a reasonably prominent figure of a regime that’s been in the news for at least a year…if he couldn’t name or know the difference between Khomeini and Rouhani, that would be a little more…troubling.

My quibble is, Trump would have been better served just saying “Hey I don’t know/can’t name him”, turned the question around and THEN, riff on 5 W’s about the guy to the best of his knowledge. Just throwing out the “Its a Trap!” says more about Trump than Hewitt.

BlaxPac on September 4, 2015 at 2:51 PM

I interviewed JFK, he was a friend of mine.

faraway on September 4, 2015 at 2:52 PM

I was calling my pal “Better Dead than Red” a moron for assuming I was female.

AYNBLAND on September 4, 2015 at 2:29 PM

It’s only because we can see blood coming out of your … wherever.

YahwehPundit on September 4, 2015 at 2:53 PM

Liar, I have your comments on it being a mockery of Ayn Rand.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:26 PM

There’s no reason it couldn’t be both simultaneously.

DarkCurrent on September 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM

I interviewed Ronald Reagan once.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:50 PM

I am Ronald Reagan. And the pope.

YahwehPundit on September 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Maybe we can have these two eminent journalists replace Hugh at the debate.

Based on their self-admitted stellar performance in 2008, they will come up with real gotchas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzMas1bVidw

fred5678 on September 4, 2015 at 3:01 PM

All of you Trumpsters do realize it’s just a matter of time before Trump goes into a full mode cussing tyrant don’t you? I expect it to happen at the CNN debate. He’s a walking and talking disaster. Trump doesn’t know squat about the issues facing this nation other than what he hears on tv. When tested, Trump lashes out at whoever is around him or attempting to interview. He’ll be backed into a serious corner on the 16th.

Redford on September 4, 2015 at 3:01 PM

I interviewed Ronald Reagan once.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 2:50 PM

I interviewed Armstrong and Aldrin live during Apollo 11’s historic descent to the lunar surface. Unfortunately we were on the dark side of the moon so no one on Earth ever saw it. I suppose other aliens might have, but it’s impossible to say for sure.

DarkCurrent on September 4, 2015 at 3:08 PM

Clearly to Trump, a “gotcha question” is one he doesn’t know the answer to.

Tater Salad on September 4, 2015 at 3:14 PM

All of you Trumpsters do realize it’s just a matter of time before Trump goes into a full mode cussing tyrant don’t you? I expect it to happen at the CNN debate. He’s a walking and talking disaster. Trump doesn’t know squat about the issues facing this nation other than what he hears on tv. When tested, Trump lashes out at whoever is around him or attempting to interview. He’ll be backed into a serious corner on the 16th.

Redford on September 4, 2015 at 3:01 PM

I don’t think he’ll go off THAT badly. But at times, he does seem to have an aversion to negative press of ANY sort…which reminds me too much of another politician.

Trump can be quite personable when he wants to be, and on issues that he cares deeply about…but its kinda gets lost in the trumpeting of his own voice as he tries to be “Bigger, Larger, Better!” All. The. Time.

Its one thing to be hoisted upon the shoulders of others, and quite another to perch yourself there by your own definition.

BlaxPac on September 4, 2015 at 3:26 PM

I’m pretty opposed to Trump, but not because he’s a non-politician, nor is it because I support the establishment.

The main reasons I don’t support Trump are:

1: I believe Trump is a salesman telling me what I want to hear rather than what he really believes. He’s “being real” when it come to his temperament and personality, but not when it comes to his policy positions (notice that Trump hardly ever talks about the details of policy).

It’s a pretty common thing for skilled salesmen to use genuineness in one area to conceal duplicity in another, and I believe that is what Trump is doing.

I feel that those conservatives supporting him are being snookered because of their own (understandable) desperation at the refusal of the Republican establishment to fight for anything.

2: Trump has a bad temperament and personality. He is extremely thin skinned. His responses to Megan Kelly’s questions were not sexist in my mind, because Trump is equally rude towards men. That doesn’t change the fact that instead of directly challenging Kelly on the questions he instead choose to resort to name calling: “bimbo” and other such terms. Why didn’t Trump just say “I’m an equal opportunity offender.” Or some other such response that directly cuts away at the implied charge of sexism? Instead he acted like the charges were true, but what difference does it make?

That’s not a sign of strength, that is a sign of weakness and a lack of self control. Trump is displaying that again with Hugh Hewitt here. I agree that Trump should not be expected to know the names of leaders of Quds, but he should just say that. Challenge the assumptions, don’t resort to whiny name calling.

Furthermore, Trump can’t seem to understand the difference between an ally you have occasional disagreements with, and an enemy. When the Club for Growth hit Trump over his support for tariffs it was a great opportunity for Trump to say: “I agree with the Club for Growth that we need less regulation, and lower taxes, but right now I think we need to encourage American business to invest in America and if that means a tariff then so be it.”

I don’t agree with that position, but I could respect it as someone who is allied with me on several key issues, and maybe our disagreement isn’t enough to prevent me from supporting him. Instead Trump tried to label Club for Growth as part of the establishment out to get him – which is ridiculous on the face of it. Outside the Tea Party, the Club for Growth has been the strongest supporter of primarying establishment Republicans we got.

I could go on and on. It has led me to conclude that even if Trump did win the Presidency, and even if he really did intend on fulfilling his promises, Trump would still end up helpless because he can’t help but make enemies of those that ought to be his allies.

He’d also probably be almost as bad as Obama at offending our allies. Although I suppose at least Trump would not be afraid of offending our enemies. But is it really too much to ask for a president that is both friendly to our allies, and hostile to our enemies?

Sackett on September 4, 2015 at 3:34 PM

Why do people keep saying Fiorina aced this interview. She did not know who these people were either. She says
” Well, I have to be very honest with you and say that sometimes I can get confused a bit between the name and group because they sound a bit alike sometimes, so I have to pause and think sometimes”

Then she proceeds to talk without saying who any of these people are. She talked about a few people he didn’t mention but none of the ones he did.

Hewitt gave her a pass.

Rose on September 4, 2015 at 3:55 PM

BlaxPac, cheers my friend.

I am Ronald Reagan. And the pope.

YahwehPundit on September 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM

The former, yes. The latter is a minion. He and the dope will get together this month, to destroy the West, and the USA specifically, more.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 4:21 PM

h/t Rose for exposing the Fiorita meme.

Rose, read the whole thing and you’ll find lots of charlatans within.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 4:22 PM

Here’s Hugh’s response to Trump – http://www.mediaite.com/tv/hewitt-responds-to-trump-criticism-i-never-asked-gotcha-questions/

AYNBLAND on September 4, 2015 at 4:27 PM

Funny how NBC pulls the vids from Youtube that put Hillary in a bad light, but leaves the ones that do it to Trump.

Oxymoron on September 4, 2015 at 4:28 PM

What serious person cares if Hugh Hewitt can name some Muslim terrorists and maybe even their birth dates. Hillary Clinton probably knows every Islamic despot in the world personally and they have her personal email address because she has solicited them to donate to her phony “foundation.” But she is still the most incompetent Secretary of State in history. Who cares if Trump doesn’t know who they all are by name? Its only important that they know who HE is when he becomes president.

Salem Inc is just pathetic.

VorDaj on September 4, 2015 at 4:32 PM

I am Ronald Reagan. And the pope.

YahwehPundit on September 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM

Pleased to meet you. I’m the Green Lantern and the Queen of Spain.

VorDaj on September 4, 2015 at 4:35 PM

If the plan is to turn sand into glass, then knowing the former names of a few shards is rather irrelevant.

Carnac on September 4, 2015 at 4:35 PM

AYNBLAND on September 4, 2015 at 4:27 PM

NO one cares what you and Hugh say. You have the same credentials.

Schadenfreude on September 4, 2015 at 4:36 PM

What serious person cares if Hugh Hewitt can name some Muslim terrorists and maybe even their birth dates.

Technically, Hewitt asked a 2 layered question: even if Trump didn’t know General Soleimani by name, he should have recognized the name “Al-Quds” force…they’re in the news fairly regularly and it wouldn’t have been a great leap to assume that Soleimani was Iranian, and thus the question was about Iran in particular.

It’s not a deal breaker for anyone, but to go on as if its some great plan cooked up in smoke filled rooms, is a bit much.

Hillary Clinton probably knows every Islamic despot in the world personally and they have her personal email address because she has solicited them to donate to her phony “foundation.” But she is still the most incompetent Secretary of State in history.

Agreed. But not that even if SHE got the question wrong, shouldn’t she have gotten called out on it as well as anyone?

But don’t forget, it isn’t her knowing the players that gets her in trouble, its PLAYING with certain players for either money or influence or…whatever, is the sticking point.

Who cares if Trump doesn’t know who they all are by name? Its only important that they know who HE is when he becomes president.

Which to a lesser degree is the point: If he doesn’t know whom he may be facing, then he won’t know how to deal with them.

Just like you wouldn’t go into a job interview with only half the answers, you shouldn’t go into ANY interview with half of them either. If you do and you get caught out there, depending on the situation, you sometimes you can BS your way out of it, or sometimes your better served saying “I Dont Know”.

To a *small* degree, Trump tried to bluster through, it didn’t work…Okay, move on then! He was okay on *opinion* about Israel and maintain an alliance with them, as well as Egypt, he did okay there…why is he hanging onto a missed swing at the ball?

It wasn’t a strike, it was at best a foul tip.

Salem Inc is just pathetic.

VorDaj on September 4, 2015 at 4:32 PM

So, same time tomorrow then, yes? :o)

BlaxPac on September 4, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Ask any of the candidates the names of the honchos who lead the various Mexican drug cartels currently assailing our border, and in some cases controlling our sovereign territory.

“Sir, do you know who Miguel de la Santana Pancho Villa Rodriguez Martinez El Guzmandado del Fuego is? No? Are you mentally retarded?”

Bishop on September 4, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Trump is making the same argument that Herman Cain made four years ago, albeit Trump does it with more panache and media savvy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmkvtfEEFT0

Trump is right. This is dumb high school pop-quiz BS. Trump is right to call Hewitt out.

And I do *not* like Trump, he’s my very last choice in this field.

BocaJuniors on September 4, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Ask any of the candidates the names of the honchos who lead the various Mexican drug cartels currently assailing our border, and in some cases controlling our sovereign territory.

“Sir, do you know who Miguel de la Santana Pancho Villa Rodriguez Martinez El Guzmandado del Fuego is? No? Are you mentally retarded?”

Bishop on September 4, 2015 at 5:05 PM

Exactly. So dumb.

It’s funny when Hewitt catches a young journalist who writes about world affairs not knowing about Clinton attacking Iraq, but a candidate not knowing the names of leaders of certain terrorist groups…dumb and unproductive.

If studying for a Hugh Hewitt pop quiz was an important qualification for president, then Obama would be a great president.

BocaJuniors on September 4, 2015 at 5:26 PM

Transparently Predictable Political Maneuverings Within MSM and Salem Communications…

UPDATE: As if on cue – Salem Communications, Via Hot Air, publishes a “compare and contrast” article pushing the GOPe Carly Fiorina – as savior angle. Salem Communications owns both Hot Air and Hugh Hewitt. See how they roll?

novaculus on September 4, 2015 at 5:42 PM

The brain-dead Trumpkin cultists don’t care about facts. Their hero is a demigod, and they can’t wait to start rounding the rest of us up.

Adjoran on September 4, 2015 at 6:08 PM

I finally listened to the whole interview with Trump, and now I like Trump more than ever!

The interview begins (for those of you who didn’t have the patience to sit through it) with Hewitt spouting off quickly about what I thought were the “Kurds.” Trump heard the word the same way I did and begins giving his view of the Kurds. “No, no!” interrupts Hewitt, “the Kuds, the Kuds.” Then Hewitt clarifies by saying the Kuds are run by this certain terrible man (and then he gives this long complicated name I had never heard of)

Amazingly, Trump had actually heard of this guy, and began discussing the way this guy had visited Putin and how we shouldn’t allow Putin to take advantage of us and so on, and Hewitt admits that Trump does have this right man, but now he goes and rattles off this whole long list of terrorist leaders in the region and at this point Trump confronts Hewitt and accuses him of playing gotcha. Then he gave a clear, thoughtful explanation of his own practice of delegating authority and he repeated several times, “Believe me, once I’m President, I’ll surround myself with intelligent, informed people and within a day I’ll know more about this subject than you will. Because I’m a very quick learner.” Funny thing, I believe him.

This was definitely not whining, and Trump did nothing to discredit himself. He did the interview exactly as I would have liked him to have done it, discussing the topics and information Hewitt threw at him as long as possible until Hewitt went completely overboard and revealed himself to be the complete hostile partisan that he was. Good for Trump on this one. Another 100% success just as the Ramos confrontation a week or so ago.

Burke on September 4, 2015 at 7:34 PM

I agree with Trump about nonsense substanceless gotcha questions that most anyone with a cell phone can google up in a few moments. In modern society, this sort of knowledge is a somewhat useless gauge of leadership.

Leadership these days is more about knowing how to put together a team that collect relevant information on a topic when it’s needed so it can be processed to make timely, informed and proper decisions.

drfredc on September 4, 2015 at 10:54 PM

I agree with Trump about nonsense substanceless gotcha questions that most anyone with a cell phone can google up in a few moments. In modern society, this sort of knowledge is a somewhat useless gauge of leadership.
Leadership these days is more about knowing how to put together a team that collect relevant information on a topic when it’s needed so it can be processed to make timely, informed and proper decisions.
drfredc on September 4, 2015 at 10:54 PM

“Never memorize something that you can look up.”
― Albert Einstein

whatcat on September 4, 2015 at 11:10 PM

The brain-dead Trumpkin cultists don’t care about facts. Their hero is a demigod, and they can’t wait to start rounding the rest of us up.

Adjoran on September 4, 2015 at 6:08 PM

That would mean work so you needn’t worry.

V7_Sport on September 5, 2015 at 1:09 AM

“Never memorize something that you can look up.”
― Albert Einstein

whatcat on September 4, 2015 at 11:10 PM

Never elect someone who doesn’t have any idea what they are talking about. – Moses

V7_Sport on September 5, 2015 at 1:13 AM

Never elect someone who doesn’t have any idea what they are talking about. – Moses

V7_Sport on September 5, 2015 at 1:13 AM

I see what you mean – that could really lead to problems. – Solomon

whatcat on September 5, 2015 at 3:08 AM

He told MSNBC’s panel that he’d work with Barack Obama and John Kerry’s deal, a pact that is wildly unpopular with voters at the moment and emblematic of Obama’s naïveté on foreign policy.

I can’t believe Trump is willing to buy into this trainwreck of a deal.

The_Jacobite on September 5, 2015 at 10:28 AM

I could go on and on. It has led me to conclude that even if Trump did win the Presidency, and even if he really did intend on fulfilling his promises, Trump would still end up helpless because he can’t help but make enemies of those that ought to be his allies.

Sackett on September 4, 2015 at 3:34 PM

A good point.

The_Jacobite on September 5, 2015 at 10:29 AM

Hugh Hewitt and Karly Fiorina are Bushite hacks

Brock Robamney on September 7, 2015 at 3:49 PM