You hear this theory floated jokingly by conservative #NeverTrumpers now and again, but no one really believes it. (I think. I hope.) And when you do hear it, it’s more of an “If Trump were trying to lose to the Clintons, what would he be doing differently right now?” rhetorical point, not a semi-serious accusation.
Dem Rep. Marcy Kaptur appears to be semi-serious. And the funny thing is, she seems to mean this as much as a criticism of the Clintons than of Trump.
Some conservative Republicans disgusted by Donald Trump’s offensive, scorched-earth campaign have long suspected their party’s nominee to be secretly in league with his erstwhile friends Bill and Hillary Clinton. They wonder whether Bill Clinton and Trump worked out an agreement – perhaps during the course of that “casual” phone call between the two last May – designed to hand Hillary Clinton the White House while tarnishing the GOP’s brand for a generation…
“There are some theories on the Internet that this is Bill Clinton’s best political deal,” says Marcy Kaptur, the veteran Democratic congresswoman from Ohio and the House’s longest-serving female lawmaker, “that he and Donald are buddies, and they have a lot of similar friends in New York, and he has masterfully selected a friend who maybe by October will say, ‘You know, this is very boring. And I’m going to get out.’”
“Do I believe it 100 percent, do I believe it 2 percent? You know, you really wonder,” Kaptur says.
Suggesting that your party’s nominee might’ve made a backroom deal with the devil isn’t part of the normal course of business for a run-of-the-mill Democratic lawmaker. But Kaptur has tussled with the Clintons before.
That’s the weak form of Trump Trutherism; the strong form is that Trump is some sort of Kremlin-backed Manchurian candidate. You can easily tell that’s false, though: If he were Putin’s boy, he’d have much more money to pay for an effective organization. As for Kaptur, she’s been “feeling the Bern” for months and still hasn’t endorsed Hillary despite the fact that Clinton has clinched. I think her Trump Trutherism springs less from antipathy to Trump than from her suspicions as a far lefty that the all-powerful Clinton machine has rigged everything in Hillary’s favor, including the general election. Still, it’s bizarre to see a member of Congress kinda sorta entertaining this conspiracy. I wonder if there are any Republican Trump Truthers on the other side. Given the prevalence of this suspicion among grassroots anti-Trump conservatives, it’s surprising Cruz or Rubio never floated the possibility publicly, especially when Marco was doing his Don Rickles routine about Trump’s supposedly tiny, tiny hands.
Speaking of campaign money, Trump will host a fundraiser in Arizona tomorrow at the same house where Barry Goldwater launched his 1964 campaign. Mrs Goldwater’s reaction: “Ugh or yuck,” which I guess is the sort of thing you’d say about a Clinton plant. Trump does lead in Arizona according to one private poll recently taken there, but by just three points, which is within the margin of error. The latest national poll, from Rasmussen, has him doing better against Clinton than that gruesome Bloomberg poll from a few days ago that had him down 12, but that’s due less to his numbers having improved than Hillary’s numbers looking more modest. Bloomberg had him at 37 while Rasmussen has him at 39; Hillary’s at 49 versus 44 percent in the two polls, respectively. The notable thing about Rasmussen’s survey is that it was conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, days after Orlando was attacked and the candidates began to react. Trump actually lost a point to Clinton between this poll and Rasmussen’s last one taken last week; his support among Republicans was flat at 73 percent in both polls whereas Hillary jumped 10 points to 83 percent among Democrats. That may have been due to her finishing off Sanders in California and emerging as presumptive nominee, not to her and Trump’s responses to Orlando. But if you’re looking for evidence that Trump’s going to get a bounce after a major jihadi strike, you’re still looking.