We’re down to less than 36 hours before Donald Trump takes over the venerable bastion of progressive humor, Saturday Night Live, and events couldn’t be unfolding any better. His critics are getting a ton of media coverage for their protests, which means just one thing to Trump: bigger ratings. It doesn’t hurt that the groups protesting tried hiding behind children in order to launch a profanity-laced diatribe against him. Trump told Maria Bartiromo that the video was a “disgrace,” and that it has already backfired on his critics:
“Anybody who would do an ad like that is stupid, to be honest,” the outspoken billionaire added. “They’re stupid people who would do an ad like that.”
Trump insisted that the controversial spot is helping, not hurting, his 2016 White House run.
“People are actually going wild about it and saying, ‘We’re going to support Trump now,’” he told host Maria Bartiromo.
“I’m doing great with Hispanics and I am going to win Hispanics because they know I’m going to bring back jobs from lots of places, including India and China,” Trump added.
The “doing great with the [fill in the blank demo]” argument is a boilerplate Trump response, not meant to be taken seriously. His other point is spot-on, however, as anyone familiar with the Streisand Effect would predict. Trump is giving SNL its best buzz in months, if not years, and lots of people will tune in just to see if the cast takes veiled (and not-so-veiled) shots at their guest. Trump’s been in show business long enough to know that a significant portion of this will be trainwreck theater, and don’t think for a moment that he’s not planning for it, too. In other words, it’s win-win, baby.
So yes, the entire protest will likely backfire, if it’s not already doing so. Deport Racism is doubling down on failure, however, with this desperation measure:
“NBC’s refusal to drop Trump has put us in the position of dropping $5,000 of cold hard cash to anyone who will yell out ‘Trump is a racist’ during the live broadcast of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ said Santiago Cejudo, an organizer for the Deport Racism PAC, on Wednesday.
“We’re hoping the $5,000 will help people on set or in the studio audience find the bravery to speak out loudly and help focus the national conversation on that we need to deport racism, not people,” he added.
“It’s 2016, and Trump needs to hear that you can’t win the White House without the brown vote.”
So … the strategy is to have someone without a microphone yell out and get ejected, while no one watching on television will know exactly what was being said? Er … suuuuure. That’s worse than the hey hey ho ho chants employed by the demonstrators this week outside of NBC’s studios.
Meanwhile, a small ray of unity opened up on the campaign trail between Marco Rubio and Donald Trump on this nontroversy. The conversation on Fox and Friends doesn’t start out that way — Rubio hits Trump for hypocrisy over his attacks on the use of a Florida GOP credit card — but Rubio comes to Trump’s defense when the subject of his SNL guest-hosting gig comes up. Rubio says he’d do it, too, if he was asked, but doubted that he’d have the time, and those who don’t like Trump’s appearance should just choose to watch something else instead.
When it comes to the Deport Racism PAC protest video, though, Rubio rips it — and the parents who allowed their children to be exploited in it:
“As a father, it is a disgusting video,” he said of the clip released Wednesday by the Deport Racism PAC.
“What kind of parent lets their children go on a video like that and use that kind of profanity?” Rubio asked hosts Steve Doocy and Elizabeth Hasselbeck on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”
“They’re not bringing people to their side — they’re turning people off,” he added. “People look at that and say, ‘these people are grotesque.’ ”
Rubio, who is Cuban American, said Deport Racism’s video paints a false picture of how Hispanics view illegal immigration.
“By the way, they’re creating this image where unless you’re in favor of illegal immigration, you’re anti-Hispanic,” he said. “That’s absurd.”
“There are millions of Hispanics who are waiting to come here legally and whose family members have been waiting for 10 years,” the GOP presidential candidate added. “They are upset that someone who came here illegally can come here faster and cheaper.”