Donald Trump isn’t exactly a master of understatement, and his campaign has more often stepped all over gaffes from Hillary Clinton rather than let them play out. Yesterday, though, both Trump and his team kept themselves from providing any distractions to the story of Hillary’s collapse yesterday at the 9/11 memorial service in New York. Today’s another day, but Trump still treads somewhat cautiously, wishing Hillary a full recovery on Fox and Friends … while pointing out that it’s not entirely clear yet what the issue actually is:
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) September 12, 2016
“I hope she gets well soon. I don’t know what’s going on,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.”
“Like you, I see what I see…Something’s going on but I just hope she gets well and gets back on the trail and we’ll be seeing her at the debate.”
Give credit where due. Trump could have spent the segment crowing I told you so about concerns over Hillary’s health, and doing a tapdance on media bias as an encore. Yesterday’s events not only vindicated those questions, they raised entirely new issues related to them. For one thing, Hillary got diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday, and yet the campaign and the media continued to sneer at any suggestion that Hillary suffered from more than allergies. Would this have ever come out if Hillary hadn’t collapsed in public, and on video? Or would Team Hillary and the media still be sneering?
Here’s another question: Should a 69-year-old woman with a pneumonia diagnosis that collapses be taken to an apartment — or to an emergency room? Hillary popped out with a wave and a hug a couple of hours later to somehow prove that she’s healthy enough to continue, but then a couple of hours later cancelled her schedule over the next two days. The decision to skip the hospital appears more to be political than medical, and raises questions about judgment — not just Hillary’s, but those of the team around her.
Instead of hammering on those himself, Trump wisely chose to leave that space open to see what fills it. That vacuum prompted a number of ludicrous defenses of Hillary yesterday — some from partisans, and some not so much — that claimed superhuman status for the Democratic nominee for maintaining a full schedule despite having pneumonia. To the rest of us, it looked like stupidity rather than superhuman strength, almost certainly causing her collapse, and made her defenders look like Baghdad Bobs. And that stupidity is especially suspicious given all of the lies told over the last week about Hillary’s health, too.
It’s time for both candidates to release their full medical records. That’s a lot more important now than tax returns in an election where voters have to choose between a 70-year-old tycoon and a 69-year-old woman who just collapsed on the streets of New York City. Trump says he’ll release his medical records “soon,” but “soon” has to be now. He has an opportunity to put Hillary Clinton’s back to the wall. So far he’s making all the right moves; let’s see if Trump can follow through all the way.