When winging it doesn't work, Trump just whines

For someone who prides himself on being the bold truth-teller, Trump has a penchant for trying to litigate his way out of his controversial statements. When he said a few weeks ago that John McCain wasn’t a war hero, he backtracked and tried to prove that he hadn’t said what he obviously had.

If “never complain, never explain” is a good rule of life, Trump is 0 for 2.

His typical response to any controversy is to boast of his own exceptional greatness — the Fox debate would have been nothing without him, the other candidates told him afterward that he had won, etc. — and to call anyone who has crossed him a loser. If Trump is aware of the fact that there is such a thing as a witty put-down, he is certainly not capable of summoning one.

If he didn’t want to be wrong-footed on the biggest stage of the campaign so far, he could have thought about what questions he might have been asked and about possible answers. This is what candidates have done before debates since time immemorial. Trump was satisfied with Plan B: to wing it and, when it didn’t go to his liking, whine like a spoiled child who didn’t get a pony for his birthday.