Both of Trump’s more recent controversies sound like the sort of thing a radio host might say. Some listeners might hear him saying Obama created a vacuum filled by ISIS when he pulled out of Iraq or failed to back up his “red line” in Syria; others might hear that ISIS was unleashed by Clinton supporting regime change in Iraq and Libya; others still might hear confirmation of darker, less defensible views, such as a belief that Obama is some sort of clandestine Muslim traitor.
Same with the Second Amendment business. Some might hear a Lee Harvey Oswald joke (though few in conservative talk radio would start bringing up Ted Cruz’s dad), others a “from my cold, dead hands” defense of the right of armed insurrection. Get called into the station manager’s office after a few angry sponsors threaten to pull their ads, however, and you can argue that the transcript says none of these things.
Oddly, an actual radio talk show host tried to convince Trump that perhaps calling Obama and Clinton founders of ISIS was not the best way to make his point. “They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS,” Hugh Hewitt explained. “That’s what I would say.”
Trump would have none of it, but it was clear that his disagreement was not with the substance of what Hewitt was saying to him but with its lack of crowd-pleasing flair. “Everyone’s liking it,” Trump said of his preferred formulation. “I think they’re liking it.”