Donald Trump had only been in the presidential race for weeks, but when he famously accused Arizona Sen. [crscore]John McCain[/crscore], a prisoner of war during Vietnam, of not being heroic, commentators predicted his time as a frontrunner would soon be over.
“Apologize for this pronto,” Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tweeted. “Otherwise beginning of end.”
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) July 18, 2015
Likewise, Jonah Goldberg of National Review predicted “it’s nonetheless obvious that we will someday soon look back on this as the beginning of the end of Trumpmania.”
But as we all know now, that didn’t happen: Trump is still the undisputed frontrunner for the Republican nomination with less than 70 days before voters in Iowa head to the caucuses.
Since he entered the race in June, there have been numerous examples of Trump provoking a media firestorm by saying something provocative. Time and time again, despite the breathless coverage in the media of these remarks and predictions that he may have done significant damage to his campaign, Trump has survived.
Here are 15 examples:
On illegal immigrants (June): “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”
On illegal immigrants who are rapists (July): “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”
On John McCain’s war record (July): “He’s not a war hero…He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
On giving out [crscore]Lindsey Graham[/crscore]’s phone number (July): “He doesn’t seem like a very bright guy. He actually probably seems to me not as bright as Rick Perry. I think Rick Perry probably is smarter than Lindsey Graham.”
On refusing to pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, during first debate (August): “I will not make the pledge at this time.”
On Megyn Kelly as a debate moderator (August): “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
On Carly Fiorina, in a Rolling Stone interview (September): “Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”
On not challenging anti-Muslim questioner who said he needs to get rid of Muslims (September): “We’re going to be looking at a lot of different things.”
On blaming George W. Bush for 9-11 (October): “When you talk about George Bush, I mean, say what you want, the World Trade Center came down on his time.”
On attacking Ben Carson’s faith (October): “I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about, I just don’t know about.”
On comparing Ben Carson to a child molester (November): “It’s in the book that he’s got a pathological temper. That’s a big problem because you don’t cure that … as an example: child molesting. You don’t cure these people. You don’t cure a child molester. There’s no cure for it. Pathological, there’s no cure for that.”
On questioning voters in the first caucus state who were supporting Ben Carson in the polls (November): “How stupid are the people of Iowa?”
On falsely recalling “thousands” of people celebrating on 9-11 (November): “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down.”
On disruptive protestor at Birmingham, Ala. event (November): “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing. I have a lot of fans, and they were not happy about it. And this was a very obnoxious guy who was a trouble-maker who was looking to make trouble.”
On not ruling out database of Muslims in America (November): “We’re going to have to — we’re going to have to look at a lot of things very closely. We’re going to have to look at the mosques. We’re going to have to look very, very carefully.”