Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has once again set the Internet on fire – this time with his comments at a rally in Wilmington Tuesday when he made a joke involving Second Amendment supporters and possible Hillary Clinton judicial nominees. Some are even calling it a thinly veiled assassination threat.
But a closer look is revealing about might really be going on.
During a rally at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington Tuesday Trump said, “Hillary wants to abolish, essentially abolish, the Second Amendment. By the way, and if she gets to pick—if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”
In the moments following Trump’s comment Democrats and political pundits jumped on the nominee accusing him of inciting violence against Clinton or her possible nominees.
Some Trump opponents have even said that his comments may have revealed his “disdain” for that portion of his voter base.
An article on Slate says that Trump’s comments “represents the rare instance in which he accidentally let slip the disdain he feels for much of his fan base.”
The site says that by grouping gun rights supporters into the group “Second Amendment People” he was filing them away in his crazy file.
Other political observers say that his use of language here is just another example of the plain way he speaks, not as a politician but as a person.
Trump says that the comment was a political call to action for Second Amendment supporters to keep Clinton out of office in November.
House Speaker Raul Ryan (R-WI) was loathe to discuss Trump’s comment but referred to it as a “joke gone bad” and said that he hopes it will be cleared up quickly.
Whatever Trump’s intention with the statement was, he has once again captured the news cycle with a single sentence, keeping his name at the top of all the major news outlets across the nation – and that may have been the plan all along.
Peter Weber, senior editor for The Week, in an interview with the radio show What Matters in North Carolina, told host Mark Shiver “It’s hard to believe, after some things in the last year and a half, it’s hard to imaging that he’s doing it on accident.”
Weber said that for the last few months Trump has been in the news, on TV and all over the Internet in a way that other candidates have not been able to achieve.
“Everything Donald Trump says every day is new, it’s news,” Weber said.
Weber said that Trump has been able keep his name in the news, even if it has not been positive coverage, but if the old adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity is true, then Trump is doing very well.
“I don’t know if there is a method to it,” Weber said. “I do know when you look at him objectively, he loves the crowd, he loves going on TV, he loves his Twitter account.”
Weber said that, with comments like his quip in Wilmington, Trump’s campaign may be going off the rails, and the incident seems to be another misstep following the convention, working to erase his post-convention bounce in the polls.
The most recent polls show Clinton with an average 7.7 percent lead over Trump with three months to go until Election Day. But with so much time left, and the teased possibility of an October Surprise for Clinton the path to the White House for Trump is still open.
“I think he is in for the long haul,” Weber said. “He’s put a lot of effort into this, he’s put a lot of time – he could win.”