Donald-Trump-Frank-Lutz“The Donald” finally went too far.

Yesterday at The Family Leadership Summit in Ames, IA, he faced some tough questions from event “host” Frank Luntz, and essentially self-destructed.

Yes, I know, he still connected with the crowd on a point or two, but it simply doesn’t matter. If this guy had any credibility at all it was destroyed yesterday. His campaign will collapse, sooner now rather than later.

Trump is an egomaniac that really and truly has no idea what it means to carefully make a statement. Caveats? Qualifiers? Nuance? These are things that don’t seem to exist for him. And if you cross him, he’ll go after you with a vengeance. Apologize? You gotta be kidding. For what? Everything he says is right.

We saw all this on display yesterday. After weeks of criticism about remarks he had made (and continued to defend) about illegal immigrants, Trump was asked by Luntz if he (Trump) hadn’t gone too far by calling “war hero” John McCain a dummy. Trump made a good case for what motivated him to say what he had said, but, as usual, he didn’t possess the discretion to stop there. He asserted McCain was a war hero merely on the ground that he had been captured. “I like people who weren’t captured,” he said. He went on to mention (again) that McCain graduated at the bottom of his class at Annapolis.

One doesn’t have to be a McCain apologist to recognize that these remarks are unnecessary cheap shots aimed far below the belt. This is who Trump is: He’s always right, he never backs down, and he’ll play dirty in a New York minute if you get in his way.

There can be no doubt that Trump says things that resonate with many people. When he happens to be right, he’ll say things boldly and plainly in a way that people find refreshing. An example of that came yesterday when he said “I think we are run by a group of incompetent people, and they’re destroying our country.” The crowd cheered that remark lustily, and, in my view, rightly so. When he gets it wrong, however, as he did with his unqualified, wildly exaggerated claims about illegal immigrants from Mexico, he goes from being a blunt populist of sorts to looking like a brainless demagogue, and the more blow-back he receives the more entrenched he becomes.

See his discussion with Frank Lutz about McCain here or below:

He’s also taken a lot of criticism since yesterday for his answers about matters of faith and forgiveness, and his answers clearly disappointed Evangelicals. I’m less inclined to criticize Trump on this score, not because I have any sympathy for his answers (they were abysmal), but because I had no expectations of him on this subject. If there are people that actually expected this guy to make an evangelical profession of faith in Jesus Christ yesterday, I’m at a loss to know what gave them the idea that was even a possibility. Actually, I have to give Trump credit for not attempting to say something that perhaps people wanted to hear. Instead, from what I can gather, he told them where he was really at. It’s a bad place, granted, but it appears he was at least being honest.

Watch his answer to “have you asked God forgiveness?” here or below:

There’s a part of me that will miss him when he’s gone. For awhile, he gave this presidential race some much needed comic relief, and I enjoyed it immensely. But things have turned ugly, and I don’t find him particularly amusing anymore.

We have some big problems in this country, and, in the beginning, Trump identified some of those problems and talked about them in a straightforward way that ordinary people understood and agreed with. Now he’s simply hurting any opportunity for meaningful dialogue on some of these problems that we desperately need to solve.

Goodnight, Donald. You’re fired.

Extra: See Donald Trump’s contentious press conference after his appearance at The FAMiLY Leadership Summit here or below:

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