Recently Donald Trump gave a speech (from a teleprompter — even though he’s frequently mocked others for doing so) where he expressed “regret” over saying and doing some of the things he’s said and done during his campaign.
In case you missed it, this is what Trump said during a speech on Thursday evening:
Sometimes, in the heat of debate, and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that, and believe it or not I regret it. I do regret it particularly where it may have caused personal pain.
Again, it’s important to note that he said these things while speaking from a teleprompter. Meanwhile, everything vile, racist and offensive he’s said during his campaign came directly from him — not a speechwriter.
A person would have to be woefully and ridiculously naive to believe Trump regrets anything he’s said or done. This is someone who, when given the opportunity to apologize for the long list of horrible comments he’s made, usually doubled-down on whatever it was that he said.
So, it’s absurd for anyone to believe that Trump truly feels regret.
However, on Friday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign put out an absolutely flawless response to Trump’s obviously fake admission of regret:
Donald Trump literally started his campaign by insulting people. He has continued to do so through each of the 428 days from then until now, without shame or regret. We learned tonight that his speechwriter and teleprompter knows he has much for which he should apologize. But that apology tonight is simply a well-written phrase until he tells us which of his many offensive, bullying and divisive comments he regrets—and changes his tune altogether.
They also included links to various articles detailing the many insulting and offensive things Trump has said, including the GOP presidential candidate saying “I don’t regret anything” when he was asked if he regretted attacking the Khans (a Gold Star family), and saying “I don’t apologize” when he was asked about his comments calling most Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals.
What I loved about this response is it follows a belief I have about any sort of apology. Anyone can apologize, but it comes down to two things:
- Are they apologizing because they truly feel remorse for something they’ve said or done to someone else? – or –
- Are they apologizing because they’re sorry that they’re dealing with the negative repercussions of the behavior for which they’re apologizing?
Clearly, what Trump “regrets” is that his behavior is catching up to him and it’s hurting him in the polls. Trust me, based on his history, there’s nothing to suggest that Donald Trump is someone who feels regret or remorse for anything he’s done to anyone else.
Think about it: He developed a reality show based upon having people kiss his ass, while often having to compete in ridiculous challenges, where the “payoff” to the show was him “firing” people.
Another way to put that is, Trump was the “star” of a reality TV show based upon people feeding his ego, often humiliating themselves with the big moment of the show being the moment where he got to say “You’re fired!” to someone.
Talk about a show centered completely around feeding his own bloated ego.
Furthermore, as someone who’s often bragged about not needing a teleprompter to give a speech, if he were truly sorry for some of the things he’s said and done, he wouldn’t have needed to read an apology written by someone else.
But Clinton’s campaign really hit the nail on the head when they said they’d like Trump to tell people what, exactly, he regrets saying and why. Because up until this point, he’s flat-out refused to apologize for anything, even as he’s faced incredible scrutiny from the media and his own party for refusing to do so.
Though it all goes back to what I said earlier. If you want to support Donald Trump, that’s fine. But you have to be naive to the point of utter incompetence to truly believe that he regrets saying or doing anything he’s said or done during his campaign. And even if there’s the slightest bit of regret, it’s only because it hurt him in the polls — not because he feels genuine remorse for saying something offensive.