While his supporters will deny it, Donald Trump’s rise to rock star status among millions of Republican voters has been an absolute nightmare for the party. I can guarantee you that if most Republicans could travel back in time to last summer, they would focus all of their attention on doing whatever they could to take down Trump before he became the party’s overwhelming frontrunner and eventual presidential nominee.
Unfortunately for the GOP, time travel does not exist and they waited entirely too long to go after Trump. That means they’re stuck with him — which also means we all get to watch Republicans desperately try to convince themselves, and the American people, that he should be our next president.
For instance, the disastrous interview Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) gave Sunday morning on Meet the Press.
Host Chuck Todd pressed the Arkansas senator about his views, particularly about the Middle East, pointing out that his views are actually somewhat more closely aligned with Hillary Clinton as opposed to Trump.
“Well, I can assure you that I’m not very close to Hillary Clinton. I think she’s disqualified herself from commander-in-chief by her cavalier attitude towards our nation’s secrecy laws. And she has been responsible for many of the worst decisions of the Obama administration,” Cotton said. “She was literally present when we pressed the reset button with Russia just a few months after Russia had invaded Georgia. In 2011, when our commanders said they needed more troops in Iraq and when every Iraqi leader wanted a new agreement to keep those troops there, she couldn’t achieve that even though she was secretary of state.”
That’s when things got interesting as Todd pressed Cotton to make the case as to why people should support Trump, not just why they shouldn’t vote for Clinton:
Todd: Okay, fine, but you just gave the case against Clinton. What’s the case for Trump? You just did a whole speech, by the way, earlier this weekend. You didn’t even mention his name. You laid out a strong case against her. But you did not make a case for him. Make the case for him.
Cotton: Well, Chuck, the case against Hillary Clinton’s judgment in foreign policy is very strong to say nothing of her support for Obamacare or immigration or the fact that she would…
Todd: Okay, but what’s the case for Donald Trump? I understand the case against Hillary Clinton. What’s the case for Donald Trump?
Cotton: Donald Trump can ultimately make the case for himself. But Donald Trump, like most Americans, like most Republicans, believes in protecting America’s core national interests.
Todd: You don’t come across as an enthusiastic Trump supporter. Is that fair?”
Cotton: Maybe I don’t just demonstrate enthusiasm much in life, Chuck, especially in such dangerous times as these.
Look, I know as a writer I use hyperbole a lot to emphasize a point I might be trying to make, but I’m not exaggerating at all right now when I say this interview was an absolute disaster for Donald Trump. Not only was Cotton obviously trying to avoid saying much of anything positive about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, but he couldn’t seem to cite any actual reason why people should vote for Trump. Every time Todd pushed him, all he did was pivot to attacks against Hillary Clinton.
Then when Todd called him out for seeming to be less than enthusiastic about backing Trump — Cotton didn’t correct him. All he did was try to spin his answer in a way where he technically didn’t admit Todd was right, but he also never actually said that the Meet the Press host was wrong, either.
This was about as bad an interview for Donald Trump as you’ll see. While it might not matter a great deal in the grand scheme of things, this is just another example (in a growing list of them) where someone from the Republican party was asked to defend Donald Trump, and they either couldn’t do it — or simply refused to do so.
Watch the interview below via NBC News: