Tuesday, May 14, 2024

After Trump praises fictional serial killer Hannibel Lecter and confuses Jimmy Carter with tennis great Jimmy Connors, political observers are concerned that Trump might have some form of brain impairment

Donald Trump drops verbal gaffes on New Jersey crowd

After Donald Trump had a recent weekend filled with verbal train wrecks, political observers are starting to wonder if there is something wrong with the former president. And we are not talking about the fact Trump already has proven he is temperamentally and intellectually unfit to be president. No, the question this time is much bigger than that: Is something wrong with Trump's brain?

Many of those concerns were expressed before Trump went off the rails this past weekend during a rally in New Jersey. Trump made so many bizarre and nonsensical statements during a recent swing through Virginia and North Carolina that observers wondered if he was impaired, as in having some type of brain disorder. Trump's word salad involved so many inexplicable and extreme statements The New Republic (TNR) decided its readers probably needed help keeping up with it all. Help came in the form of an article titled "Lost Track of Trump’s Weekend Verbal Gaffes? Here’s a Full List; Donald Trump is saying so many incomprehensible things it’s getting near impossible to keep track. Writes reporter Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling:

Donald Trump does not seem OK. The GOP front-runner was alarmingly loose-lipped during back-to-back campaign rallies in Richmond, Virginia, and Greensboro, North Carolina over the May 4 weekend. On that Saturday, during which he admitted to hoarding classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, framed President Joe Biden as a national enemy, threw around the nuclear word, and confused the man currently in the White House for Trump's old nemesis, former President Barack Obama. Trump said:

“Shortly after we win the presidency, I will have the horrible war between Russia and Ukraine settled. I know them both very well, and we will restore peace through strength. Get that war settled. It’s a bad war. And Putin has so little respect for Obama that he’s starting to throw around the nuclear word. You heard that. Nuclear. He’s starting to talk nuclear weapons today,” Trump said in Virginia, drawing stunned silence from his typically uproarious crowd.

It wasn’t the first time Trump has confused the two on the campaign trail, transparently attempting to cover up the blatant memory lapses by claiming that “Obama is running the show.” But if that wasn’t enough, Trump went on to try to take credit for Veterans Choice, which was passed in 2014 under Obama.

Trump also mistook Argentina for a person, calling MAGA the “greatest movement … maybe in the history of any country, even Argentina.”

“You know, Argentina, great guy. He’s a big Trump guy. He loves Trump. I love him because he loves Trump. Anybody that loves me. I like them,” Trump said.

As Trump became increasingly flustered and overwhelmed, he couldn’t figure out how to say “Venezuela” and repeatedly short-circuited.

Things weren't any better this past weekend (May 11-12) in Wildwood, N.J., when Trump praised fictional serial killer Hannibel Lecter and confused former president Jimmy Carter with tennis great Jimmy Connors. From a report at Yahoo! News under the headline "'Jaw Dropped in Horror: Trump's praise of fictional serial killer has people worried":

Donald Trump over the weekend went on a bizarre tangent about fictional serial killer Hannibal Lecter as he tried to demonize undocumented immigrants.

The former president claimed other countries are “emptying out” their jails and mental institutions and sending those people over the border.

Then he took a turn.

“‘Silence of the Lambs’!” he said at a rally in New Jersey on Saturday. “Has anyone ever seen ‘The Silence of the Lambs’?”

He was referring to the 1991 horror film, based on the novel of the same name, about fictional serial killer/cannibal Hannibal Lecter, a role that won Anthony Hopkins an Oscar.

“The late, great Hannibal Lecter is a wonderful man. He oftentimes would have a friend for dinner,” Trump said, adding:

Remember the last scene? “Excuse me, I’m about to have a friend for dinner” as this poor doctor walked by. “I’m about to have a friend for dinner.” But Hannibal Lecter. Congratulations! The late, great Hannibal Lecter. We have people that are being released into our country that we don’t want in our country, and they’re coming in totally unchecked, totally unvetted, and we can’t let this happen. They’re destroying our country.

Trump has occasionally name-checked Hannibal Lecter at his rallies, although his latest rambling appearance ― which included a reference to “President Jimmy Connors” (Carter); attacks on windmills and electric cars; and an appearance by registered sex offender and football great Lawrence Taylor, who gave Trump his endorsement ― fired up his critics on social media.

One stunned observer said: "If President Biden spent a bunch of time praising Hannibal Lecter during the same speech in which he confused Jimmy Connors for President Jimmy Carter, the press would STILL be talking about it."

This is from a Newsweek report on the New Jersey event under the headline "Donald Trump Suffers Gaffe-Heavy Weekend?. Writes Alia Shoaib:

Former President Donald Trump is known for his off-the-cuff rally speeches that grab headlines.

But his loose, improvisational style reached new levels on Saturday, as he made a series of bizarre comments and gaffes at a rally in Wildwood, New Jersey, in which he mixed up the names of several people and places, and riffed about how much he liked the fictional cannibal Hannibal Lecter.

"The late, great Hannibal Lecter. He's a wonderful man," Trump said about the serial killer protagonist from The Silence of the Lambs.

"Congratulations, the late, great Hannibal Lecter. We have people that are being released into our country that we don't want in our country," Trump said, randomly segueing into speaking about immigration.

At another point in the rally, Trump appeared to confuse Beijing with Taiwan, the self-governing island that China says it will eventually reunify with the mainland. Trump said: "If you take a look at President Xi of China, talking about Beijing—now they've got ships circling, they have planes—they're never doing anything."

He also accidentally called former President Jimmy Carter "Jimmy Connors."

And just minutes into the rally, Trump started talking about a "very good" hot dog he had just eaten, before recounting conversations he'd had with famed singers Frank Sinatra and Luciano Pavarotti about food.

"Frank Sinatra told me a long time ago, 'never eat before you perform.' I said, 'I'm not performing, I'm a politician if you can believe it, I hate to be called a politician,'" Trump said.

Sinatra died in 1998, much before Trump entered politics.

As for Trump's swing through Virginia and North Carolina, TNR's Ellie Quinlan Houghtaling  shows why a scorecard is needed to keep up with all of the verbal oddities

While in North Carolina, Trump aligned himself with the January 6 rioters, hailing them as “hostages,” while pegging himself as “a proud political dissident” and “a public enemy of a rogue regime.”

And, despite awaiting trial in relation to his efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results, Trump condemned President Joe Biden as “the real threat to democracy.”

“Biden’s conduct on our border is by any definition a conspiracy to overthrow the United States of America,” he said in Greensboro. “Biden and his accomplices want to collapse the American system, nullify the will of the actual American voters, and establish a new base of power that gives them control for generations.”

Other glitches included mistaking a poll for a legislative bill, calling the country the “United Stage” and a “nation that’s no longer respectered,” and just generally making an uncanny assortment of noises for a candidate for the most powerful office in the world: “Diiiiing, boom. This is me, [unintelligible] bing!”

Ahead of the weekend, Trump’s campaign signaled that it had no intention of reeling in the GOP front-runner’s alarming rhetoric.

“Donald Trump is Donald Trump. That’s not going to change. Our job is not to remake Donald Trump,” senior campaign adviser Chris LaCivita told the Associated Press.

Trump spokesman Steven Cheung added that Americans “deserve a president who will not sugarcoat what’s happening in the world.”

And Biden’s campaign appears ready to rely on that.

“Donald Trump is still Donald Trump—the same extreme, dangerous candidate voters rejected in 2020, and they’ll reject him again this November regardless of the team he has around him,” said Biden spokesman Kevin Munoz.

Trump has worked to distance himself from the issue of age, slamming Biden for similar verbal gaffes despite joining the 81-year-old as one of the oldest presidential candidates in U.S. history.

Over the last few months, Trump has repeatedly prided himself on “acing” a dementia test, insisted that immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border “don’t speak languages,” claimed that he would stop banks from “debanking” Americans, mixed up former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and his only remaining rival in the GOP race, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, and described his plan for America’s missile defense system by going, “Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.… Boom. OK. Missile launch. Woosh. Boom.”

He also appeared with mysterious, unexplained red sores on his hands that political commentators couldn’t help but notice looked an awful lot like syphilis.

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