As far as the GOP is concerned, the primaries are over. Donald Trump is all but the official nominee of the Republican Party, having vanquished his last two foes, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, in a landslide victory in the Hoosier State. On this Flashback Friday, let’s take some time to remember exactly how we reached the point where a wealthy dolt like Trump is a hair’s breadth away from the Oval Office. We can start off with Donald Trump’s presidential announcement speech on June 16, 2015.
Trump laid the groundwork for his increasingly xenophobic positions by scapegoating the Mexicans and the Chinese. “Our country is in serious trouble,” he intoned. “We don’t have victories anymore. We used to have victories, but we don’t have ’em. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us. I beat China all the time. All the time.”
On Mexico Trump’s rhetoric became even more heated, as he told his audience that “they are not our friend”and that our country “has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.” He infamously claimed that “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems. And they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” He added that he “speak[s] to border guards” who tell him “what we’re getting.”
He continued by speculating that people who cross at the southern border might even be from the Middle East. Maybe. He didn’t know, but, as he assured his fans, no one else knew either.
“Islamic terrorism is eating up large portions of the Middle East,” he warned, adding that the United States was wrong to not seize Iraq’s oil supply. “They just built a hotel in Syria. Can you believe this?” he asked. “They built a hotel. When I have to build a hotel I pay interest, they don’t have to pay interest, because they took the oil that when we left Iraq I said we should’ve taken.”
Trump concluded his speech by listing the “various things” he would do “very quickly,” including repealing and replacing the “big lie” of Obamacare, and building a “great wall” along the southern border which he would, somehow, make Mexico foot the bill for.
As a bonus, here’s Donald Trump’s infamous reaction to the San Bernardino terrorist attack in which he announced his support for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” He cited bogus statistics by the Center for Security Policy, an anti-Muslim hate group, in justifying his proposed ban.