Stephen Moore of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity nails it at the American Spectator:
What is maddening about the Clinton and Trump gaffes is the reaction by the brain trusts of their respective parties. When Hillary promised to lay off tens of thousands of coal miners, the left knew she had stepped in it. But did you hear Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid denounce her as an an out of control imbecile who has just threatened the jobs of middle class union workers?
Did they clamor that one more of these unforced errors and she would be “disqualified” from the race? Did they rush on MSNBC and CNN and demand a retraction?
Of course, no. No. And No. Never. They aren’t stupid. Like the worker bees, they did everything to protect the queen bee. They worked together to change the subject, denounce Trump, reassure voters that Hillary really does care about working class people. She’s even met some.
Nearly everyone dutifully parroted the party line: what Hillary really meant to say was blah, blah, blah.
That’s called damage control.
The Republicans are, by contrast, pathetic wimps. They are so terrified of and traumatized by the “racist” charge, that they threw the GOP nominee under the bus so that the media wouldn’t label them bigots too. They foolishly piled on to the media and Democratic attack. The media didn’t have to call on Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton to excoriate Trump. House Speaker Paul Ryan lashed out at Trump for his “racist comment.” Marco Rubio and others did the same. Jeb Bush called for Trump to “retract” his comments.
They seemed to be saying: see how racially progressive I am. I just denounced Donald Trump. He’s the Republican racist, not me. That’s statesmanship for you.
Question: Does anyone believe that this strategy will bring a stampede of black and Latino voters into the party? Do they think this will get the media off their back?
Amen. All they had to do was say something along the lines of, “I believe Mr. Trump was merely referencing Judge Curiel’s membership in an organization with a political agenda against him that they themselves frame as advocacy of their Hispanic identity, and he simply chose his words poorly.”
Just say that, and voila! You’ve criticized Trump and put his comments in perspective without giving hundreds of reporters an excuse to write headlines about you advocating the election of somebody you just called racist.
This is not complicated, Speaker Ryan. Not complicated at all. Donald Trump is horribly wrong about a great many things, but one of his favorite lines is dead right: “our leaders are stupid.”