GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday that he will strongly defend himself from critics, regardless of gender.-- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, August 9, 2015, during an interview with NBC News' Chuck Todd, as related by an article in The Hill by Mark Hensch.
Trump rejected claims that he treats females who disagree with him unfairly.
“When I’m attacked, I fight back,” Trump told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“I was attacked very viciously by those women,” he said of female opponents his detractors say he has demeaned.
“What they said about me is far worse than what I said about them,” Trump added. “Am I allowed to defend myself? I want to get back to the country. We have such problems.”
Comment: First, this is "get tough and hit back" rhetoric. Second, Trump is claiming to be a victim – but not a perpetrator – of invective, which is the "only my opponents" caricature. Finally, Trump is saying that the criticisms of him are a distraction from the issues America faces.
On the day of the first Republican presidential debate, Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday she's often left in a "state of disbelief" from what she hears from some of her 2016 rivals.-- Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, August 6, 2015, from an Associated Press story by Michael R. Blood.
Speaking in Los Angeles, where she met with home-care aides who often struggle with lower wages and difficult working conditions, Clinton expressed dismay with those who would oppose improvements for those workers, including better training and bigger paychecks.
"When people in the political world … oppose these programs, I would like them to just walk in your shoes for a week," she told a group of workers seated around her, who provide in-home care for the elderly, sick and disabled.
"We've got people, well let's just say we've got people running for president, who I don't know what world they live in. I don't understand it. It's truly amazing to me," the front-runner for the Democratic nomination said.
"I'm constantly in a state of disbelief," she added. "They said what?"
Comment: Clinton is saying that some of the Republican presidential candidates are divorced from reality.
"We need a nominee who is going to throw every punch, not pull punches, and someone who cannot stumble before he even gets into the ring."-- Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina, August 6, 2015.
Comment: This is violent rhetoric of the "get tough and hit back" sort.
CALLER: Well, first of all, he can't be bought, but he is not afraid to punch the media back in the mouth, and that's what a lot of people like about Donald Trump. He'll punch 'em in the mouth.-- Pundit Rush Limbaugh, August 6, 2015, speaking with a caller, Jay in Columbia, SC. Their remarks concerned Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and the GOP debate taking place later that day.
LIMBAUGH: And what if he doesn't do it tonight? You know, we've heard the observation that he's in a different mold now, a different mode. In the past week he's more presidential; he hasn't been calling anybody names. What happens if an opportunity like you want pops up tonight? What if Donald Trump does not do something like that? Are you gonna be disappointed and think, "Oh, no. Oh, no. Trump's not who he is, either." You gonna get that far down with it?
CALLER: I'll be a little surprised if he doesn't do it, but how do you treat bullies, Rush? You punch 'em twice as hard as what they punch you, right? That's how you get the respect. Well, that's what Trump did to the media person out there. I don't know where he was, but he said, "No, no, no. You're done. You're done," and he didn't take any further questions from them. The media, I think, is a little afraid of Trump. They're afraid to challenge him now 'cause he knows they will embarrass them. He will punch them right in the mouth, and they know it. That's how you treat bullies. You punch 'em back five times as hard as what they come after you.
LIMBAUGH: I'll tell you what: I'm sure you have people standing up there cheering with this. I don't doubt it all.
Comment: This is violent rhetoric of the "get tough and hit back" sort.
There is no longer a Republican center-right that would have no problem raising the gas tax for something as fundamental as infrastructure. Sure, there are center-right candidates — like Jeb Bush and John Kasich. But can they run, win and govern from the center-right when the base of their party and so many of its billionaire donors reflect the angry anti-science, anti-tax, anti-government, anti-minorities, anti-gay rights and anti-immigration views of the Tea Party and its media enforcer, Fox News?-- Thomas Friedman, August 5, 2015.
Comment: Friedman is demonizing the base of the Republican Party, saying they're anti-science and bigoted.
"I recognize that resorting to force may be tempting in the face of the rhetoric and behavior that emanates from parts of Iran. It is offensive. It is incendiary. We do take it seriously. But superpowers should not act impulsively in response to taunts, or even provocations that can be addressed short of war. Just because Iranian hardliners chant “Death to America” does not mean that that’s what all Iranians believe. (Applause.) In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. (Laughter and applause.)"-- President Barack Obama, August 5, 2015, speaking on the proposed deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Comment: First, Obama is knocking over a straw man: who has ever said that all Iranians want "Death to America"? Rather, the concern is that Iran's rulers chant it, or at the very least allow and encourage others to do so. Second, Obama is demonizing Republican opponents of the Iran deal via guilt by association or "comparing" rhetoric, saying that since Republicans and Iranian hardliners both oppose the nuclear deal, they have made "common cause". (Obama made the same assertion in March of the same year.) But just because GOP senators – like hardliners in Iran – are opposed to the nuclear deal currently in the works doesn't mean they agree with hardliners in Iran on everything. It doesn't even mean the GOP senators oppose the nuclear deal for the same reasons at the hardliners in Iran. Consider the same argument being turned on Obama: he, like Iran, is in favor of fighting the Islamic State (aka, ISIS). Does that mean he agrees with Iran on all other things, and supports Iran's position on terrorism or it's killing of US troops in Iraq in 2007-2008? Of course it doesn't. Did Obama make common cause with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, given that both of them opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq? Did Obama make common cause with Cuban dictators Fidel and Raul Castro when he agreed to reestablish diplomatic ties with Cuba? Lastly, the audience seems to endorse Obama's rhetoric with their applause, though their laughter might indicate some of them think it is meant comedically.
"Unfortunately, we’re living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prism, evaluated by headline-grabbing sound bites. And so before the ink was even dry on this deal -- before Congress even read it -- a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition. Lobbyists and pundits were suddenly transformed into arm-chair nuclear scientists, disputing the assessments of experts like Secretary Moniz, challenging his findings, offering multiple -- and sometimes contradictory -- arguments about why Congress should reject this deal. But if you repeat these arguments long enough, they can get some traction. So let me address just a few of the arguments that have been made so far in opposition to this deal."-- President Barack Obama, August 5, 2015, speaking on the proposed deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Comment: First, Obama is making it sound as if only opponents of the nuclear deal – and not supporters of it – had made up their minds ahead of time and were viewing the issue through a "partisan prism". That is, Obama is engaging in the "only my opponent" caricature. Second, Obama is making a flawed appeal to authority, dismissing the criticisms of people who aren't nuclear scientists. Just because a person isn't a nuclear expert doesn't mean they have no valid criticisms on nuclear topics. (Some of the criticism of the deal doesn't even rely on nuclear issues, it has to do with diplomatic matters, such as whether Iranian leaders are trustworthy.) Third, Obama says critics are offering "contradictory" arguments, suggesting hypocrisy. But, there's nothing hypocritical about one person offering one criticism, and a different person offering a logically contradictory one. Since Obama doesn't name who the critics are, how do we know they're being hypocritical and self-contradictory? Last, Obama is suggesting something akin to the "big lie" theory is at work with his critics, where repetition of a bad idea will give it credibility.
"Today, I want to speak to you about this deal, and the most consequential foreign policy debate that our country has had since the invasion of Iraq, as Congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough, or instead blocks it over the objection of the vast majority of the world. Between now and the congressional vote in September, you’re going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising. And if the rhetoric in these ads, and the accompanying commentary, sounds familiar, it should -- for many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal."-- President Barack Obama, August 5, 2015, speaking on the proposed deal on Iran's nuclear program.
Comment: What is the point of noting that some of the same people who argued for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq are opposing the nuclear deal with Iran? If the argument is, "they were wrong then, therefore they're wrong now", that would be ad hominem reasoning.
"It's a war on women's health, it's not about abortion. Planned Parenthood spends 97% of its dollars on non-abortion related services … They serve 2.7 million people in America every year, 500,000 of those happen to be Hispanic. It is a very important healthcare organization, and this attack started from the day Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916, when the founder of Planned Parenthood was arrested for trying to distribute birth control to poor women. So it's a constant battle here. I can't believe in this century we are still battling against women's health."-- Sen. Barbara Boxer, August 4, 2015.
Comment: First, this is "war" rhetoric. Second, Boxer is demonizing opponents of Planned Parenthood, saying they don't care about abortion, they only want to prevent women from getting health services.
On Tuesday, Fox's Bill O'Reilly grilled the billionaire businessman on his claim that as president he will get Mexico to pay for a wall on the southern U.S. border to help prevent undocumented immigrants from crossing into the United States.-- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, August 4, 2015, during an interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, as related by an article in CNN by Rebekah Metzler.
"Bill, they are making a fortune, Mexico is making a fortune off the United States, it's becoming the new China in terms of trade -- they're killing us at the border," Trump said after O'Reilly pressed him twice on the same question.
The third time O'Reilly asked, Trump said, "I'm gonna say, 'Mexico, this is not going to continue, you're going to pay for that wall,' and they will pay for the wall. And Bill, it's peanuts, what we're talking about."
Comment: This is an evasion, as Trump never answers how he is going to make Mexico pay for the proposed wall.
"Here we have Obama, this man is deadly serious about destroying America."-- Pundit Mark Levin, August 3, 2015, during the 1st hour of his radio program. His remarks referred to President Barack Obama.
Comment: Levin is demonizing Obama.
TAPPER: During your first term as governor, you were fond of saying that you can treat bullies in one of two ways -- quote -- "You can either sidle up to them or you can punch them in the face." You said, "I like to punch them in the face." At the national level, who deserves a punch in the face?-- Republican presidential candidate Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), August 2, 2015, being interviewed by CNN's Jake Tapper.
CHRISTIE: Oh, the national teachers union, who has already endorsed Hillary Clinton 16, 17 months before the election.
CHRISTIE: Because they're not for education for our children. They're for greater membership, greater benefits, greater pay for their members. And they are the single most destructive force in public education in America. I have been saying that since 2009. I have got the scars to show it. But I'm never going to stop saying it, because they never change their stripes.
Comment: This is violent rhetoric. Christie is also demonizing teachers unions, saying that they don't care about educating children, only about their own selfish interests.