In the wake of Orlando, the presumptive Republican nominee is looking for a terror bump. He responded to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history by proclaiming:
He reiterated his call for a ban on Muslims entering the country, declared that President Obama should resign, and demanded that Hillary Clinton acknowledge that “radical Islam” is the enemy. He picked up the thread on Monday morning, telling Fox and Friends that there are “tens of thousands” of people like Omar Mateen “pouring” into the U.S., and that there are “many, many people out there with worse intentions” already embedded in Muslim communities. He said of Obama: “We’re led by a man who either is not tough, not smart, or has something else in mind.”
Trump’s demagogic response to terror attacks—in Paris, in San Bernardino—has helped him in the past, leading to a corresponding lift in national polls. He’s had a rough couple of weeks, and clearly sees the Orlando attack as an opportunity to right the ship. But there are reasons to think that it might not work this time around. Now that we are out of the insulated world of the Republican primary—one where Muslims are “pouring” over the border and politicians are rewarded for unapologetically using tragedy to prove they are “right”—Trump’s antics may end up backfiring. Let’s hope so, anyway.