Donald Trump is throwing a tantrum and threatening to run as a third-party candidate for president because the Republican Party and Marco Rubio are being mean to him.
DICKERSON: Mr. Trump, I want to start with a tweet from you this morning in which you write — quote — “The Republican establishment has been pushing for lightweight Senator Marco Rubio to say anything to hit Trump. I signed the pledge. Careful.”
What does that mean?
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, they’re not treating me well.
I signed the pledge. I have been very good. I have been very straight and honest and honorable. And they’re not treating me well. They — you look at the way they stacked the audiences in the debates, and I have won every debate according to every poll, every single online poll after the debate. But way they stack the audiences, the way they talk, they have this lightweight Senator Marco Rubio saying terrible things, just personal, terrible things.
And I don’t think it’s fair, the way that the establishment is treating Donald Trump. I will be honest with you.
TRUMP: I signed the pledge. And I will abide by the pledge unless they default. But, as far as I’m concerned, they have defaulted.
DICKERSON: So, you wouldn’t abide by the pledge right here right now? You wouldn’t abide by the pledge because you think they’re defaulting?
TRUMP: Well, I think you understand exactly what’s going on.
You just pick up any paper, and it’s always talking about, how are we going to overthrow Donald Trump? I’m representing a tremendous — I’m representing millions of people that have — really feel angry and disenfranchised. And these are great people. And they like me, and I love them. And I’ll tell you what. We’re not being treated right. The Republican Party is not treating me right, and they’re not treating the people that I represent right.
To summarize, Donald Trump is throwing a tantrum and threatening to run third party because Marco Rubio and the GOP are being mean to him. What seems to have gotten under Trump’s Boehneresque orange skin were Rubio’s claims that Trump is a fake tough guy, who inherited $200 million, and wet himself at the Republican debate.
On Friday, Rubio said, “He called me Mr. Meltdown. Let me tell you something, last night in the debate during one of the breaks, two of the breaks, he went backstage, and he was having a meltdown. First he had one of those makeup things applying around his mustache because he had one of those sweat mustaches. Then, then he asked for a full-length mirror, I don’t know why because the podium goes up to here. I don’t know why maybe to make sure his pants weren’t wet. Then I see him pacing back and forth, and then he’s huddled in the corner talking to somebody, and he’s like waving his arms up and down and the person’s trying to calm him down.”
The phrase not treating me well is Trump code for being criticized. If anyone challenges or criticizes Donald Trump, they are not treating him well. Donald Trump is throwing a tantrum and threatening to take his ball and run as an Independent. Trump is challenging Richard Nixon for the title of the most thin-skinned frontrunner is presidential election history.
It’s doubtful that Trump would be willing to spend the money needed to mount a serious third-party campaign, but if Donald Trump can’t handle criticism from Marco Rubio, he will have no chance against the Democratic nominee this fall.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association