Despite his denials about claims in the new Bob Woodward book “Fear: Trump in the White House,” Trump did actually use the term “dumb southerners.”
“Are you old enough to remember the show ‘The Beverly Hillbillies?’,” Trump asked a reporter years ago.
“That’s exactly her family.” Trump said his then wife Maples was constantly surrounded “by an entourage of dumb Southerners.”
He even adopted a fake southern accent to mimic Maples’s mother.
This is the latest fallout from the Bob Woodward book, and subsequent follow up reporting by the NYT after the President denied the book’s claim that he had called Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded” and “a dumb southerner.”
Trump added on Twitter that “being a southerner is a GREAT thing.”
That must be why he mocks Southerners, including his own in-laws, to the press.
The New York Times reported on an interview with Jeane MacIntosh, a former deputy editor at New York Post gossip column Page Six, in which she called Trump in May of 1997 (he often fed stories to the paper) to ask about his second wife Marla Maples buying two gold Lexus vehicles that he made her return, and he offered her a bigger story if she would agree not to run ‘the millionaire made his wife return two Lexus cars’ story. (For all of Trump’s bashing of the fake news press, he was clearly into fake news long ago, back when he could control it.)
“He said, ‘I have something better for you,’ ” Ms. MacIntosh recalled in an interview on Wednesday. If she dropped that story, he said, he would give her bigger news — that he planned to divorce Ms. Maples. When Ms. MacIntosh pressed him on why, he “essentially blamed her family,” she said, referring to Ms. Maples’s Georgia-based relatives.
“Are you old enough to remember the show ‘The Beverly Hillbillies?’ ” he asked Ms. MacIntosh.
She replied yes, and Mr. Trump laughed and said, “That’s exactly her family, except they came to New York City instead of Beverly Hills.” Ms. MacIntosh added, “I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said she was constantly surrounded ‘by an entourage of dumb Southerners.’” He even adopted a fake southern accent to mimic Ms. Maples’s mother, Ms. MacIntosh said.
Trump was also busted for using the phrase “mentally retarded” on radio shows after his denials.
Republicans are still running on poutrage over Obama’s “clinging to gun and religion” comment, but you can bet they won’t mind that Trump has referred to his base- southerners – as “dumb southerners.”
What makes this a story isn’t that Trump said nasty things about Southerners; Trump says nasty things about everyone. That is obviously not news.
It’s that he lied about it and his base- a large part of which is located in the South or the Southern migration to the Midwest – will excuses even this, although Dixie will fume at the insult.
This is the modern Republican Party- they have built a GOTV mechanism on resentment, just as Obama’s comment referenced, and to prove it, they won’t care that Trump insulted them and called them dumb, but they will hold on to it for years and vote on a comment a Democrat makes for years.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah has won two Telly Awards and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.