Donald Trump’s rise in the Republican presidential nomination polls has been swift and possibly short-lived.
Then again, comments on my Republican friends’ Facebook pages suggest Trump has a real constituency in the GOP.
Those commenters suggest that Trump is not afraid of the media or the Establishment. They like his intensity.
Sure, those remarks are anecdotal evidence. But it’s striking that Mr. Trump has these four things in common with Maine’s governor, Paul LePage.
1. Both are prone to insulting people, even those in their own party.
The other day Trump said of former Texas governor Rick Perry, “He put on glasses so people will think he’s smart. And it just doesn’t work, you know, people can see through the glasses.”
LePage called Sen. Roger Katz “evil” and “my enemy.”
2. Both point to their background in business as providing credentials for executive office.
In a recent speech by Donald Trump most noted because he gave out the cell phone number of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Trump repeatedly says that he will do a better job negotiating trade deals with China because he’s a businessman and has great negotiation skills.
When he endorsed Chris Christie, LePage said, “Most of you know I’m a businessman. And I just like to get things done. I don’t play the political game pretty well. Never have, never will. And I don’t plan to learn.
3. Both go after the news media.
The other day Donald Trump said that media coverage of his remarks about Sen. McCain were misleading, that “they’ve done such a false number.”
LePage has made numerous florid anti-media comments, including saying at a fighter jet simulation, “I want to find the Portland Press Herald building and blow it up.”
4. Both make false and highly negative claims about illegal immigrants.
Trump has claimed that Mexican immigrants in the U.S. illegally include a lot of rapists and other criminals.
LePage said illegal immigrants are a source of disease.
It’s hard to imagine Trump getting the Republican nomination, but he’s currently leading other candidates, even after his horrid comments questioning John McCain’s heroism.
According to a recent Morning Consult survey, a poll about which I know little:
There is no evidence that Trump’s numbers have slumped after comments he made questioning Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) war record. Though most of the rest of the Republican field — and even the Republican National Committee — loudly criticized Trump after he made the comments on Saturday morning at an event in Iowa, voters interviewed afterward weren’t any less likely to say they support him.