The Real Reason Donald Trump Spoke Out Against NFL Protesters
Friday night, President Donald Trump presided over a rally in Alabama to drum up support for his personal choice in the Alabama GOP Senate Primary, Luther Strange.
That's all you need to really know about Trump's comments on NFL players who protest during the National Anthem.
If you have been shut off from social media, here's what Trump said at the rally:
“Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired! He's fired!'"
Predictably, all predictable parties reacted as you would expect. More on that in a second.
Here's the thing, though: Luther Strange is the less conservative choice than his opponent in the primary, Roy Moore. Strange was also trailing Moore in the polls before Trump began stumping for him.
WHY WOULD TRUMP DO THIS?
In recent weeks, the President has shifted into deal-making mode to try and get things done, going so far as to work with Chuck Schumer (a man he once referred to as “Cryin Chuck”) and Nancy Pelosi, in part because establishment Republicans aren't working with him.
Trump believes that Strange will win in the general election and defeat the democratic nominee, Doug Jones, in December, holding the belief that Strange is much more electable than his primary opponent Moore.
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH THE NFL COMMENTS?
For better or worse and through no fault of his own, Luther Strange is tied to Trump's comments. Alabama is college-football crazy, SEC Country and doesn't have an NFL team - many people probably agree with Trump's sentiments or at the least, have already tuned out the NFL.
I would say Trump's hope here was to create a buzz for Strange (mission accomplished) to get a possibly otherwise apathetic voting base that comes with a primary election to get out to the polls.
In other words, Trump's comments about NFL protesters – comments that many people in America and likely in Alabama agree with in principle (though maybe not in tone or delivery) have shined the spotlight on the Senate GOP Primary and on his senate candidate of choice, Strange.
PREDICTABLE REACTIONS FROM THE PREDICTABLE PARTIES
The mainstream news media and mainstream sports media reacted with appalled indignation, horror and shock. No surprise there.
Professional athletes from the NBA and NFL responded with disgust. No surprise there.
People who have already tuned out the NFL agree with Trump. No surprise there.
People who want a “presidential” President are annoyed and disgusted. No surprise there.
In other words, this is a rinse-and-repeat occurrence that changes very little opinion for the overwhelming majority of Americans.
But what about the people in Alabama on the right and center who agree with Trump's comments and who didn't really care about the primary outcome this Tuesday or who were split on either candidate? We shall see.
IN THE BIG PICTURE, THIS IS ANOTHER TRUMP LITMUS TEST
He's undefeated thus far when it comes to stumping for a candidate in a special election.
For the record, Trump has said he will endorse whichever candidate wins the primary. This rally was all about pragmatism and tapping into the emotion of a voter block. We'll see if the rally and the un-presidential comments worked this coming Tuesday night.
ON DECK: Roger Goodell vs Donald Trump in a war of words (be careful, Rog)