Donald Trump, the erstwhile Republican presidential nominee and now a top Romney surrogate, is slated to be awarded “Statesman of the Year” honors by the Republican Party of Sarasota, Florida at a fundraising event in August, the day before the Republican National Convention begins in nearby Tampa.
The local party doesn’t list its requirements for their “statesman” designation, but it’s clearly not the same definition that most Americans use. Since first injecting himself into presidential politics two years ago, Trump has been at the forefront of any number of far-right conspiracy theories, most notably his unwavering belief that President Obama was not born in the United States.
Here’s a look at some of the more notable remarks made by the RNC’s top “statesman:”
– Called President Obama’s birth certificate “one of the greatest scams in the history of politics and in the history, period.” Trump has been the chief water-carrier for the birther movement for over a year, continuing to question President Obama’s birth certificate to this day, even as he publicly represents Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign.
– Demanded beauty pageant contestants parade in front of him. Trump, co-owner of the Miss USA pageant, routinely instructs contestants to parade in front of him so “he could separate those he finds sexually appealing from those he does not.”
– Speculated that Gloria Allred would be “very very impressed” with the size of his genitals. After the famed lawyer remarked on Trump’s hypocrisy for initially barring a transgendered pageant contestant from the Miss Universe Canada competition, he responded via TMZ with a classless comment about the size of his penis.
– Compared gay marriage to his taste in golf putters. Trump’s past support for gay rights has recently given way to the far-right hard line approach, telling The Advocate that he is now opposed to extending rights of any kind to the LGBT community.
If the definition of “statesman” to the Romney campaign and the Republican Party in Sarasota really is “a homophobic, conspiracy-theory peddling, bankrupt-four-times-over misogynist,” then perhaps Trump really is the perfect choice.
Meanwhile the rest of the country will be left wondering how such a person wields so much influence in a major political party.