At a rally in Davenport, Iowa on Thursday, Donald Trump said he felt an almost irresistible urge to “hit” speakers who criticized him during the Democratic National Convention last night, but was talked off the ledge during a phone call with “a highly respected governor” who urged him to “hit Hillary Clinton properly” instead.
During his remarks, Trump assumed the role of the schoolyard bully, at one point saying that he wanted to “hit one guy in particular, a very little guy. I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin, he wouldn’t know what the hell happened.”
Trump seems to feel particularly betrayed by this aforementioned “little guy.” Trump suggested he did business with this man in the past, so it came “out of nowhere” when he heard him criticizing Trump.
“I was gonna hit a number of those speakers so hard their heads would spin, they would never recover,” Trump said. “And that’s what I did with a lot — that’s why I still don’t have certain people endorsing me, they still haven’t recovered, okay?”
Thanks to the call from the unnamed governor, however, Trump changed his mind.
Describing that call, Trump said the governor told him, “’Donald, you’re my friend, you’ve done something that nobody ever has. Finish it off, focus on Hillary Clinton. She’s crooked as hell. She’s going to do a terrible job. It’s four more years of Obama. Don’t worry about all these people that want to get up and get the spotlight for five minutes and then they’re going to go home and nobody is going to care about them anymore. Just go out and hit Hillary Clinton properly and win the election November 8.”
Since becoming the presumptive Republican nominee in May, Trump has started using a teleprompter to keep him on message during his high-profile speeches, including at the Republican National Convention last week. But his ad-libbed deliveries during rallies and news conference remain unpredictable affairs.
To cite a couple very recent examples, the day after the RNC, Trump held a news conference where he devoted an inexplicable amount of time to dissing Ted Cruz and speculating about the possible involvement of Cruz’s father in the assassination of JFK. And during a news conference yesterday, Trump encouraged Russian hackers to find the emails deleted from Hillary Clinton’s private server, sparking a debate over whether he committed treason.