One of the many big questions heading into this fall’s election is which of the two major presidential candidates could find more political benefit from a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Following this past weekend’s bombings in New York and New Jersey, Seth Meyers made the case that events like this one should send voters running to Hillary Clinton.
After some Jon Stewart-style skewering of the atrocious cable news coverage that occurred in the hours immediately following the incidents, Meyers eventually got around to the candidates’ reactions. When Clinton was first asked about the explosion in Manhattan, she said she wanted to wait to comment until more facts came in from officials. “Waiting for the facts,” Meyers said, “seems like a reasonable, measured response from an experienced public official.”
He contrasted Clinton’s sober reaction to Trump, who announced before a crowd of supporters in Colorado that a “bomb” had gone off in New York before any sources were reporting it as an intentional explosion. “You can’t say the words, ‘a bomb went off in New York’ when the next thing you say is ‘nobody knows what’s going on,’” Meyers told Trump. “Are you a presidential candidate or the old lady who lives across the hall from me?”
Meyers admitted that Trump was correct in using the word “bomb,” but it was his assertion that he “should be a newscaster because he called it before the news” that really set off the host. “Don’t think you get how being a newscaster works,” he said. “Newscasters don’t call the news before it happens.” The host predicted that Trump will inevitably call something else wrong, suggesting that “every Fourth of July, President Trump will probably tweet, ‘We’re under attack!!! Kill yourselves!!!’”
Asked to defend his temperament by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly this week, Meyers counted Trump using the word “win” nine times in less than 15 seconds—including an assertion that he even wins at sports. “What is he talking about? What does that have to do with ISIS?” he asked. “What sport does Donald Trump win at anyway? Dude can barely stand up without a death grip on the podium.”
In Meyers’ words, Trump “exploited” the bombings to repeat his calls for “draconian policies” like racial profiling and a ban on refugees. He suggested Trump take a page from New Yorkers, who got up the day after the attacks and continued to exist alongside Muslims, as they always do.
“Because New Yorkers know that ‘Muslim’ and ‘terrorist’ are not synonyms,” he concluded. “Kind of like ‘Trump’ and ‘presidential.’”