It was an all too rare moment of respect and graciousness across party line that many on the left held up as a prime example of what they will miss about President Obama. But to Donald Trump, “frankly, it was a disgrace.”
At his own rally in Pennsylvania Friday night, the Republican candidate utterly mischaracterized a moment that President Obama had with a pro-Trump protester in North Carolina earlier that afternoon. As the crowd of Hillary Clinton supporters began to boo the Trump supporter and chant “Hillary!” to silence him, Obama took pains to quiet down the crowd and “focus” on what’s important.
"First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech,” Obama said after a painful couple of minutes when it seemed he had lost control of the crowd. “Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military and we have to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we have to respect our elders. And fourth of all, don't boo, vote!"
But how did Donald Trump see it?
He began by accusing the media of refusing to turn the camera and show the protester on screen, something he said would never happen at one of his rallies because the press would want to highlight something “negative.”
"He was talking to the protester, screaming at him, really screaming at him,” Trump said of Obama. “By the way, if I spoke the way Obama spoke to that protester, they would say, 'He became unhinged!'”
“And he spent so much time screaming at this protester and frankly, it was a disgrace,” Trump concluded.
So in Trump’s mind, Obama calling on his own supporters to calm down and “respect” an elderly veteran who disagrees with them is a “disgrace.” But saying about one of the protesters at a rally of his earlier this year, “I’d like the punch him is the face,” is just business as usual.