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Brooks: I Hope Trump Gets Ignored, Because Attacks ‘Help Him’

New York Times columnist David Brooks stated that he hopes other Republican candidates “try to ignore” Donald Trump because “attacking him is going to make him look even more exceptional and probably help him, at least in the short-term” on Friday’s “PBS NewsHour.”

Brooks said that Trump’s role in the first debate is “the big story, whether he is able to dominate with his own voice, whether everyone, as they’ve been doing off camera, in the last week, just try to get some publicity for themselves by attacking him, whether he becomes the central figure, or whether they try to ignore him. I hope they try to ignore him and just let the thing ride itself out. But to me, that’s the — he still remains, perversely, the big issue here.”

Brooks later added, “I think the normal logic does not apply to Donald Trump. I think if you go after him, as he’s gone after all these Republicans, all these Republicans have gone after him, and what it illustrates is that there are nine of them, or 16 of them and one of him, and that he’s the one who stands out. And…a couple of things are happening here. One is, people always like an obnoxious middle-aged guy that tells it like it is. There’s a weakness for that. I built my whole career on that. But, second, he’s not like the rest of them. Somebody did a good speech analysis of the opening speeches all the candidates gave, and all the candidates had speeches using the same language, the same clusters of words. They’re all very similar, except for Donald Trump, different verbal style, different arguments, different words. He just stands out. And as Mark has pointed out on this show a lot, if you have two or three decades of politicians attacking Washington, and he is the ultimate anti-Washington candidate, and they’re all sort of Washington, then attacking him is going to make him look even more exceptional and probably help him, at least in the short-term.”

He concluded, “I’m not sure Donald Trump believes in anything, except for his belief system sort of begins and ends with the morning mirror.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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