During a September 16 speech in Miami, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sent the media into a tailspin by demanding Hillary Clinton lead by example on gun control and disarm her bodyguards.
The Hill reported Trump saying Hillary Clinton’s guards should be disarmed, and we’ll “see what happens to her.” His point was clear — Clinton could then relate to tens of millions of Americans who fear what life would be like if their families were denied the firearms they rely on to keep themselves safe.
But many outlets and/or news personalities did not get it. For example, Andrea Mitchell quickly tweeted: “Donald Trump tells Miami crowd take away Clinton’s ‘bodyguards’ and let’s see what happens to her. What?? And they both have [US Secret Service protection].”
.@realDonaldTrump tells Miami crowd take away Clinton's "bodyguards" and let's see what happens to her. What?? And they both have USSS
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) September 16, 2016
Mitchell missed the point entirely. Trump is not saying he lacks armed security. Rather, he is showing that Clinton is a hypocrite for living behind walls of armed security for decades yet pushing to abolish the Second Amendment if elected. In other words, her life is worth protecting, but the lives of average Americans — which are currently protected through private gun ownership — are not.
This is not the first time Trump has called on Clinton to disarm her guards. He did so on January 3 via Facebook, and he did so again on May 2o after receiving the NRA’s endorsement for president.
Yet on September 16, the New York Times reacted to Trump’s Miami speech as if he had ventured into the unknown and unspeakable. NYT reported that Trump’s statement was a “provocative echo” of statements about armed Americans being the last defense against tyranny. The NYT went even further, claiming Trump called on Clinton to disarm her guards as a way of distracting from earlier attempts to blame her for the rise of “birther” questions regarding Obama.
The problem for the NYT? It was Clinton’s camp, not Trump, who birthed the birther issue. McClatchy, MSBNC, Politico, and Bloomberg have all confirmed that Clinton’s 2008 campaign spread the “birtherism” stories about Barack Obama.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.