In Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, one day after he crushed Hillary Clinton in the second presidential debate, Donald Trump told supporters that he meant what he said Sunday about putting Hillary Clinton behind bars. When the crowd began chanting one of 2016’s most invigorating refrains, Trump smiled and said, “Lock her up is right.”
But the most popular chant of the night, repeated four separate times, was aimed not at Hillary but at her campaign’s cherished public outlet:
“CNN Sucks! CNN Sucks! CNN Sucks!”
Trump grinned at the chant and agreed. “I’m telling you, they are so dishonest,” he said. “Without the media, Hillary Clinton couldn’t be elected dog catcher. CNN is a disgrace.”
Trump also took aim at the Republican establishment. Without mentioning Paul Ryan by name, he said it was a shame to see “people that can’t fix a budget, but then they start talking about their nominee.”
“Isn’t it really sad that we don’t have stronger leadership, on both sides?” Trump asked.
After Ryan announced Monday that he was distancing himself from the Republican nominee, Trump bristled, telling Ryan to mind his own responsibilities. On Tuesday, he said he was relishing the freedom that came with the GOP’s abandonment.
“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump said on Twitter.
Where we go from here is anyone’s guess. The polls, to be completely frank, are not encouraging. It appears that the 2005 tape made a big difference to many voters, and more than a few pundits are saying it’s too late for Trump to recover the lost ground. And that’s not even considering the possibility that the Clinton campaign might be sitting on something even more explosive.
Is it over?
Well, that’s certainly what they want us to think. Nothing depresses turnout like a foregone conclusion.
But the fact of the matter is: it’s not over until it’s over. And Hillary’s supporters will be just as susceptible to the “foregone conclusion” fallacy as Trump’s. If Trump’s supporters can keep the faith, it is still possible to accomplish what many now believe to be impossible.
In the meantime, don’t believe everything you read. Especially if it comes from CNN.