Trump Confuses Haley With Pelosi
The man is not well.
NYT (“Trump Confuses Haley and Pelosi, Accusing Rival of Jan. 6 Lapse“):
Former President Donald J. Trump on Friday appeared to confuse Nikki Haley for Nancy Pelosi during a speech in New Hampshire, accusing Ms. Haley of failing to provide adequate security during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack at the Capitol and connecting her to the House committee that investigated it.
Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and a former ambassador to the United Nations, has never served in Congress and was working in the private sector during the Capitol riot.
On Friday night, Mr. Trump was in the middle of mocking Ms. Haley for the size of the crowds at her events, and criticizing the news media, when he pivoted to how he gave a speech in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, that preceded the Capitol attack.
“You know, when she comes here she gets like nine people, and the press never reports the crowds,” Mr. Trump said of Ms. Haley, whose crowds have lately been, at the very least, in double digits.
Then, he changed subjects. “You know, by the way, they never report the crowd on Jan. 6,” he said. “You know, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley.”
Mr. Trump then repeated his frequent claim that the bipartisan House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 attack — including Mr. Trump’s actions that day — “destroyed all of the information, all of the evidence.”
Then, he claimed that Ms. Haley was in charge of security that day, and that she and others had turned down his offer to send troops to the Capitol.
“Nikki Haley was in charge of security,” he said. (She was not.) “We offered her 10,000 people, soldiers, National Guards, whatever they want. They turned it down. They don’t want to talk about that.”
Mr. Trump, 77, often attacks President Biden, 81, over his age and suggests that Mr. Biden is mentally unfit for office. “He can’t put two sentences together,” Mr. Trump said on Friday. “Can’t put two sentences together. He needs a teleprompter.”
A spokesman for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Trump has frequently tried to lay blame for the Jan. 6 riot with Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats. There is no evidence, however, that Mr. Trump ever offered to have troops deployed to the Capitol, or that Ms. Pelosi, then the speaker of the House, rejected him.
At 3:52 p.m. on Jan. 6, 2021, Ms. Haley reposted photos of besieged officials inside the Capitol, writing on Twitter, “An embarrassment in the eyes of the world and total sadness for our country. Wake up America.”
NBC News (“Nikki Haley questions whether Trump is ‘mentally fit’ after he confuses her with Nancy Pelosi“):
Nikki Haley questioned whether Donald Trump is mentally able to serve as president after he mixed her up with Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a Friday-night rally.
Addressing supporters in Keene, New Hampshire, Saturday, Haley called out Trump’s remarks while arguing that the presidential contest should not be a showdown between two men near or above 80 years old.
“We see that [President Joe] Biden has changed so much in two years,” Haley said. “But last night, Trump is at a rally and he’s going on and on mentioning me multiple times as to why I didn’t take security during the Capitol riots. Why didn’t I handle Jan. 6 better? I wasn’t even in D.C. on Jan. 6. I wasn’t in office then.”
“They’re saying he got confused, that he was talking about something else, he’s talking about Nancy Pelosi,” she continued. “He mentioned me multiple times in that scenario. The concern I have is — I’m not saying anything derogatory — but when you’re dealing with the pressures of the presidency, we can’t have someone else that we question whether they’re mentally fit to do this. We can’t.”
The Hill (“Stefanik pushes back on reports Trump mixed up Haley, Pelosi“):
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) pushed back on reports that former President Trump mixed up his GOP presidential primary rival Nikki Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), according to an NBC News report.
“The reality is Nikki Haley is relying on Democrats, just like Nancy Pelosi, to try to have a desperate showing,” Stefanik said.
The New York congresswoman has endorsed Trump in his 2024 attempt to clinch the presidency. She also has not ruled out being his running mate in this year’s election.
“Well, I, of course, would be honored to serve in any capacity in a Trump administration. I’m proud to be the first member of Congress to endorse his reelection. I’m proud to be a strong supporter of President Trump, and he’s going to win this November,” Stefanik said.
As a general rule, I’m forgiving of gaffes on the campaign trail. Candidates give the same speeches over and over and are essentially on autopilot. Substituting one name for another in stock attacks is embarrassing but, in and of itself, not an indication of much of anything.
But, of course, Trump does this sort of thing all the time and has for years. While he’s full of energy and bombast, he often seems considerably less than mentally sharp.
None of this, of course, is going to deter Trump’s supporters. All of this and more is baked in and they clearly don’t care. To the extent that there are Republican primary voters who are somehow torn between Trump and other candidates, it might matter on the margins. But Haley’s cowardice in refusing to attack Trump (“I’m not saying anything derogatory”) will mitigate that considerably.