Donald Trump turned a visit to Florida, ostensibly to comfort victims of Hurricane Irma, into a crass campaign rally for fellow Republican Rick Scott.
Donald Trump again used a natural disaster as a crass backdrop for Republican politics, this time promoting a possible U.S. Senate campaign by current Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Trump made the comments while on the ground visiting Florida to survey the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. When he wasn't minimizing the death toll, he was using the devastating storm to boost a fellow Republican.
"I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the Senate," Trump said. Referring to Scott's time in Florida politics, he added, "We can't let it end."
TRUMP: I just, again, I have to say, that what do I know, but I hope this man right here, Rick Scott, runs for the Senate. I don't know what he's going to do. But I know that at a certain point it ends for you, and we can't let it end. So I hope that he runs for Senate. Who knows what he's going to do.
The hurricane boosterism might be Trump rewarding Scott for his loyalty. The conservative governor was an early supporter of Trump, and during the presidential campaign, he refused to criticize Trump when he indulged in bigotry to promote a ban on Muslims.
Trump has repeatedly seen the major weather events and the surrounding destruction of property and loss of life as simply an avenue to push party politics.
In August, the White House sent out photos of Trump modeling campaign hats — available for sale on Trump's website — while ostensibly discussing his response to Hurricane Harvey. Then as Hurricane Irma began bearing down on Florida, Trump was busy hawking hats again to his supporters on his email list.
Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his inability to be sober, serious, and sincere during times that require a national leader to console and unite America.
Instead, Trump acts as carnival barker and a cravenly opportunistic political animal. It is what he is.