Donald Trump has long lamented coverage of himself from the political press.
Monday night was no exception during a lengthy rally that went on for nearly an hour.
At a rally in Dallas’ American Airlines Center, Trump shook up his stump speech with an extended criticism of the media, including prominent conservative pundits that he labelled a “group of losers.”
After asking the crowd if he should name the pundits he dislikes, he launched into a rant that slammed Washington Post columnist George Will and former George W. Bush administration strategist Karl Rove, two prominent establishment conservatives.
“Another one, Karl Rove, he’s terrible. He’s still going around thinking Mitt Romney won,” Trump said, referencing Rove’s reluctance to acknowledge that the former Massachusetts governor had lost on election night in 2012.
“The name Trump came up and you could see it was like a boiler ready to explode. I think [Rove] is a total incompetent jerk.”
Trump also joked about the uproar over his controversial remarks about Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Last month, Trump said that during the Fox News debate in August, Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” a comment that many observers interpreted as a lewd reference to menstruation.
“I have to be careful what I say about coming out of somebody’s — I have to be careful,” Trump said. “Nose, ears, eyes — those are the only places I’m talking about.
Referring to photographers at Monday’s event at one point as “the paparazzi,” Trump egged the crowd on, asking them to cheer if they like the media, and boo if they do not. The crowd overwhelmingly booed.
The real-estate magnate seems well aware of his supporters’ negative attitude toward right and left-leaning media outlets.
A recent poll from Public Policy Polling showed that the vast majority of Trump’s supporters hold negative views of Kelly, who Trump criticised for being supposedly tough on him during the Fox News debate.
Anecdotally, many supporters conflate the media with establishment conservative figures and ideas.
At a focus group moderated by Fox News commentator Frank Luntz in August, a room full of 20 Trump supporters complained extensively about alleged media bias, and said that they like Trump because he is portrayed negatively by the press.
“The media and the establishment are deathly afraid of Trump,” a focus group member said. “That’s why I particularly love him. Because the media has become de-facto the power behind the throne in this country.”
Trump is set to again take center stage at the next GOP debate Wednesday as the current far-and-away front-runner for the GOP nomination.
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