Donald Trump and his supporters went crazy yesterday after Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people inside a nightclub in June, made a startling appearance sitting behind Hillary Clinton at a rally.
As Clinton spoke about “how many people, family members, loved ones, friends are still grieving,” cameras caught Mateen sitting behind her. It was bizarre to say the least.
Mateen said later that he backs Clinton because of her views on national security and gun control. The Clinton campaign immediately distanced themselves from him saying that the 3,000 person rally was an “open door” event.
It was a brutal visual and the first big mistake the Clinton camp has made this summer.
Fast forward 24 hours to a Trump rally in Florida.
As Trump preached to his audience, “Wasn’t it terrible when the father of the animal that killed the wonderful people in Orlando was sitting with a big smile on his face right behind Hillary Clinton?” the cameras caught a disgraced former Republican congressman sitting behind Trump in almost the exact same spot where Mateen had been behind Clinton.
Political karma 101.
Foley resigned from Congress in 2006 after he became embroiled in a scandal over sexually laced email messages he exchanged with teenage boys who were congressional pages.
After the rally Foley told reporters, “I’ve been a friend of Mr. Trump’s since 1987. I’ve admired so much of what he’s done. He’s a different breed of leader.”
While condemning Clinton, Trump told his supporters, “When you get those seats, you sort of know the campaign, so when she said ‘well we didn’t know’, they knew.”
So it’s fair to say Trump’s campaign must have known about Foley too.
Mateen has well known anti-American views and had a son who did a horrible thing. Foley is guilty of being one of the creepiest congressmen in history.
One thing is certain, both campaigns have done a terrible job vetting the people behind the candidates.
Having “real” people stand or sit behind the candidates has been a bad idea, in my view, since 2004 when 13-year old Tyler Crotty yawned and yawned and yawned during a campaign speech by President George W. Bush.
“See, I’m a mack,” said Crotty after the event. Translation: Ladies’ man enjoying the 15 minutes of fame associated with being a distraction during a political speech.
Will the campaigns ever learn?