Nothing is more controversial about Donald Trump than his personality; even many people who supported his policies and believe he was an effective president ruefully admit that they wish he would tone it down a bit. Although, to be sure, many others were and are delighted that he is utterly sincere, even in his notorious “mean tweets,” without the calculation and artifice of the average politician. On Saturday night in South Carolina, Trump went even farther, asserting that “my personality is what kept us out of war.” Whatever you may think of him, he has a point.
Trump’s assessment of Old Joe Biden’s disastrous presidency was right on the money. “You could take the five worst presidents in American history and they would not have done the damage Joe Biden has done in just 13 months.” That would be Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter, Herbert Hoover, James Buchanan and Franklin Pierce; Biden makes all of them look like candidates for Mount Rushmore. Trump was also correct in his characterization of his foundering successor. “We have a president representing our country at the most important time in history, who is physically and mentally challenged.”
Biden, Trump noted, “failed to deter Russia’s outrageous invasion of Ukraine.” He heaped scorn on the establishment media narrative that Russia would have been even more emboldened if he were still president. “The fake news,” Trump declared, “said my personality got us into a war. ‘I’m telling you, that guy’s going to get us into a war.’ But actually, my personality is what kept us out of war. I was the only president in nearly four decades who did not get America into any new conflicts.”
That’s undeniable, and the guardians of acceptable opinion have left it unexplained, or else they simply dismiss it as dumb luck. But it was something more than that. On Feb. 22, Trump said that while he was president, he gave Putin an ultimatum. “If you move against Ukraine while I’m president, I will hit Moscow.” To this, Putin responded, “No way,” whereupon Trump responded, “All those beautiful golden turrets will be blown up.”
Trump’s claim has met with skepticism, but it’s worth noting that Trump’s entire threat was based on his personality as it had come to be publicly known. Putin couldn’t be sure that Trump, so often described as brash, impulsive, erratic, and the like, wouldn’t behave in exactly that fashion. Anyway, there is no doubt that Putin really didn’t move against Ukraine during Trump’s administration.
On Saturday night, Trump asserted that Putin wouldn’t have invaded Ukraine in February if he had still been president. “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a terrible atrocity that should never have been allowed to happen or would have never happened. I know I speak for everyone here tonight when I say we are praying for the proud people of Ukraine. They are going through hell. Make no mistake, however, that Russia would not have dared to annex one inch of territory if I was in the White House. In fact, they never did it when I was there.”
Brushing aside the claims of the discredited Russian Collusion hoax, Trump stated, “Nobody was ever tougher on Russia than me. I’m the one that stopped the pipeline,” that is, the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas from Russia to Germany, all the way through 2021. Biden’s handlers fought against sanctions on those developing it. On the other hand, Trump reminded his South Carolina audience, “I’m the one that put all the sanctions on. And I’m the one that he didn’t attack during our administration.”
Trump also noted that the United States became energy independent during his administration, but thanks to Biden’s handlers, isn’t anymore. “Without the money coming in from energy, Russia doesn’t work. But to make this threat credible, the U.S. would have to immediately end Biden’s ridiculous war on American energy. We were energy independent. It’s very simple. We have to get our great energy workers drilling, pumping, producing, mining and refining like never before.”
Instead, Trump said, Biden is “selling out the brave people of Cuba and Venezuela, groveling at the feet of the oil-rich and brutal Maduro regime. “They’re after Maduro and now all of a sudden they say, ‘Listen, forget that. Forget what we’ve been saying for the last long time. … Forget the last 15 years, we’d like to buy oil. We’d pay you any price you want. Please, please, please sell us some oil. Please sell us some oil, we don’t have any oil.’ He must think we are the stupidest people on earth, you know.”
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.