If you’ve been sleeping through the pandemic and are still under the impression Donald Trump cares one iota about the welfare of the Americans he represents, the president on Wednesday night offered up a pristine, one-minute encapsulation of exactly where his priorities lie. Speaking to a crowd of Iowans, Trump ranted about how the flooding that has ravaged communities across the state has been sucking up air time that should be going to issues that actually matter, like his Nobel Peace Prize nominations.
Here’s Trump’s tale of woe in full:
“I was nominated for three Nobel Peace Prizes, different subjects. … I told our first lady, ‘Darling, we’re going to have the greatest publicity we’ve ever head tonight. I got nominated for the Noble Prize. Do you know what that is, darling? Let’s go home.’ So I leave for the first time in a long time early. I get home, I turn home the television and they talked about your floods in Iowa. How is Iowa doing? The crops. How is this happening? How are they doing in Florida? Three or four stories, one after another. Where is my Nobel Peace Prize?! They don’t talk about it. I said, ‘You know, darling. This news is a little tough to crack.'”
Trump tells his story about he how and Melania recently watched the evening news expecting to see coverage of his Nobel nominations, but were dismayed that the news was covering a hurricane in Florida and flooding in Iowa instead. This is supposed to make the media look bad. pic.twitter.com/62gzutni0D
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 15, 2020
Trump went on to complain that when Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, it was all over the news. (“He didn’t even do anything!” Trump moaned.) But Obama actually won the award, indeed a newsworthy honor for a president. Dozens if not hundreds of people are nominated every year, for a variety of reasons. In 2017 a bunch of Republican members of Congress nominated Trump. It’s really not a big deal.
Trump’s rant on Wednesday night wasn’t surprising, and the idea that he couldn’t care less about the Americans he represents isn’t new. But to complain to a crowd full of Iowans that the “devastating,” to quote Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, flooding that has rocked the state is not as important or newsworthy as a frivolous award nomination is pretty damn telling, and a pretty big middle finger to the state he’s supposed to be trying to convince to vote for him.
Dismissing the impact of a climate-change-induced natural disaster wasn’t Trump’s only show of disrespect for the swing state Wednesday night. At one point he said, “Thank you, honey,” to Governor Kim Reynolds as if she’d just dropped off extra sugar packets at his table, and later told his supporters that he’d never come back to the state if he didn’t win its Electoral College votes in November.
If the polls are any indication, a growing number of Iowas might not be as devastated by the prospect of never seeing Trump again as he thinks.