Abigail Major ‘19 – Inside Politics Participant
On March 29 the New York Times as well as the Washington Post announced to the nation that presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, was charged with battery. The incident originally took place on March 8, 2016 in Jupiter, Florida. Reporter Michelle Fields was in pursuit of asking Trump a question when Lewandowski grabbed Fields roughly by the arm to move her away. Lewandowski denied that the interaction ever occurred and called Fields ‘delusional’. However, the combinations of Fields pressing charges three days later, posting a picture on Twitter showing bruises on her arm supposedly due to the incident, and the releasement of camera footage that proved that Lewandowski actually did interact with Fields caused attention to be directed towards Lewandowski.
While Lewandowski turned himself in to the Jupiter Police Department and has been assigned a court date of May 4 at the North County Courthouse in Palm Beach Gardens in Florida, he remains adamant that he is not guilty.
Yet where does Trump come into all of this? Will the incident between Lewandowski and Fields present a hiccup in the Trump’s presidential campaign?
So far it seems that Trump has been able to contain the potential wildfire and has done his best at damage control. He remains loyal to Lewandowski, which can witnessed by his tweet on the morning of March 29: “Wow, Corey Lewandowski, my campaign manager and a very decent man, was just charged with assaulting a reporter. Look at tapes-nothing there!”
Trump takes it a massive step further by later posting a picture of him and Fields at the news conference in Jupiter, Florida with the caption: “Victory press conference was over. Why is she allowed to grab me and shout questions? Can I press charges?”
Trump’s sarcastic and mocking attitude towards this potentially fragile situation not only shows his relationship with the media, but his relationship with women as well. While some of the public shows support towards Fields, it nevertheless seems that Trump is unfazed and his poll numbers are unaffected.
However, even with Trump being rather dismissive about the issue, the other presidential candidates are directing their attention towards the Lewandowski and Fields situation.
According to NBC News, Cruz expressed his opinion on the matter to reporters in Wisconsin, “It’s a very sad development and this is the consequence of the culture of the Trump campaign. The abusive culture when you have a campaign that is built on personal insults, on attacks and now physical violence, that has no place in a political campaign, it has no place in our democracy.”
Kaisch also added his own voice to the matter: “We probably would suspend somebody. You know, it would depend what it is and what the evidence was. But when we see things that we think are inappropriate, we take action and that’s what I would do…I think that every candidate has to be responsible for what happens in their campaign and as I’ve said repeatedly–what Donald Trump has been doing over these last months is inciting violent behavior, aggressive behavior that I think is very dangerous and has resulted in attacks on people at his events and including this charge that was now brought against his campaign manager,”
Clinton diplomatically decided not to comment on the debacle but added, “I think that you know ultimately the responsibility is Mr. Trump’s.”
It seems that Trump has managed to shake off insults thrown his way in the past, but will Trump be able to do so now? Or will this be the tipping point? Only time can truly tell.