Dear Donald: You’re fired. Sincerely, NBC and Macy’s.
It’s the joke that writes itself. Donald J. Trump, the man most synonymous with hastily terminating the employment of others, is suddenly very much on the other end of that exchange. Trump, of course, is the real estate mogul who built an even bigger brand for himself by telling people “You’re fired” on his NBC reality show, “The Apprentice.” Now that the bloviating, uber-wealthy TV star is running for president, he’s getting a taste of his own medicine.
The controversy began basically the moment Trump entered the race for the Republican nomination. He said in his announcement speech last month that many Mexicans coming across the border illegally are very bad people, even “rapists.” (“Some,” he admitted, might be “good people.”)
Soon afterward, Spanish-language TV network Univision said it was canning him and his Miss Universe and Miss USA franchises. Then this past week, NBC Universal cut ties with the “Apprentice” host, as did Macy’s, which carries Trump’s brand of men’s suits, dress shirts, ties and even (yes, really) a fragrance called “Success.” A few hours later, Trump made a statement that it was he who wanted to nix the relationship, in part because the clothes were made in China. It was unclear why he hadn’t thought about that before.
Suddenly, almost everything that had made Trump a celebrity rather than just a businessman was gone.
Trump is actually rising in the polls. He’s now at 12 percent — second place in the GOP field — in a CNN-Opinion Research poll conducted as Univision was ending its relationship with him. But surveys also show that Trump is hugely disliked overall, even inside the GOP. About six in 10 Iowa Republican voters said in a Des Moines Register poll in May that they would never vote for him.
All of which means that this little exercise in futility and ego is going to cost Trump much more than just the GOP nomination.
Donald Trump, for running a presidential campaign like a realityshow, you had the worst week in Washington. Congrats, or something. Have a candidate for the worst week in Washington? E-mail Chris Cillizza at firstname.lastname@example.org.