What is Donald Trump doing? His presidency thus far is chaotic, confusing, and just plain bizarre.
On Wednesday, the president hosted a Black History Month breakfast during which he shifted the focus to his ongoing feud with CNN. On Thursday, he continued this pattern of veering off course during serious moments when he made a joke about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Celebrity Apprentice” ratings during the National Prayer Breakfast.
Needless to say, this is not what presidents do.
Each president has been known to take the job and make it his own, but Trump is simply making a total mockery of the position.
America elected a former reality show personality as its commander in chief, and he made sure we’d never forget that by bringing up his old show’s poor ratings and asking those in attendance at the breakfast to pray for Schwarzenegger and the show’s future.
At the prayer breakfast I attended, President Obama spoke about how the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ changed his life. https://t.co/NfiDfA5S2I— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) February 2, 2017
Pretty sure Arnold Schwarzenegger's ratings for The Apprentice aren't as bad as Trump's current approval rating. #nationalprayerbreakfast— Michael Blackman (@ParaComedian09) February 2, 2017
Trump spends part of speech at National Prayer Breakfast to talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger's ratings. Good grief.— Brit Hume (@brithume) February 2, 2017
Just after the show’s creator, Mark Burnett, introduced Trump, the president took off on the unexpected tangent.
“We had tremendous success on 'The Apprentice,' and when I ran for president, I had to leave the show,” he said. “That’s when I knew for sure I was doing it. And they hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place, and we know how that turned out. The ratings went right down the tubes; it’s been a total disaster, and [Mark Burnett] will never, ever bet against Trump again.”
Pres. Trump jokes about Arnold Schwarzenegger as host of "Apprentice": "I want to just pray for Arnold if we can for those ratings." pic.twitter.com/hNy115htJr— ABC News (@ABC) February 2, 2017
Granted, Trump was clearly trying to make a joke, but this wasn’t the first time he’s gone after Schwarzenegger and his ratings. He went on a Twitter rant after the first episode aired mocking the new host, asserting that he got “swamped.”
Trump is now one of the most powerful people in the world, and yet he’s still concerned about reality show ratings. That show should be the furthest thing from his mind, particularly at an event like the National Prayer Breakfast where lawmakers from all parties and religious leaders from various faiths come together to pray and build bridges.
Instead of treating his first National Prayer Breakfast like an important presidential event, Trump used it as an opportunity to boast about his reality television past and bash Schwarzenegger, who did not support his presidential campaign.
Trump made things even more awkward when he thanked the keynote speaker, United States Senate chaplain Barry Black.
“Thank you as well to senator chaplain Barry Black for his moving words," he said. "I don't know, chaplain, whether that's an appointed position? Is that an appointed position? I don't know if you're Democrat or Republican, but I'm appointing you for another year. The hell with it,” he added.
Um, Mr. President! Did you forget that you’re in a room full of religious leaders and in many faiths “hell” is a swear word?
Schwarzenegger responded to Trump’s insults in a 14 second video clip posted to Twitter.
“Hey Donald, I have a great idea. Why don’t we switch jobs: You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job. Then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”
The National Prayer Breakfast? pic.twitter.com/KYUqEZbJIE— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 2, 2017
A spokesman for Schwarzenegger also offered comments on the matter to ABC News, saying “Arnold is praying that President Trump can start improving his own approval ratings, which were the worst in history for an incoming president, by taking his job seriously and working inclusively.”
The underlying message from both of their reactions: Trump needs to focus on his own job before making wisecracks about someone else’s.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters