President Donald Trump’s Boy Scout speech was less about Boy Scouts and more about everything else — namely, himself.
During the 19th National Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the president had the chance to address around 40,000 people, many of whom were boys under 18. So what does he do? In typical Trump style, he forgot all about giving tribute to the value of scouting and instead made his speech all about fake news media, Hillary Clinton, the health care bill, false facts and most importantly, about himself — and interspersed his words with a lot of “hell” as well.
As is usual for Trump, he started his speech by berating the media.
“Tonight, we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C., you’ve been hearing about with the fake news,” he said.
He also falsely claimed the media outlets would not report the actual size of the crowd, still bitter about the news outlets reporting Trump’s Inauguration Day crowd was not huge.
“By the way what do you think the chances are that this incredible massive crowd, record-setting, is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero?”
“And by the way, where are our Indiana scouts tonight?” he asked. “I wonder if the television cameras will follow you. They don’t like doing that when they see these massive crowds. They don’t like doing that.”
The Political ‘Cesspool’
“Who the hell wants to speak about politics?” Trump said, telling the boys he wanted to talk about how to achieve their dreams. However, leaving politics alone seemed too hard for the president, whose own son-in-law and senior aide, Jared Kushner, was being grilled by the Senate Intelligence committee by his alleged ties with Russia.
“You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp and it’s not a good place. In fact today I said, ‘We ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or perhaps to the word sewer,’ but it’s not good. Not good,” Trump said.
GOP Health Care Bill
Trump has been urging Republican senators to vote for his long-promised replacement health care plan, so obviously he had to mention it during a speech for young Boy Scouts.
“Secretary Tom Price is also here,” he said referring to the health secretary. “Today Dr. Price still lives the Scout oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our secretary of Health and Human Services. He’s doing a great job and hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us.”
In fact, he also hurled a thinly veiled threat to Price, right there on the podium.
“By the way, are you going to get the votes?” he asked the health secretary. “He better get ‘em. He better get ‘em. Oh, he better. Otherwise I’ll say ‘Tom, you’re fired,’” he referred “jokingly” to the crowd.
Bragged About His Election Victory
Of course, no speech is complete without Trump extolling his virtues. So, obviously he bragged about his only accomplishment: winning the election.
“Do you remember that famous night on television, Nov. 8, where they said, these dishonest people, where they said, 'There is no path to victory for Donald Trump,'” he said triumphantly. “Do you remember that incredible night with the maps. And the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue. And that map was so red it was unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say.”
He also lied about the fact that, for Republicans, it is much harder to win the Electoral College than it is for Democrats.
“We have a tremendous disadvantage in the Electoral College. Popular vote is much easier,” he falsely claimed.
Bringing Back ‘Merry Christmas’ Again
“Under the Trump administration, you’ll be saying Merry Christmas again when you go shopping. Believe me. Merry Christmas. They’ve been downplaying that little beautiful phrase. You’re going to be saying Merry Christmas again, folks,” he added.
Whatever that means.
Money In Real Estate
He then went on a five-minute rant about William Levitt, a New York-based real estate developer, despite telling the audience he won’t go into great details about him.
“There was a man named William Levitt, Levitttowns, you have some here, you have some in different states … And he was a very successful man. He was a homebuilder, became an unbelievable success, and got more and more successful … And he sold his company for a tremendous amount of money. And he went out and bought a big yacht and he had a very interesting life. I won’t go any more than that because you’re Boy Scouts, I’m not going to tell you what he did — should I tell you? Should I tell you? Oh, you’re Boy Scouts, but you know life, you know life. So, look at you, who would think this is the Boy Scouts, right?” he said.
Then he kept on regaling the people about the late entrepreneur anyway.
Naturally, parents are aghast that Trump spent the majority of his speech talking about topics he promised he wouldn’t approach early on in his speech.
My son is saying the same. We were involved with boy scouts for years. I would never want to be associated with organization now.— Kate (@Mamaofthreebear) July 25, 2017
Politics do not belong in the jamboree. Citizenship does. I'm the charter organization rep for my son's Troop.— Ann ???? (@GeekTalk51) July 25, 2017
Will be contacting district
My son's were boy scouts & I would have never tried to get them to behave like this. https://t.co/67ySFF4KmS— Eric Foster (@efoster_eric) July 25, 2017
My son is a Boy Scout, too. I am glad he is at camp in CA and not at Jamboree. That was horrifying.— Mirren (@newhall89) July 25, 2017
My son worked hard to become an Eagle Scout and I am horrified to see the org allow itself to be politicized.— Deb Bakes (@BakesDeb) July 25, 2017
You have made me ill, @boyscouts! Do I now have to worry my son will be indoctrinated into a Trump youth org when he attends a BSA event??!— Leila Rice (@Leila_A_Rice) July 25, 2017
That speech to the Boy Scouts was an impeachable offense.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) July 25, 2017
HE SAID THIS TO BOY SCOUTS pic.twitter.com/SkiBUC8CRY— Jensen Karp (@JensenClan88) July 24, 2017
Today in Trump— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) July 25, 2017
-refers to "17 years of Obamacare"
-boasts of Electoral College win to Boy Scouts
-confirms covert CIA program
Boy Scouts was one of the most formative experiences of my life. This speech is a disgrace.— stuart stevens (@stuartpstevens) July 25, 2017
I hate saying this, and it's scary. Hitlers youth was formed to recruit members into the Nazi political party, same for Boy Scouts into GOP?— ?? Christopher Zullo (@ChrisJZullo) July 25, 2017
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Carlos Barria