TV news producers breathe off of sound bites, and Donald Trump was their oxygen tank in the summer of 2015.
The real estate mogul barnstormed the political media world since announcing his candidacy for president in June, sparking firestorms on a weekly — and sometimes daily — basis.
Whether attacking Mexican immigrants, television news anchors or other candidates, Trump has been a one-man political attack machine without spending a dime on actual political advertisements.
As the summer winds down, here’s a look back at the 10 biggest Donald doozies.
1. Trump Starts Building a Wall Between Himself and Mexico (and Legal Immigrant Voters)
Most candidates launch their presidential candidacy with an uplifting video of their accomplishments, scripted talking points attacking the current president and explain why they are the guy or gal for the job.
Trump had a different idea: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump seems to have rallied core conservative voters frustrated with illegal immigration, but alienated America’s entire Latino and Hispanic population in the process.
Good luck building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico without first appealing to roughly 54 million (or 17 percent of the American population) people that can help vote him into office.
2. Divine Trump-ervention
Many candidates lean on references to God and their faith, but not many have surmised to have God as one of their chief supporters. But this is Trump we’re talking about. The former “Celebrity Apprentice” host proved he had a flair for the dramatic when he referenced the big man upstairs during his campaign announcement speech.
“I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created,” he promised.
He has yet to announce what position God will have in his cabinet, so stay tuned for that.
3. Show Me a Hero — as Long as It’s Not John McCain
The default issue candidates from both sides of the political aisle agree on are the veterans, but with Trump, no American is immune to criticism — not even prisoner of war John McCain.
“He’s a war hero because he was captured; I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said. The media monsoon that ensued was apoplectic as the pundits predicted the quick demise of Trump. But the comment only strengthened the Donald, springing him to the top spot in the GOP presidential polls.
Trump engaged in a media mea culpa in response, claiming he does indeed think McCain is a hero but that he has let the veterans down as a senator.
4. True Blood — Donald Trump Style
The first GOP presidential debate on Fox News was the most anticipated political event of 2015 with most political and media pundits paying particular attention as to how Trump would fare against more seasoned opponents. Sure enough, blood was spilled — just not in the way anybody was expecting.
One particularly testy exchange with moderator Megyn Kelly drew headlines, as the Fox star challenged Trump on previous comments he made calling women like Rosie O’Donnell “pigs.”
In a subsequent CNN interview with Don Lemon, the real estate mogul surmised maybe Kelly was asking tough questions because she was menstruating: “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her… wherever,” Trump said. The media firestorm was swift and widespread, but Trump again dodged, saying he was Trump again did a media mea culpa, going on Sunday shows to explain he wasn’t saying Kelly was menstruating but bleeding out of her “nose.”
Whatever you say Don.
5. Don’t Talk About My Mama!
One of Trump’s biggest targets has been Jeb Bush, who’s fallen from all-but coronated nominee among GOP pundits to single digits in the poll.
The Donald has enjoyed saying Bush has “low energy,” which reportedly enraged Bush. But one ad Trump ran on Instagram was something you’ve never seen from a presidential candidate before: using another candidate’s own mother against them.
Titled “Barbara Bush’s Advice to Her Son,” Trump used a clip of the Bush family matriarch answering “no” to Matt Lauer when asked if she’d like to see Jeb run for president. The ad ends: “Mother Knows Best!”
6. Pull My Hair If You Dare
In another first, Trump wanted end the national debate over whether his hair is real or fake, so he invited a random supporter on stage to pull his thick mane. “Yes, I believe it is,” the supporter said.
Considering Trump is likely to get into several more hairy situations during the campaign, it’s a good thing he’s going into battle with the real thing.
7. If Ivanka Wasn’t My Daughter…
In one of the most bizarre Trump comments yet, he pretty much said he’d take a pass at his own daughter, well, if she wasn’t his daughter.
“Yeah, she’s really something, and what a beauty, that one,” he told Rolling Stone. “If I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father . . . ”
Republicans tend to be strong on family values, but this might be a little too strong for the party.
8. “Go Back to Univision”
If it wasn’t enough to knock Mexican immigrants as drug lords, rapist, and murderers, Trump decided to kick the highest-profile Mexican-American journalist out of his press conference.
“Sit down, sit down,” Trump told Jorge Ramos as the Univision/Fusion anchor tried to ask him questions. “Go back to Univision,” he concluded.
Ramos was escorted out of the press conference before inviting him back for a testy exchange.The media swarmed all over the Trump-Ramos feud, but the story lost its legs when the tragic WDBJ TV news shooting took over the news cycle. Ramos has continued requesting interviews with Trump. So far, the Donald has not obliged.
9. Grow a Backbone, Bernie!
Trump isn’t a fan of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, but one thing he dislikes more is people going near his microphone, so he criticized Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders for letting people do just that.
“I would never give up my microphone,” he said about Sanders letting two #BlackLivesMatter protestors get on stage to interrupt him at a rally.
“I thought that was disgusting. That showed such weakness, the way he was taken away by two young women — the microphone; they just took the whole place over … That will never happen with me.”
So you can pull his hair, but not his microphone. Got it? Good.
10. Carly Fiorina Obviously Can’t be President, Because “Look at That Face!”
First he insulted Rosie, then Megyn — it’s a wonder it took the presidential candidate so long to offend a woman he was actually running against. In a Rolling Stone profile piece, Trump said he can’t see former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as president because of her looks.
“Look at that face!” he said. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?! … I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not supposed to say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”
Rinse and repeat. Trump did a media mea culpa, claiming he was talking about Fiorina’s persona, not appearance. Fiorina will be on the stage with Trump in next week’s GOP debate on CNN. We’ll see if she pulls the Donald’s hair.