Washington, Dec. 1 – In a new ad, Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes a shot at Donald Trump for publicly poking fun at an award-winning reporter with a congenital joint condition.
The ad, titled “Is he worthy,” says Trump is too heartless to be president and not worthy to follow in the footsteps of past presidents like Ronald Reagan. It opens with footage of Trump at a rally convulsing on stage – appearing to mock a reporter who wrote an article Trump says defends his claim that “thousands” of Muslims celebrated in New Jersey following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The reporter, Serge Kovaleski, who now works at The New York Times, has a chronic condition that impairs movement of his arm.
“Ah, I don’t know what I said,” the ad shows Trump saying, while contorting his face and hand. “I don’t remember.”
The YouTube description adds, “Donald Trump insults POWs and veterans, people with disabilities, women, Hispanics, people of different faiths. Is a man like that really worthy of following in the footsteps of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan?”
Kasich has been criticizing Trump for many of his claims throughout the primary season. On Sunday, he said Trump “absolutely” mocked the reporter’s disability.
“He’s insulted other reporters. This one he absolutely mocked, who was disabled,” Kasich said on ABC’s This Week. “Somebody has to call him out on this kind of divisive language. It’s outrageous.”
Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina also attacked Trump’s actions.
“This is the pattern, isn’t it? The pattern is — he says something insulting, offensive and outrageous; the media pays attention; then he claims we all misunderstood him,” Fiorina said on Fox News Sunday. “This is the pattern, perhaps, of an entertainer. It’s certainly not the pattern of a leader.”
“Apparently Donald Trump only feels big when he’s trying to make everyone else look small,” Fiorina added. “Of course, in the end, he looks the smallest of all.”
Over the weekend, Trump demanded that The New York Times apologize to him for even suggesting for he would mock someone’s disability.
“I would never mock a person that has a disability,” he said Saturday. “I don’t care if I liked the person or I didn’t.”
According to both the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fully one in five Americans – that’s 56 million people – has a disability. A disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of an individual. People with disabilities are the largest minority group in America. It also is the only minority group that anyone, due to accident or illness, can join at any time.
Trump’s actions are alienating a huge voter block. Fifty-two percent of Democrats report that they or a loved one have a disability, and for Republicans, 44 percent report they have a disability. Surprisingly, Independents have the largest number of voters who say they have a disability, with 58 percent saying yes. This shows that swing voters with disabilities and their families are up for grabs.
The disability community, which is larger than the Hispanic and African American communities, can be the swing vote in the 2016 campaign, and they are looking for candidates to address the issues important to them – not to make fun of them.