© 2024 Milwaukee Public Media is a service of UW-Milwaukee's College of Letters & Science
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

The Best Insults Of Donald Trump's Latest Campaign Speech

Trump threw out dozens of insults in his latest campaign speech, and he had several in particular for Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Scott Olson
Getty Images
Trump threw out dozens of insults in his latest campaign speech, and he had several in particular for Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Donald Trump held a kickoff event for his South Carolina campaign on Tuesday, and his speech was, to put it mildly, a doozy. Speaking in Sun City, S.C., without the aid of a TelePrompTer — because "Maybe when you run for president you shouldn't be allowed to use a TelePrompTer, because you find out what you're getting" — he was defensive, brash, angry, funny and self-aggrandizing.

But one thing set The Donald's speech apart from all other campaign speeches: He hurled insult after insult. In a speech that almost felt like a comedy roast of Washington, Trump flung put-downs in every direction, especially at a certain South Carolina senator who had used some possibly objectionable language to slam Trump earlier.

Here's some of the billionaire businessman's most stinging insults:

On South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham(He read his 2016 rival's phone number aloud, in retaliation after Graham called Trump a "jackass.")

"I see your senator, what a stiff. What a stiff: Lindsey Graham."

"And then you have this guy Lindsey Graham, a total lightweight. Here's a guy — in the private sector he couldn't get a job. Believe me. Couldn't get a job. He couldn't do what you people did. You're retired as hell and rich. He wouldn't be rich; he'd be poor."

"And then I watch this idiot Lindsey Graham on television today, and he calls me a jackass."

"I said to myself, you know, it's amazing. [Graham] doesn't seem like a very bright guy. He actually probably seems to me not as bright, honestly, as [former Texas Gov.] Rick Perry. I think Rick Perry honestly is smarter than Lindsey Graham, but what do I know?"

On President Obama

"We have a president who just can't say a few words: 'Put the flags at half-mast for the five Marines that were just killed.' Why? Why? Why? ... It's almost like, does he read the papers? Does he watch television?"

"We're tired of being pushed around, kicked around ... and led by stupid people. They're stupid people!"

On Perry and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

"I see Rick Perry the other day. ... He's doing very poorly in the polls. He put on glasses so people will think he's smart. And it just doesn't work! You know people can see through the glasses!"

"The new governor, Governor Abbott ... I see him, he's so vicious. He used to be a really nice guy. He used to come see me for contributions, for support. All of a sudden he wants to show [mocking voice] he's a tough guy with Trump. So tough."

On former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush

"I'm not a fan of Jeb Bush, because Jeb Bush is a fan of Common Core and weak on immigration. ... And he's not a dealmaker. Who would you rather have negotiating against China?"

On politicians

"They're all talk, no action, so they won't do anything, anyway, just so you understand. They can talk all they want."

On the media

"[I've seen] ships that are five times longer than this totally sold-out building along with the amphitheaters, by the way. The press never reports that [presumably, on the sold-out crowds]. They never report that. But that's OK."

"I have many millions [of followers] between Twitter and Facebook. It's great. It's like owning a newspaper without the losses. It's incredible."

"The press is very dishonest."

On trade and U.S. relationships abroad

"Believe me, [the Chinese] tax you [via currency manipulation]. We don't tax, because we have people that are stupid. ... The problem with free trade is you need smart people on our side. ... [gestures around] I could take some of the people up here, I could put them in. They'd do a great job."

"You can win against China if you're smart. But our people don't have a clue. We give state dinners to the heads of China. I say 'Why are you doing state dinners for them? They're ripping us left and right. Just take them to McDonald's and go back to the negotiating table.' It's true!"

"I really like Mexico. It's a great place. The problem we have is that their leaders are much smarter and sharper and cunning than our leaders. ... Is not anybody sharper and smarter and more cunning than our leaders?"

"[Speaking to Iran's leaders] 'Fellas' — and it is fellas, because they haven't figured out that the women are smarter than the men — ... you've got to let our prisoners go."

The people reporting unemployment figures (i.e., the Bureau of Labor Statistics)

"Bunch of clowns. Bunch of real clowns."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Danielle Kurtzleben is a political correspondent assigned to NPR's Washington Desk. She appears on NPR shows, writes for the web, and is a regular on The NPR Politics Podcast. She is covering the 2020 presidential election, with particular focuses on on economic policy and gender politics.