Dean made an almost passing remark in a Tweet that has since become a lightning rod for right-wing outrage.
But that’s only elevated the comment to a full-blown controversy and brought Trump’s debate demeanor into sharp focus.
Dean’s Tweet read: “Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?”
Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?
— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) September 27, 2016
Indeed, Trump’s constant sniffling throughout the debate was hard not to notice.
But the outrage Dean’s Tweet provoked among right wing commentators elevated the issue in the election news cycle for the second day.
The hypocrisy was palpable.
Trump and a right wing chorus has been hammering Clinton for weeks about her supposed health problems. This, despite the fact that her doctor released a detailed medical history and pronounced her fit to be president.
Some right-wing critics even tried to claim Clinton suffered a “mini-seizure” during the debate, which was demonstrably false based on her forceful and steady performance.
Trump on the other hand, has skirted the health issue by releasing only a four-paragraph letter from a family doctor. Both the letter and the doctor have been widely discredited.
Then, in a strange reality television twist, he released the results of a physical on the “Dr. Oz” show. The host Dr. Mehmet Oz, was called out last year for being a being a “charlatan” and a “quack” by a group of top doctors from around the country.
The 70-year-old candidate failed to disclose his family history of Alzheimer’s disease. The debilitating mental disease struck his father Fred Trump.
During Monday night’s presidential debate, he became theatrical and belligerent. He repeatedly interrupted Clinton, talked in rapid-fire sentences and appeared agitated, verging on out-of control, like a road-raging driver.
He wheezed and sniffed repeatedly throughout and continually sipped water. Clinton did not take a drink during the entire 95-minute confrontation.
Dean appeared on MSNBC yesterday (Sept. 27) and reiterated that “something funny was going on.” The medical doctor said Trump’s sniffing is a “signature” sign of cocaine use.
“Well, you can’t make a diagnosis over the television, I would never do that, but he has some interesting—that is actually a signature of people who use cocaine,” Dean said. “I’m not suggesting that Trump does, but…”
“Well, you are suggesting it, actually, in a tweet,” anchor Kate Snow said.
Dean’s explanation seemed more than reasonable:
“I’m suggesting we think about it. He sniffs during the presentation, which is something that users do. He also has grandiosity, which is something that accompanies that problem. He has delusions—I’m not talking about being crazy, but for example, when he told everybody it was very smart not to pay taxes and then denied he said it after he said it in front of 100 million people … It’s that he thinks somehow he’s not going to get caught. That is delusional.”
“Do I think at 70 years old he has a cocaine habit? Probably not. But, you know, it’s something that I think would be interesting to ask him and see if he ever had a problem with that.”
Indeed, Trump has been rumored to be a steady user of amphetamines, which have the same stimulative effect as cocaine. Even he has admitted he only sleeps three to four hours a night and has problems with insomnia.
Trump also likes to brag about how he has the stamina of a 30-year-old. But on Monday, he clearly started sagging about 50 minutes into the debate.
He leaned heavily on the podium and spoke in fragmented sentences, mispronounced words and often lost his train of thought.
Right wingers are trying to drag President Obama into the debate. He admitted trying cocaine and marijuana in college and it wasn’t disqualifying in his presidential run. But Trump’s alleged problem is ongoing.
“This guy’s already proven himself to be unstable. The question is, why is he unstable?” said Dean on MSNBC.
It’s true, as many right wing commentators noted, any number of things could have caused Trump’s sniffling, from a mild cold to, you guessed it, walking pneumonia.
But so far, the Trump campaign hasn’t responded. Oddly, Trump appeared at a Florida rally yesterday (Sept. 27) and an Iowa rally today (Sept. 28), and appeared fine, according to news reports.
In another comment rich with hypocrisy, right wing commentators accused Dean of being “partisan.”
Check out the video below.
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