Donald Trump has certainly shown a willingness to go after people during this election cycle and his latest target is Jordan Spieth.
In a campaign speech in Rome, NY, Trump compared Spieth’s collapse at the 2016 Masters with Republican Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful campaign against President Barack Obama in 2012.
“That last election should have been won, except Romney choked like a dog…Romney choked. I’ve never seen anything, well…Let me tell you, Jordan Spieth choked a little bit,” Trump said. “But you know what? He’s going to recover. He’s a great young guy, and he’s going to recover. Romney can’t recover from a choke.”
Trump also took aim at Spieth in an interview with Mark Simone, from WOR in New York.
“It looked like it was over. He was playing so well. Then he got a bogey, then he got another bogey, then he got a little scared. Then he hit the ball in the water. Then he hit another ball in the water.”
We can’t read these comments without first pointing out that yes, Trump is not wrong. Spieth choked. Calling him “scared” might be a bit out of place, but not terribly. Second, for Trump standards, these are fairly tame comments.
While Trump did use some harsh language, he did add that Spieth would recover.
With those caveats out of the way, these comments are still out of place.
Talking about sports on a campaign stop isn’t unique to Trump in any way, but it’s usually done by talking about the success of a local athlete or team in an attempt to win the crowd over even more. Spieth is from Texas, not New York, and Trump wasn’t touting any success.
In reality, this seems like more of a way to take advantage of a well known situation and use it to take a shot at a political rival.
Again, not uncommon by any means but in this case, Kyle Porter of CBS Sports pointed out that it may be detrimental to Trump in his other ventures:
“I’m not totally sure I get why Trump, who is heavily invested in the golf world, is making light of golf’s most valuable asset at the moment” the scribe said.
It’s also worth noting that a few weeks ago, Donald Trump had a pretty clear path to the nomination and now looks to be in a pretty tough fight for it.
By the time this is over, Spieth’s 2016 Masters may not resemble Romney’s 2012 campaign as much as it does Trump’s in 2016.