Robert De Niro Tries to Out-Crazy Marjorie Taylor Greene

May 30, 2024

I loved Robert De Niro in “The Untouchables,” “Taxi Driver,” “Casino” and “Goodfellas.” Heck, I even liked him in “The Intern.” He’s a skilled actor, but it was apparent from his unhinged performance Tuesday that he’s lost when it comes to politics.

Outside the New York courthouse where Donald Trump is on trial for allegedly falsifying business records, the Oscar-winning actor delivered a full-throated assault on the former president, saying he “wants to destroy not only the city but the country, and eventually he can destroy the world.” It might’ve been convincing if Mr. De Niro argued that Mr. Trump’s policies would hurt the city, the country or even the planet. But what voter not already in the Biden camp would believe that Mr. Trump is a cartoonish supervillain bent on obliterating the globe?

Mr. De Niro wasn’t finished: “If Trump returns to the White House, you can kiss these freedoms goodbye that we all take for granted. And elections—forget about it. That’s over; that’s done. If he gets in, I can tell you right now, he will never leave.”

This amateurish overacting didn’t help the candidate Mr. De Niro supports, President Biden. The voters who will decide this election dislike both candidates. They’re likely to be unimpressed—even turned off—by what Mr. De Niro spewed at reporters Tuesday. 

Mr. De Niro could have helped Mr. Biden if he stuck to the facts and kept it simple. The actor could have focused on the two Capitol Police officers, Michael Fanone and Harry Dunn, who stood behind him at his raucous press conference. He could have directly criticized Mr. Trump for doing nothing for 187 minutes on Jan. 6, 2021, while Messrs. Fanone and Dunn and others fought to stop a mob from overrunning the Capitol. That would have been straightforward, uncomplicated and convincing to swing voters.

Team Biden doesn’t seem to grasp the type of campaigning 2024 calls for. In a new fundraising email, the president claims Mr. Trump “aims to destroy the America we know.” No undecided voter buys that the former president deliberately, consciously, purposefully wants to destroy the country—someone who did wouldn’t be undecided. But undecided voters could be persuaded that Mr. Trump would do a great deal of harm, if only his opponents could stick to reality. 

Luckily for Mr. Biden, Republicans have quite a problem with out-of-control rhetoric, too. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tweeted last week that “the Biden DOJ and FBI were planning to assassinate Pres Trump and gave the green light. Does everyone get it yet???!!!” Ms. Greene got this insane claim from boilerplate language in the federal warrant to search Mr. Trump’s home for classified documents that limits the use of deadly force to situations involving “an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.” 

The warrant the Federal Bureau of Investigation served Mr. Biden to search his home for documents had the same language. Moreover, the bureau searched Mar-a-Lago during the summer, when Mr. Trump was very likely to be at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J. The idea the FBI planned to gun down Mr. Trump is sick and dangerous, which is why Russian media was happy to repeat Mrs. Greene’s over-the-top charge ad nauseam. 

Mr. Trump topped Ms. Greene last week, saying in a fundraising email that FBI agents “were authorized to shoot me!” He went on, “I nearly escaped death. . . . You know they’re just itching to do the unthinkable” as “Joe Biden was locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger.” What a stupid way to slander 35,000 members of the FBI and discourage their families and others in law enforcement from supporting him.

Read More at the WSJ

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