Speed Reads

Let them borrow cake

Trump tried to clean up Wilbur Ross' tone-deaf comments on unpaid federal workers, didn't succeed

On Thursday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross weighed in on the 800,000 federal workers who haven't been paid in over a month, and his comments were not widely viewed as emanating empathy. That's true even if you don't picture Ross as fictional fellow billionaire Mr. Burns from The Simpsons:

President Trump told reporters later Thursday that he hasn't "heard the statement, but I do understand that perhaps he should have said it differently." So Trump took a whack. In essence, he said local businesspeople would "work along" with unpaid federal employees, and he kept bringing up grocery stores.

The idea that a Walmart or Kroger or Safeway would give people food on personal credit (not credit cards) baffled a lot of people. Most of us "do not inhabit the world of Little House on the Prairie," noted New York's Sarah Jones. "Half Pint cannot go to the general store and place a dozen eggs on store credit until Pa's farm starts to make money."

Also, "who thinks grocery stores and mortgage banks are going to go easy on folks?" asked CNN's Chris Cuomo. "The president is confusing the treatment he got from banks because of his ability to have family millions prop him up as collateral. That's not the real world." Cuomo also lit into Lara Trump's feigned ignorance and explained why Trump won't win his wall, only cause more pain. Watch below. Peter Weber