In a last-ditch attempt to win the minority vote, Donald Trump has ousted Mike Pence and named Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines as his running mate. The appointment is problematic, since Duterte was neither born in the United States nor currently resides here, but Mr. Trump stated bluntly that the place of a man’s birth should not be a factor in his ability to run a country.
Duterte, 71, won 39% of the popular vote and became president of the Philippines in May of this year, after which he famously began a series of extrajudicial killings of drug users, the victims now numbering close to 2000. “He’s shooting for three million,” Trump said, oblivious to the pun. “He wants to be like Hitler. He said so. Now Hitler,” Trump added, “he was a strong leader. He invented the Volkswagen, the Beetle, even the Jetta and the Berlin Wall, maybe even the the beer stein—I’m hearing things, you know, but I’m not sure. During World War II he brought so many countries together.”
“Rody is just like him,” Trump said, using Duterte’s nickname. “This guy actually referred to Obama as the son of a whore. That sealed the deal for me because, you know, who knows if he isn’t?”
For his part Pence, who had defended Trump’s groping of women because, as a Christian, he believed in redemption, said of Trump “I’ll strangle the little weasel,” or words to that effect. (He used neither “little” nor “weasel.”)
Duterte, when he was asked to respond to Trump’s admission that he’d groped women, laughed and said, “That’s nothing. I shot somebody when I was in law school—some kid making fun of my race. (Duterte is from Mindanoa one of the islands in the chain.) “I’m used to shooting people, see? That won’t be a problem,” Duterte said later, answering a question nobody asked.
Trump admitted that the choice of Duterte had partly to do with the fact that the name Rodrigo sounded “Hispanic or Latino” to him, but he refused to walk back his choice afterwards. “Minorities are minorities,” he said, “and everyone in the inner city will look at Rody and say Trump gave that boy a chance—maybe he’ll do the same for me. Actually Duterte was born to a lawyer and civic leader in the Philippines, but Trump repeated that minorities are minorities and if he can somehow connect with African-Americans and Latinos “who I love and who love me,” he said, then he’s willing to overlook Duterte’s ethnicity and growing reputation as a violent murderer.
Duterte, also known as the “dirty-mouth President,” refused to apologize for slandering President Obama and thus abrogating a scheduled August meeting between the two. Mr. Trump criticized the president for not being more forceful. “Even when a world leader is wacked out insane, cozying up to our enemies, and sentencing his own citizens to death without a trial, you have to be nice to them. It’s weird, but I get along with people like that. And remember,” Trump said as he and his new running mate set out for Indiana on the campaign trail, “this guy got 39% of the vote and won the election. Simple majority—that’s all you need. And it’s gonna be beautiful.”
Several reporters contributed to this story, but they ran away before I could get their names.