Trump can’t help being Trump.
He says outrageous or dumb things about immigrants or his fellow Republican primary candidates five times a day.
But no one – not even the liberals of the mainstream media – really takes Donald Trump or what he spews seriously.
No one thinks the billionaire’s mix of egotistical bloviating and off-the-cuff policy positions represents the Republican Party or conservatism.
Mike Huckebee and Rick Perry are a whole other story.
They’re not clowns. They’re ex-governors. They’re supposed to be serious candidates for the Republican nomination for president.
Yet last week, they each said something dumb as Trump.
Perry’s statement, at least, was made, more or less, in defense of the Second Amendment.
But in the wake of last week’s theater shooting in Lafayette, La., he said that the way to prevent future shootings would be to encourage moviegoers to take their guns into the theaters.
I’m a fervent Second Amendment guy. And I agree with Perry that gun-free zones are always a bad idea because they attract the well-armed crazies who want to commit mass murders.
But even I wouldn’t want to go into a movie theater where everyone was packing – especially a John Wayne or Clint Eastwood movie.
Especially in West Texas.
Gov. Perry should have held his Texas tongue. All he did was make himself – and by extension the GOP – look like he was exploiting a tragedy to make a political point about gun rights.
Then there’s Mike Huckabee.
What he said about the effect the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran was going to have on the state of Israel caused a national political hissy fit.
Huckabee was right on target when he charged that the president’s foreign policy “is the most feckless in American history” and that trusting the Iranians was “naive.”
Where he got himself in trouble was when he said the Iran deal was so bad it “will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven.”
Huckabee’s Holocaust reference was not the real problem.
As the leaders of some Jewish American groups protested, the real problem was his premise that the state of Israel is a weakling that can’t defend itself from Iran.
Israel counts on our support, but it can take care of itself if it has to. It has a strong government, a strong leader and a strong military, not to mention lots of tanks, jet planes and scores of nukes.
Israel’s leaders also have something else -- courage.
They’re not afraid to act decisively or preemptively when their nation is threatened, as they proved 35 years ago when their jets bombed Iraq’s nuclear research facility.
Huckabee’s Holocaust rhetoric was tut-tutted by some other Republican candidates who thought it was too strong.
Hillary Clinton and other phony Democrats, plus the usual liberal crybabies in the media, made faces and agreed that it was “offensive” and “out of line.”
What Huckabee said didn’t hurt his already slimmer-than-slim chances, but he hurt the GOP team.
He set up an easy layup for the Democrats so they could rise up in fake outrage and paint all the other Republicans as nuts as Trump.
Perry and Huckabee are desperately trying to boost their low poll numbers to qualify for next week’s “Top 10” primary debate.
They tried to out-trump Trump. But all they did was cause trouble in their own ranks and give Democrats a boatload of fodder that will be used against the GOP next fall.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). He is the founder of the email service reagan.com and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.