Bruce Springsteen: Trump ‘doesn’t have a grasp’ on what it means to be American – The Washington PostOctober 27, 2019
At a rally in Minneapolis earlier this month, President Trump told supporters about all the people he didn’t need to win the election three years ago.
He did not need Beyoncé, he said, or her husband, Jay-Z.
And he did not need “little Bruce Springsteen.”
All three music icons supported Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” co-host Gayle King that aired Friday, Springsteen briefly responded to Trump’s taunt and spoke more broadly about his views on the direction of the nation.
“So he’s going back to 2016. And this is now 2019,” King said. “You surprised that he’s trash-talking you after all this time?”
“Not really,” he said. “Anything’s possible.”
“I know,” King said. “I mean, a lot of people are very concerned about the direction of the country.”
Springsteen said: “It’s just frightening, you know? We’re living in a frightening time. The stewardship of the nation is — has been thrown away to somebody who doesn’t have a clue as to what that means. … And, unfortunately, we have somebody who I feel doesn’t have a grasp of the deep meaning of what it means to be an American.”
The rock legend’s comments were part of a longer conversation promoting his new film “Western Stars,” which opens in theaters Friday and is based on his recent album of the same name.
For decades, Springsteen’s music has been the soundtrack of the working class and is often played at campaign rallies. Springsteen has appeared at rallies himself for Democratic candidates but has said in interviews that he is careful not to over-involve himself in politics. He told Variety he tended to be “a little bit ambivalent” about getting directly involved in political campaigns.
“I’ve done it when I felt it was really necessary and that maybe my two cents might make some small bit of difference,” Springsteen said. “But the more you do it, your two cents becomes one cent and then no cents whatsoever, so I think your credibility and your impact lessens the more you do it. So I’ve been hesitant to overplay my hand in that area, and I generally come to service when I feel it’s kind of necessary and it might help a little bit.”
But the Boss has not been shy to criticize Trump since before he won the presidency.
The republic is under siege by a moron, basically. The whole thing is tragic. Without overstating it, it’s a tragedy for our democracy. When you start talking about elections being rigged, you’re pushing people beyond democratic governance. And it’s a very, very dangerous thing to do. Once you let those genies out of the bottle, they don’t go back in so easy, if they go back in at all. The ideas he’s moving to the mainstream are all very dangerous ideas — white nationalism and the alt-right movement. The outrageous things that he’s done — not immediately disavowing David Duke? These are things that are obviously beyond the pale for any previous political candidate. It would sink your candidacy immediately.
Springsteen to Rolling Stone
Last year, ahead of the release of the Netflix special on his Tony Award-winning Broadway show, Springsteen accused Trump of being “deeply damaged” and “dangerous.”
Trump “has no interest in uniting the country, really, and actually has an interest in doing the opposite and dividing us, which he does on an almost daily basis,” Springsteen told Esquire magazine. “So that’s simply a crime against humanity, as far as I’m concerned. It’s an awful, awful message to send out into the world if you’re in that job and in that position. It’s just an ugly, awful message.”
Springsteen said Trump was an example of someone who had abandoned the principles of family, community and citizenship.
“You can’t forsake those things. It’ll rot your core at the end of the day,” Springsteen said. “If you want to see someone who’s — look at Trump. He has forsaken a lot of these things, and it’s affected him. He’s deeply damaged at his core.”
Springsteen added: “That’s why he’s dangerous. Anyone in that position who doesn’t deeply feel those ties that bind is a dangerous man, and it’s very pitiful.”