Sometimes the problem with following a script is that you violate the first lesson lawyers and reporters should learn by heart: Never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to – or be ready to be surprised.

It’s a lesson Dana Bash needs to review after a misguided question designed to expose Republican candidate Donald Trump as abandoning his campaign to spend time on his business.

The reporter for CNN – often referred to, only partly with tongue in cheek, as “The Clinton News Network” because of its undisguised bias in favor of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy – may have thought she was scoring a hit on the billionaire businessman and building mogul when she interviewed him at the opening of his new hotel in Washington, D.C.

“What is your answer when people say you’re taking time out of swing states to go do this…?”


Instead of putting Trump on the spot, Bash gave him an opening – and ended up without a retort to his polite, but devastating answer.

In a calm, measured voice, Trump seized the chance to remind viewers of the high-energy campaign he has been waging for months and compare it to his opponent’s schedule that limits her to few appearances and frequent rest days.

Bash initially nodded as Trump noted his itinerary.

“I did yesterday, eight stops and three major speeches, and I’ve been doing this for weeks straight… I’ve taken an hour and a half, I’m going to North Carolina right now, then I’m going to Florida then I’m going up to New Hampshire.

For you to ask me that question, is actually very insulting because Hillary Clinton does one stop and then she goes home to sleep.

And yet you’ll ask me that question. I think it’s a very rude question to be honest with you.”

Bash didn’t have a response to the truth.

A video of Clinton offering slices of her chocolate birthday cake aboard her campaign plane was online that also featured a taste of the questions the press asked her: if she intended to reach out to Trump and other Republicans after she wins and how she enjoyed the Adele concert she attended.

Just the type of hard-hitting, ‘gotcha’ questions thrown at her opponent.

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