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Explaining Trump's rhetoric




Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a town hall meeting during a campaign stop at Des Moines Area Community College Newton Campus.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a town hall meeting during a campaign stop at Des Moines Area Community College Newton Campus.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is calling for a ban on Muslims being allowed to enter the U.S. When asked by "The Hill" whether that travel ban would apply to American Muslims, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks replied over email: “Mr. Trump says, ‘everyone.’"

Then today, on "Good Morning America," Trump said American Muslims would be able to come and go. The travel ban was quickly denounced by pretty much everyone else in the field, in either party. Experts in domestic and international law say the ban would be illegal.

"The New York Times" reports Trump's most extreme rhetoric on the campaign trail has coincided with dips in his poll numbers, which then surge again.

Is there a precedent for a candidate regularly inflaming his rivals, while connecting with supporters who cheer on the rhetoric?

Guests:

Kurtis Lee, LA Times reporter. He tweets from @KurtisALee

Mary E. Stuckey, professor of rhetoric and politics at Georgia State University and author of "Defining Americans: The Presidency and National Identity"

Douglas Brinkley, Presidential Historian & Professor of History, Rice University; Fellow, James Baker, III Institute for Public Policy