In an ultra-rich-person moment at his latest forever-campaign rally in Tampa on Tuesday night, President Trump claimed you need photo ID to buy groceries in this country as part of a meandering argument for voter ID laws.
Trump started by telling his crowd, where conspiracy theorists and Jim Acosta haters were unsurprisingly well represented, that “only American citizens should vote in American elections” as a response to an argument no one is making. “Which is why the time has come for voter ID, like everything else,” he continued.
“You know, if you want to go out and want to buy groceries, you need your picture, on a card. You need ID,” Trump, a man who has apparently never purchased groceries, told the crowd. “The only time you don’t need it, in many cases, is when you want to vote for a president, when you want to vote for a senator.”
A number of outlets published home-run fact checks to correct the record that any person without that many zeros in offshore bank accounts already knew. (You only need ID to buy things like alcohol, cigarettes, or the really good cold medicine they keep behind the counter now.)
The moment is also the latest installment in a long history of rich politicians being so divorced from the lives of everyday people that they occasionally have high-profile “gaffes,” like Hillary Clinton admitting she hadn’t driven a car in more than 20 years, or Mitt Romney’s entire presidential campaign. Trump is a man who was born into wealth and made a career out of branding himself a rich guy, so it’s not difficult to imagine how little he understands about Americans’ material realities—a fact already made clear by his policy agenda.
Update, 1:48 PM: During Wednesday’s press briefing, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s remarks about grocery-buying, saying he was clearly referencing having to show your driver’s license to buy alcohol.
Asked when the last time Trump visited a grocery store, Sanders said she wasn’t sure, but also said “I’m not sure why that matters.”
On the topic of Trump’s tweets about ending the Russia probe, Sanders said that message was “not an order. It’s the president’s opinion.”