The World According to Donald Trump: Beat 'em to a pulp — and then float 'em for VP?
After insulting them within an inch of their political lives during the GOP primary, the Republican presidential frontrunner told USA Today he'd consider elevating Marco Rubio, Scott Walker and John Kasich for vice president or top cabinet positions.
"There are people I have in mind in terms of vice president. I just haven't told anybody names," Trump said in the sit down.
"I do like Marco. I do like Kasich. ... I like Walker actually in a lot of ways. I hit him very hard. ... But I've always liked him. There are people I like, but I don't think they like me because I have hit them hard."
He has indeed.
Let us count the ways.
1. Trump has attacked Rubio as abnormally sweaty.
Trump clowned Rubio's fluid intake and output during a Feb. 26 appearance in Texas, telling fans after a particularly punchy televised debate, "I have never seen a human being sweat like this man sweats. ... It looked like [Rubio] had just jumped into a swimming pool with his clothes on."
He proceeded to demonstrate with a water bottle as a prop.
2. Trump has made fun of Rubio's big ears and his height — and called him a robot.
Long before he served the young Florida senator a steaming plate of campaign-ending defeat in his home state, Trump had a fondness for referring to Rubio as "Little Marco," saying Rubio had the biggest ears he'd ever seen and had his supporters hate-tweeting with the hashtag #RobotRubio.
3. Trump called Walker's home state of Wisconsin a hot mess.
Both before and after the Trump Train derailed Walker's presidential aspirations, the Manhattan billionaire was slicing into the Badger State governor's track record.
"The schools are a disaster, and they're fighting like crazy because there's no money for the schools. The hospitals and education is a disaster," Trump said of Walker's state in July, Business Insider reported.
"And he was totally in favor of Common Core," the politically-charged education standards loathed by conservatives, Trump added. "Did you know that? He was totally in favor of [Common Core], which I hate."
4. Trump mocked Walker for having given him a plaque.
Ahead of the Wisconsin primary, which Trump lost to Walker's chosen candidate, Ted Cruz, Trump sneered that the governor had once visited him at his New York office to give him a plaque in thanks for some generous campaign donations.
"We're trying to find it; it's on the bottom of a pile of plaques," Trump said.
5. Trump said Kasich shouldn't be "allowed" to run.
Former reality show star Trump, a man who glories in calling his rivals "losers" and "dummies," recently suggested the Ohio governor should pack it in because he's going nowhere in the election.
"I said, 'Why is a guy allowed to run?'" Trump said on April 3, the New York Times reported. "All he's doing is just he goes from place to place, and loses, and he keeps on running."
Mending fences? Despite all of the back and forth, Trump — surprising no one — insisted in the USA Today piece that his foes are the ones cozying up to him after taking their respective beatings.
"People you see excoriating me on TV ... are calling my office wanting to get on the team," Trump told interviewer Kirsten Powers.
"I actually asked a couple of them, 'How can you do this after what you said?' And they said, 'No problem.'"
For what it's worth, Kasich is scheduled to give a speech in Manhattan Tuesday morning that is forecast to be an unvarnished warning that Republicans should not go over to Trump's "dark" brand of politics.
In the meantime, Trump is focusing his energies on winning New York's April 19 primary — and trying to knock the hell out of his closest rival, Ted Cruz.