The president’s comments were made during a freewheeling speech in Battle Creek, Mich., in which he addressed such topics as Hillary Clinton, MS-13, the “filth” in San Francisco, F-35 pilots more handsome than Tom Cruise, the “stupid Washington Post, their Pinocchio” and the “lawless partisan impeachment.” He also went after the late Michigan congressman John Dingell, drawing condemnation for suggesting he might be “looking up” from hell.
The dishwasher remarks came as Trump touted efforts to fight water regulations he claimed have resulted in showers, toilets and sinks that no longer work as well as they once did. He raised the same issue earlier this month, getting the late-night treatment after declaring that “people are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once.”
At the Wednesday rally, Trump led the crowd in a call-and-response about toilets (“Sinks, right, showers, and what goes with a sink and a shower?” he asked). He complained about media coverage of his earlier comments, saying, “I mentioned all three, I said: sinks, showers and toilets. The headline was, ‘Trump with the toilets.’ Toilets. That’s all they were.”
He said he was “bringing back the old lightbulb,” saying the new ones make him look orange and have to be driven to “the dump” because they are considered hazardous waste. That led him to showers — “you turn on the shower, you’re not allowed to have any water anymore” — and then to dishwashers.
“Women tell me, again,” he said, simulating pressing a button. “You know, they give you four drops of water. And there are places where there’s so much water they don’t know what to do with it. So we just came up with a reg on dishwashers.”
He didn’t offer specifics but was probably referring to efforts by his administration to roll back energy-efficiency requirements he blames for slower dishwashing cycles. The New York Times reported in September that conservative groups tied to fossil-fuel companies had launched a campaign to bring back the golden age of dishwashers.
The newspaper noted that “Make Dishwashers Great Again” is the name of an online petition promoted by FreedomWorks, an offshoot of an organization founded by Charles and David Koch, whose family made its vast fortune in fossil fuels. The rollbacks carry environmental impacts the Times described as “significant,” and the industry itself opposes them. But an Energy Department official defended the move in an interview with the paper.
“People’s time is a nonrenewable resource,” said Daniel Simmons, assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. “People get frustrated when their appliances take longer, whether it’s dishwashers or washing machines.”