In 2016, you're gonna get some hecklers.
Loud outbursts have gone hand-in-hand with political rallies since the stump speech was invented. But how should a candidate handle hecklers? Ignore them? Walk off stage? Tell security to "rough them up?"
It's an important question for any candidate. Last August, Bernie Sanders was completely derailed by Black Lives Matter protesters at a rally in Seattle. And a protester at a Donald Trump rally in Birmingham, Ala., said he was punched, kicked and choked after an outburst during Trump's speech.
Then there's the question of what a candidate does when someone fired up by their own passion says something beyond what the candidate is willing to say publicly — often something that speaks to the darker side of what the audience is thinking.
That's where Trump is a master. He knows how to work the crowd, and he knows how to get the crowd to say things he'd rather not say himself. At a rally in Claremont, N.H., Tuesday night, he deftly turned several heckles into audience attacks on President Obama, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, and one of his favorite targets – the media.
It's a subtle tactic – one that allows Trump to assert, "I didn't say it," while implying that it's what we're all thinking. By sarcastically admonishing the hecklers, ostensibly on behalf of the press, Trump taps into his audience's deep mistrust of both Obama and Clinton, and of course, the press.
Watch the master at work.