Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Annual guide to what politicos are really saying

Pignanelli & Webb: For any sane person, politics can be confusing even in normal election years. But this year, standard political discourse doesn’t exist. So, as a public service, we offer our annual guide to what politicos are saying — and what they really mean.

Donald Trump: “Crooked Hillary, Little Marco, Lyin’ Ted, Hillary Rotten Clinton, Mitt the Choker." (I don’t have a clue about domestic issues or foreign policy, but the news media can’t resist my insults, so substance is unnecessary.)

Hillary Clinton: "I apologize for the email controversy. But what I did was legal at the time." (We all know us Clintons are above any silly rules or laws that apply to other people. Absurdly legalistic excuses worked for my husband, and they work for me.)

Trump II: "I'm a religious person. Crooked Hillary is the one who has no morals." (Religious fervor welled up in my heart when I won the support of evangelical Christian leaders, even more than when I drink my little wine and have my little cracker. By the way, what is Two Corinthians?)

Clinton II: "Trump is disgraceful to women, minorities and our allies. (Thank goodness for Donald Trump — the only Republican I can defeat.)

Mike Pence: "I am fully confident that Donald Trump respects the sacrifice made by the Khan family, and he will strengthen our military to reduce loss of life in the future.” (Yeah, this is a pathetic defense to Trump's outrageous comments. But I have nothing else. What have I gotten myself into?)

Utah Republicans: "We are proud of our great Utah political leaders, our conservative values and the great success of our state. We are confident voters will support our candidates.” (If we totally ignore Trump, maybe the voters will, too, and we won't suffer at the polls.)

Utah Democrats: "The Trump factor makes Utah a swing state, so this is a great opportunity for Democrats down the ballot, especially Doug Owens against Mia Love." (Even with Trump, we’ll probably keep losing, but hope springs eternal.)

Clinton III: "I oppose free trade treaties; I support increased regulations on banks and Wall Street; I will expand entitlement programs and raise taxes." (This directly contradicts everything my husband accomplished, but I have to satisfy those ultra-left Sanders supporters.)

Political reporters and TV networks: "Once again Trump is blaming the media and making irresponsible comments on every topic imaginable. How could Republicans be so incredibly stupid as to nominate him as the leader of the party of Lincoln and Reagan?” (We created this monster, but we couldn't help ourselves. His tweets and press conferences are like crack cocaine. Sorry, America, but ratings are up!)

House Speaker Paul Ryan: "I truly believe that House and Senate Republicans can work with Trump and implement a robust, pro-growth policy agenda that will keep America safe and eliminate intergenerational poverty.” (I have lived a Boy Scout life, but in politics you have to tell a few white lies. What did I do to deserve this mess? I didn’t even want to become speaker and now I have to deal with the most disastrous Republican presidential candidate in history.)

New York Sen. Chuck Schumer: "This year offers a real potential for the Democrats to take control of the U.S. Senate." (Please join me in a toast to Donald Trump. Any other Republican candidate would defeat Hillary, and we would have no chance to win the Senate. Thanks, Donald. I like the sound of Chuck Schumer, Senate majority leader!)

Mitt Romney: "For the sake of the Republican Party and conservative values, I will continue to speak out about the excesses and irresponsibility of Donald Trump.” (This is getting fun. The media jump on anything I say, and more Republicans are joining me. And, by the way, I’m available if Trump drops out.)

Bernie Sanders: “Hillary Clinton is the best choice in this election.” (America won’t get a real Socialist president, but I pushed her so far left that I get most of what I want.)

Devout Sanders supporters: "We cannot stomach Hillary. There is no way we will betray our values and vote for that shill of corporate America." (Of course we will vote for her. It just makes us feel good to complain about it, and Trump would be even worse.)

Jeb Bush: “No comment.” (Republicans rejected me, so they get what they deserve.)

Chris Christie: “Donald Trump is a great American and we need his forceful leadership.” (I’ll say anything to become attorney general and leave behind this mess in New Jersey.”

Newt Gingrich: “The world is a dangerous place, and Donald Trump is the commander-in-chief we need.” (Anyone who’s been married as many times as Donald and I have can deal with domestic strife and easily handle the Russians.)

President Obama: “Donald Trump isn’t fit for office. I call on my fellow Americans to vote for Hillary.” (Why didn’t my buddy Joe Biden jump into this race? Then I really could have had a third term.)