For Trump’s critics, the event highlighted his lack of empathy during an election year ravaged by health and economic crises plaguing American families. Trump is already crippled by not being able to host so many mega-gatherings given the risks of a pandemic, so now he and his aides have turned to smaller, more docile events like Tuesday night town hall and panel discussions with supporters, Latinos or small business owners. . In contrast, his Democratic rival and former Vice President Joe Biden avoided large-scale events and instead met people one-on-one during more traditional campaign stops to hear their stories.
Trump has almost no way of understanding the challenges that everyday people face. His whole life has been living in a wealth bubble or Manhattan, Brendan Buck, former adviser to Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan, said of the president’s mayoral performance. He surrounded himself with this echo chamber where it is rare that he is thus confronted.
Unlike attacking the news media or spreading fake news when he doesn’t like the outcome, you can’t attack a regular voter for his views, Buck added.
Trump tried to call town hall a victory on Twitter and at a press conference on Wednesday, even as the event was criticized by Republicans and Democrats. Thanks for the great reviews on ABC News last night, he tweeted Wednesday morning.
For many Trump associates, the event went well avoiding any major disaster for his campaign. Trump showed up and faced tough questions. None of his answers became a viral internet sensation, and although he stumbled across answers about Covid-19 or herd immunity, calling it a herd mentality, helpers and advisers did. argue that it allowed him to make a contrast with Biden who did much less. public appearances in part due to public health guidelines regarding the pandemic.
Wondering when Joe Biden will answer tough questions from Republican voters at a town hall moderated by George Bush’s press secretary, a campaign official joked about ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos, who was once director of communications for the White House under President Bill Clinton.
Other Trump aides and allies called the event rigged, with ABC picking voters whose pointed questions implied they were anything but undecided. Fox News scholar Laura Ingraham called ABC town hall a full set-up on Twitter even as she called Trump unperturbed, and her show framed the event as an ambush by Trump.
Will ABC do the same to Joe? she asked.
Senior HHS spokesperson Michael Caputo said he was taking health leave less than a week after POLITICO first reported interfering with CDC coronavirus reporting .
Last night, the American people were able to hear directly from their president for almost an hour about what he was doing to beat the virus, protect his job and return our economy to the strongest in history, said the chief executive officer. White House communications Alyssa Farah in a statement. While many career politicians shy away from difficult and lengthy interviews, President Trump does not fear them and is the most accessible politician in history.
The event had a different tone to Trumps ‘friendlier appearances on Fox News morning or evening shows, in which hosts largely adhere to Trumps’ rhetoric, theories or bragging rights.
At town hall on Tuesday, Trump told a voter that a vaccine would likely be ready in three to four weeks, while health experts warned that a vaccine would likely not be available until 2021. He accused Biden for failing to institute a national mandate on wearing masks when Biden does not hold any elected office and he argued that wearing masks to fight Covid-19 was not always good, undermining health guidelines from his government.
When a voter asked him why he had played down the coronavirus, publicly rejecting it from January to March, the president said no.
Well, I haven’t minimized that, he says. In fact, I played it in a lot of ways in terms of action. My action was very strong.
Not everyone bought it.
I found it to be an amazing sight of Donald Trumps’ reality-warping field at full power, his refusal to answer serious questions deep down, his completely bonkers understanding of reality and facts and his comfort to offer non-sensual explanations for very serious matters, said Timothy OBrien, author of TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald and former senior advisor to the presidential campaign to Michael Bloomberg.
Biden also seized on Trump’s comments on Covid-19, saying that the presidents’ town hall revealed in no uncertain terms a lack of seriousness with which he continued to take this pandemic, Biden said.
By his own admission, he continued to lie about Covid-19, Biden added in a press appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said the president had empathized in several parts of town hall but declined to report specific times. It showed a president who is in charge and on top of a critical issue facing the entire country, and I think people watching should come out knowing that the president of the United States has been engaged and in l vanguard of Covid, added Murtaugh. .
Few agents, or even Trump aides, believe that a single town hall will influence the minds of all individual voters. But it could cement people’s existing impressions of a candidate, Buck said, whether it means seeing the president as a strong leader as his base does, or seeing him as a selfish person incapable of meeting the challenges of the pandemic.
I don’t think this particular event will do or undo anything, but it does provide a window into what the debates are like, Buck said, noting the ABC moderator who checked Trump in real time. He’s a president who is only in a bubble, and it will make it interesting to see if he’s comfortable with someone challenging him for an hour and a half.
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