‘Mr. Rogers’ versus ‘someone’s crazy uncle’: There wasn’t a debate on Thursday, but the dueling town hall format played to Joe Biden’s strengths

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The dueling town halls Thursday night between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden were billed as a “split-screen” experience, but it was more like intentionally inflicting a technical glitch on a home entertainment system.

Trump’s town hall on NBC was loud, aggressive, and, at times, terse. 

Biden’s town hall on ABC was quiet, congenial, and almost boring.

Yet former Vice President Biden proved once again that his affability, penchant for retail politics, and even his more boring streak are some of his strongest political assets, particularly in the end game shaping up around suburban women and voters 65 years of age and older in the battleground states.

‘Crazy uncle’ vs. ‘Mister Rogers’

Trump desperately needed to flip the script — just like he did going into the first debate, where he actually did substantial harm to his already worrying polling deficit — but instead, he offered more of the same.

His exchanges with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie mostly centered around the myriad controversies and scandals orbiting the White House.

The exchange about QAnon typified how Trump’s combative interview style did not adapt well to the town hall format — something that should have been a red flag after his last one before the first debate.

QAnon is a baseless far-right conspiracy theory that claims President Donald Trump is secretly fighting a “deep state” cabal of satanic pedophiles and cannibals.

When Guthrie pressed Trump on his recent tweets promoting conspiracy theories, she frankly pointed out: “You’re the president, you’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever.”

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“No, no, no,” Trump interjected. “That was a retweet. I do a lot of retweets.”

Savannah Guthrie: Why did you tweet out a conspiracy about Biden killing Navy Seals to cover up the fake death of Bin Laden?

Trump: “That was a retweet…”

Guthrie: “I don’t get that. You’re the president! You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can retweet whatever!” pic.twitter.com/CfZoX3Mwxm

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 16, 2020


The tweets in question are linked to a QAnon baseless conspiracy theory that Osama bin Laden’s assassination was faked, and the Obama administration staged a coverup.  

Trump then refused to denounce QAnon.

Despite this issue already causing headaches for his reelection campaign, Trump replied with a routine similar to various other times he has objected to condemning fringe or hateful groups who happen to be some of his supporters.

“I do know they are very much against pedophilia,” Trump said. “They fight it very hard.”

Meanwhile — in between a more collegial discussion of policy between the former vice president, ABC’s host George Stephanopoulos, and voters — Biden offered an unusually candid assessment of what he would attribute his campaign’s failure to, should he lose to Trump.

Biden on the possibility of losing: “It could say that I’m a lousy candidate, that I didn’t do a good job. But I think, I hope that it doesn’t say that we’re as racially, ethnically and religiously at odds as it appears the president wants us to be.”

🎥: ABC News pic.twitter.com/yl1Lrj25mh

— Bloomberg …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Politics


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