Trump ‘furious’ over Tulsa campaign kickoff debacle before half-empty arena: NYT
According to a report from the New York Times, Donald Trump was furious about the building of a stage where he was supposed to address adoring fans –only for it to not be used because no one showed — and the way smaller than expected crowd that greeted him in Tulsa on Saturday night.
After weeks of hyping up the fact that over a million tickets had been requested, Trump came out to a crowd that was estimated to be closer to 7,000 fans in an arena that holds 19,000.
According to the Times, “Mr. Trump was furious about the unused outdoor stage and the comparatively thin crowd in the stadium, according to two people familiar with his reaction. News broadcasts carried video of the partially empty stadium, and even the Drudge Report, a reliably conservative website, carried an all-caps headline that said ‘MAGA LESS MEGA’ with a picture of rows and rows of empty blue seats.”
Aides to the president have tried to spin the low turnout, blaming it on protesters who blocked the president’s fans from attending, but CNN and CBS have shot down that narrative, leaving the president’s campaign grasping for reasons for the widely-mocked failure.
“The weakness of Mr. Trump’s drawing power and political skills, in a state that voted for him overwhelmingly and in a format that he favors, raised new questions about his electoral prospects for a second term at a time when his poll numbers were already falling,” The Times reports before adding, “While rallies are Mr. Trump’s favorite events, election-year politics has changed since his last one, on March 2. The coronavirus has largely shut down the campaign trail, and more recently the national political conversation has been dominated by a fierce debate over police violence against black Americans after the killing of Mr. Floyd.”
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