Trump lets slip that he fears he’s going to lose: ’Some people don’t love me'
In an interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, President Donald Trump had a revealing moment in which he seemed to admit that he's likely to lose his bid for re-election in November.
Hannity asked the president about a minor slip-up when former Vice President Joe Biden accidentally said "million" when he meant "thousand," which Trump suggested was evidence of Biden's mental incapacity. (He didn't acknowledge that he repeatedly makes verbal gaffes at least as serious as Biden's.)
"Here's a guy, he doesn't talk, nobody hears him," Trump said. "Whenever he does talk, he can't put two sentences together. I don't want to be nice or un-nice, OK, but, I mean, the man can't speak. And he's gonna be your president because some people don't love me, maybe." [Empasis added.]
"He's gonna be your president because some people don't love me, maybe" -- Trump sure sounds resigned to losing to… https://t.co/eqqJLey5cP— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1593134515.0
It was remarkable that the president couldn't think of a word meaning "the opposite of nice" (mean?) while attacking Biden — in quite an exaggerated way — for being inarticulate. But many observers noted that Trump seemed to admit he fears he's losing election, and he's depressed that he's not more popular.
Usually, Trump is all bluster, decrying any polls that show him losing and claiming that his low approval ratings are fake news. But it's likely that he's been forced to confront the reality of his dismal poll numbers in recent weeks. His lawyers demanded CNN retract a poll showing him losing to Biden nationally by 14 points, a demand CNN laughed off. Other outlets have found similarly brutal numbers for the president. Fox News has found Trump behind by 12 points. One American News, which is even more aggressively pro-Trump than Fox, touted a poll that would supposedly show the president losing, but that survey turned out to be a dud. It used a highly dubious methodology, and it still only showed Trump neck and neck with Biden in Florida. Meanwhile, multiple reports have indicated that Trump's own campaign team has shown him private polling that demonstrates his electoral weakness, and his failure to fill an auditorium in Tulsa last weekend likely served as a brutal wake-up call.
CNN's Daniel Dale noted that Trump also seemed to send a similar message about Biden on Tuesday while discussing his border wall in Arizona. Trump said that, despite his claims to the contrary, Biden will "complete" the wall — something he could only do if he won the 2020 election.
"May or may not mean anything, but Trump has been talking with interesting grammar about a Biden presidency -- saying Tuesday that Biden will finish, rather than would finish, the border wall; saying today that Biden is 'going to be your president,'" Dale said.
Dale also pointed out a point in Hannity's interview in which Trump seemed to have no idea what he'd do with a second term in office:
Hannity: If you hear in 131 days from now at some point in the night or early morning, ‘We can now project Donald J. Trump has been reelected the 45th president of the United States’ -- let’s talk. What’s at stake in this election as you compare and contrast, and what are your top priority items for a second term?
Trump: Well one of the things that will be really great: you know, the word experience is still good I always say talent is more important than experience. I’ve always said that. But the word experience is a very important word. It’s a very important meaning. I never did this before, I never slept over in Washington. I was in Washington I think 17 times, all of a sudden I’m the president of the United States, you know the story, I’m riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our First Lady and I say, ‘This is great.’ But I didn’t know very many people in Washington, it wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan, from New York. Now I know everybody. And I have great people in the administration. You make some mistakes, like you know an idiot like Bolton, all he wanted to do is drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to drop bombs on everybody. You don’t have to kill people.
Trump has never been a long-term thinker, but during the 2016 campaign, he clearly had a list priorities for when he became president: dismantling Obamacare, building a wall, renegotiating trade deals. Now, all of that has proven much harder than he anticipated, and he doesn't have a plan about what to do next. Maybe that's because he's looking at the current polling and concluding he doesn't have much chance of getting a second term. Or perhaps the causality will run the other way — the fact that he has no vision for a second term could doom his chance of getting re-elected.