7 ridiculous moments from Trump's town hall train wreck
On Tuesday night, President Donald Trump appeared in a rare format for him: He took questions from voters during a ABC News town hall that was focused on policy.
It did not go well. At times, host George Stephanopoulos provided strong pushback to the president's lies, though he let many of them pass without comment. But Trump struggled to discuss policy in a convincing or coherent way, and he was clearly unpracticed at confronting voters who weren't devoted supporters.
And as ever, his astounding combination of ignorance and arrogance shone through.
Here are seven ridiculous moments from the event:
1. Trump couldn't remember the word "herd immunity"
He continued to insist that the virus will "go away," but he couldn't even recall the term "herd immunity" that he was searching for — which is a dangerous and dubious goal anway.
Trump: You’ll develop like a herd mentality https://t.co/8kTQvUbfoJ— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn Torabi)1600219914.0
2. "I up-played it"
Even though Trump has admitted on tape that he was purposely downplaying the virus, he claimed the opposite on stage and made up a new word. Not only does it contradict his own admission, but anyone paying attention since February would know Trump has consistently downplayed the virus.
He tried to argue that his actions took the virus seriously even if his rhetoric didn't, but in public health crises, clear and truthful public communication is one of the most important factors to get right.
Q: Why did you downplay coronavirus? TRUMP: I didn't downplay it. I up-played it Q: Did you not admit to it yours… https://t.co/d3JOg3P9GC— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1600218947.0
3. He claimed he didn't have enough time to be presidential
It's not clear why it would take any extra time at all, but if he's short on time, he could cut back on tweeting and watching Fox News.
2016 Trump voter: “At times, some have called your behavior not presidential. What, if anything would you do differ… https://t.co/5BH0sE5HND— Evan McMurry (@Evan McMurry)1600221659.0
4. He blamed Democrats for not getting a mask mandate
Sometimes, the president has to be reminded that he is the president.
"They said at the Democrat Convention they're gonna do a national [mask] mandate. They never did it." -- someone mi… https://t.co/Rq9AAJ5m8t— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1600218859.0
5. Trump said people should "fear" police and suggested that cops who had water poured on them should have gotten retribution
It was a disgusting comment, and Stephanopoulos unfortunately did not challenge it. In the context of calls for restraining police brutality, it's grotesque and counterproductive to suggest cops should be seeking out vengeance for disrespectful actions. It also comes after Trump has repeatedly praised the extrajudicial killing of a suspect in a protest shooting.
Trump said police face hostilities and cites NYC police having water dumped on their heads by people who “had no fe… https://t.co/o67fKLW0sG— David Nakamura (@David Nakamura)1600219681.0
6. "I hope there's not a race problem"
Trump was unable to acknowledge any serious racism in the United States. Which isn't surprising, because he is racist.
"I hope there's not a race problem" -- Trump on systemic racism https://t.co/B5tezKIkgd— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1600219821.0
7. "Stocks are owned by everybody"
Trump has sold himself as the president for the forgotten man and woman, and yet he boasts about the success of the stock market. And his claim is just wrong.
"Just over half of Americans own stock, according to 2020 polls," CNN's Daniel Dale pointed out.
"George, stocks are owned by everybody" -- pressed on the fact that only half the jobs lost during the pandemic hav… https://t.co/YIFb9BR9f4— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1600221289.0