Real voters and a real journalist asking legit questions. What was the White House thinking? Without his Fox propagandists to stand him up, this was a disaster. Donald Trump saw the real America on ABC’s Town Hall Tuesday night. He faced real questions from undecided voters and as ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd put it, “The president reinforced nearly all the negative views Americans have of him.”
Trump’s poor performance will make it harder for him to make up ground at a time when a majority of the country believes the nation is on the wrong track and disapproves of his job as president.
Whoever in the White House agreed to have Trump do this town hall session live on ABC should probably start packing up their office.
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) September 16, 2020
One of those voters was Pastor Carl Day. He said he voted for Jill Stein in 2016 and went into the Town Hall undecided. He asked Donald Trump about the slogan “Make America Great Again” saying “that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such greatness.” Day says Trump’s answer or lack of one helped him decide to vote for Joe Biden.
Pastor Carl Day, who asked President Trump about his "Make America Great Again" slogan tells CNN's @DonLemon the President's response is what he expected.
"He tap danced around it," Day added. "He couldn't really give an answer because there is no answer to it." pic.twitter.com/2oNTpmfEgD
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) September 16, 2020
The first person who questioned Trump about coronavirus later told CNN “He didn’t answer anything… He was lying through his teeth.”
The first question in tonight's @abc2020 town hall comes from a 2016 Trump voter who's diabetic: "I thought you were doing a good job with the pandemic response…then you took your foot off the gas pedal. Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?" pic.twitter.com/iGEyqMFsNv
— ABC News (@ABC) September 16, 2020
Trump spoke of a “herd mentality,” meaning “herd immunity.”
Donald Trump battles the English language in an attempt to let voters know he now supports herd immunity (3 million US deaths) as the solution to COVID:
“You’re going to develop, you’re going to develop herd mentality; it’s going to be, going to be herd developed.” https://t.co/vJVp0kcyFF
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) September 16, 2020
But what would that mean for virus casualties in the U.S.?
There are approximately 328.2 million people in the US.
To get to the low end of herd immunity, about 60% of the population must catch Covid.
That's about 196,920,000 cases.
The current US death rate is about 2.96%.
So that's 5,836,679 deaths necessary for herd immunity.
— Kyle Feldscher (@Kyle_Feldscher) September 16, 2020
Scott Jennings, a Republican contributor on CNN, often defends Trump, but not this time. The former adviser to Sen. Mitch McConnell writes:
Trump’s town hall with ABC News did not go well, although I give him credit for agreeing to a road game in a hostile gym. The President had a few decent moments in Philadelphia Tuesday, but the event showed he is simply better in a pugilistic debate with an opponent than he is in addressing individual voters in a “townhall” format.
Trump supporters have demonstrated they will lie about anything. But so far, this a.m., I haven't seen anyone trying to say Trump did a good job on that Town Hall last night. A lot of whining. But apparently that's just too preposterous for even them.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) September 16, 2020
In addition to general bad marks for his performance, there was also a lot of fact-checking to be done. The Washington Post said he received “Four Pinocchios, over and over again.”
Human Fact Check @ddale8 breaks down a whooole bunch of Trump's lies from the ABC town hall, on coronavirus, on health care, on Mattis, on stocks, on Biden, on Churchill, and more: pic.twitter.com/5HsU3nuB8G
— The Recount (@therecount) September 16, 2020
Watch more from CBS This Morning above.