There couldn’t have been a bigger contrast between the tone of the two town halls Thursday night. On ABC, Joe Biden answered questions from George Stephanopolous in a cool and calm manner. While on NBC, Donald Trump sparred with moderator Savannah Guthrie and even seemed to get agitated about a healthcare question from one of his own supporters. As Bloomberg put it, “Trump appeared defensive and irritable.”
There are two town halls on tonight. One is a human being who actually makes sense and has a coherent way of communicating, and the other is utterly befuddled and can’t follow a thought, because he is mentally incapacitated. That man is the demented lunatic, #DonaldTrump
— bettemidler (@BetteMidler) October 16, 2020
One interesting assessment came from senior advisor for the Trump campaign, Mercedes Schlapp. In what we are sure was meant to be a criticism of Biden, Schlapp managed to give Biden a huge compliment comparing his demeanor to that of Mister Rogers.
— Mercedes Schlapp (@mercedesschlapp) October 16, 2020
hard to believe Trump's losing with a crack team of advisors who think a Mr Rogers comparison is a sick burn
— shauna (@goldengateblond) October 16, 2020
Those advisors didn’t seem to prepare Trump well either. Trump managed to burn himself numerous times during his one-hour town hall. CNN’s Brian Stelter writes:
Whether healthy or not, almost everything about the Trump era can be understood through his sources of info. It was obvious during his Thursday night town hall on NBC, when Savannah Guthrie repeatedly pointed out that he was misinformed. And he responded with vague assertions like “I read it someplace” and “I’ve heard many different stories” and “people are saying.”Here’s the thing: When Trump calls his friends on Fox and other right-wing channels, his evasions and excuses slip right through. Facilitators like Maria Bartiromo and Mark Levin don’t second-guess his stats and smears because they subsist on the same info-diet he does. When Trump gives a rare interview outside his pro-Trump media universe, his falsehoods and flimsy sources are instantly exposed.
Trump spent two excruciating minutes tonight refusing to condemn QAnon — a deranged conspiracy theory that’s been described by the FBI as a domestic terrorism threat.
Absolutely shameful. pic.twitter.com/GXsAOUGJpT
— Mike Gwin (@MichaelJGwin) October 16, 2020
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
.@GStephanopoulos on court packing: “Don’t voters have a right to know where you stand?”
Biden: Voters will know “before they vote.”
GS: “So you’ll come out with a clear position before Election Day?”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 16, 2020
After an hour the candidates appear… wait…Trump is done?!! Left the building already.? @JoeBiden is still holding his town hall? Talking to voters? Answering questions? Sorry @realDonaldTrump you may call him Sleepy Joe, but we know who’s got the stamina! #TownHalls
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) October 16, 2020
Biden’s STILL talking to voters in the room of his Philadelphia town hall … 57 minutes after Trump’s event ended pic.twitter.com/0P49sENn4L
— Ryan Heath (@PoliticoRyan) October 16, 2020
Nightline has compiled all the high and lowlights. Watch above.