ABC News promised a Town Hall event where President Trump would answer every question put to him by “undecided voters” in Pennsylvania. And over the course of the ninety-minute event moderated by newsman (and former member of the Clinton Administration) George Stephanopoulos, he did just that.
How well he answered the questions put to him likely depends on your political persuasion, but then, so does the temperature he faced in the room. While the event was billed as being ‘undecided voters’ asking questions, Trump didn’t exactly get a warm reception – in fact, the mood appeared to many on social media as decidedly tense. So what did we learn? Here are some highlights:
Trump is again defending his response to the pandemic. While he was caught on tape in February saying himself that he downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus, last night he insisted he didn't. Trump said he "up-played" the threat based on actions that included travel bans from China and Europe.
When Alexandra Stamen of Pittsburgh took her turn, she admitted that she “unfortunately” sat out the last election. Her question was about the alleged statements the President is accused of making about dead soldiers – specifically calling them “suckers” – and how he expected to get voters upset by that back. “It’s easy, because I never made those statements,” he replied. “They were never made by me. They said I stood over the grave of soldiers killed many years ago and I said they were suckers. I never made that. Do you know we had 26 people as of today come out to say it never happened.”
There were a number of questions about the topic of racial injustice. Laura Galvas, a registered nurse from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, asked Trump if, in light of recent protests, he “feels there is racial injustice in the United States, and if he does, what can be done to address it.” "I will say this: If you're going to stop crime, we have to give... the respect back to the police that they deserve," he answered. "We have to give them their mojo. We have to let them protect us."
Pastor Carl Day had a similar question – and pointed out that the President has “yet to address and acknowledge that there’s been a race problem in America.” “I hope there’s not a race problem,” Trump replied. “I can tell you, there’s none with me, because I have great respect for all races, for everybody. This country is great because of it.”
And what of the President’s often questioned “behavior?” Jim Rowdeski of Irwin, Pennsylvania wanted to know if reelected, would Mr. Trump “create a more unified message where all sides can take responsibilities for their actions and come together to make positive change?” The President was a little unclear on that. “I'm fighting a battle,” Trump offered. “It's a big battlefield, and I have a lot of forces against me...sometimes you don’t have time to be totally, as you would say, ‘presidential.’ You have to get things done. I think I've done more than other president in the first three and a half years.”
Source: ABC News