With less than three weeks to go until next month’s election, Trump immediately hit the road this week, evidently keen to make up for time lost in hospital the week before, as he battled with Covid-19. Appearances in Florida and Iowa opened the week, and the president jetted to North Carolina on Thursday, where the latest polls show him narrowly trailing Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
Yelling like a man who hadn’t recently been hospitalized with a potentially deadly respiratory illness, Trump served up some red meat to his base. Recounting Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 bid for the presidency, Trump joked “They talked about the glass ceiling, right? The woman breaking the glass ceiling. It didn’t work out that way. The glass ceiling broke her.”
“There will be a woman who breaks the glass ceiling,” he added. “It just won’t be Hillary. You know who else it won’t be? It won’t be Kamala,” referring to Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris.
Rambling about his own fame, Trump said that he was recently called the “most famous person in the world,” but corrected that statement, adding that only “Jesus Christ” was more famous.
Such statements go down well with Trump’s loyal, Christian supporters, but the president courted controversy during Thursday’s rally. Talking about the shooting dead by US Marshals of murder suspect and self-described “100% Antifa” Michael Reinoehl, Trump implied that the marshals “didn’t want to arrest him,” and shot him instead.
By all previous accounts, the marshals attempted to arrest Reinoehl, but opened fire when the suspect reached for a weapon.
Trump didn’t miss an opportunity to heap scorn on the media earlier, even targeting NBC, the host network of a town hall with the president later on Thursday night.
“I’m doing this town hall with Con-cast,” Trump said, referring to NBC’s parent company, Comcast. “So I’m doing it and it’s NBC. The worst.”
“And so they asked me if I’d do it, and I figured what the hell, we’ve got a free hour on television,” Trump quipped, after mocking NBC anchor “sleepy eyes Chuck Todd.”
Trump’s NBC appearance, scheduled to run at the same time as a town hall with Biden on ABC, has already whipped up a storm of controversy among liberals. The Washington Post accused the network of playing into Trump’s “ratings obsession” by giving him the slot, while a host of NBC actors and producers called on the network to air the slot at another time, to protect “the political health of our democracy.”
Trump’s campaign said that the president will host “at least in the short term, two to three events a day” in these final weeks before the election, adviser Jason Miller told reporters on Monday. Biden’s campaign, by contrast, has been more muted. The former vice president has favored small, socially-distanced gatherings, and for nearly half of September, “called a lid” on press access before noon.
Even on Wednesday, as the New York Post revealed a tranche of emails allegedly implicating Joe and Hunter Biden in a range of corrupt foreign dealings, the Biden campaign called an early lid before 10am.
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