With his personal battle with the coronavirus apparently visible in the rearview mirror, President Donald Trump is now taking his show on the streets for nightly political rallies that mock public health guidelines, social distancing and universal wear of masks while on-going Period calling for pandemic.
If the public health risk these events pose isn't enough to alienate undecided voters who are tune in, Trump's performance Tuesday night in Johnstown, Pennsylvania provided some examples of how unlikely the the will be Content that influences swing voters.
Three weeks before Election Day, Trump is mostly playing his biggest hits – attacking the media, defending the Confederation, demonizing Antifa and vowing to "make America great again" (despite the fact that he's been president for nearly four years).
But he's also added a few new pitches – including appeals to women and new lines of attack against Democratic candidate Joe Biden – that are just as exaggerated as anything he said at his rallies more than five years ago.
Trump began by attacking Biden and followed it up with a pathetic plea to women
Trump began his speech in Johnstown by attacking Biden for allegedly leaving Pennsylvania for Delaware.
“How the hell do you lose to a guy like that? Is that possible? ”Trump said, alluding to the fact that poll averages currently show he is losing about 10 points nationally to Biden.
Regarding what will happen if he loses, Trump continued, "Oh, I will never come back to Pennsylvania. I love this place. They say he was born in Scranton but he left! He went!" He left you! "
"He left! He left! He left you" – in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Trump attacks Biden because his family moved from Pennsylvania when he was 10. Pic.twitter.com/rBf0YCOx05
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 13, 2020
There's only one problem: The Biden family moved from Scranton to Delaware when Biden was 13 years old. Unless the idea is that Biden should start on his own before graduating from middle school, and to say he "left" Pennsylvania by moving with his family is absurd.
If Trump's attacks on Biden weren't convincing, his pitch towards women was somehow even bigger. Surveys have shown that he has been losing ground among women since 2016 (and that he has had difficulty influencing suburban women in particular). In response, the President resorted to begging.
"May I ask you to do me a favor: suburban women, please like me?" Said Trump. "Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, okay?"
Trump also made comments about his support among women that were factually incorrect – claiming he received "52 percent" of the female vote in 2016, but he actually lost 54-41 percent of women to Hillary Clinton. However, he received 52 percent of the vote from white women, which meant his remark intentionally or not wiped out all black women.
However, that mistake was nothing compared to the dangerous lies Trump had spread about the coronavirus.
Talk of getting into the crowd and kissing people is now a staple in Trump rallies
There are rare but well-documented cases of people becoming infected with the coronavirus twice. But Trump wants his followers to believe that once they get Covid-19, they won't have to worry anymore.
During his rally in Johnstown, Trump once asked how many people had the coronavirus and then said to his audience, "You are immune now." Then he falsely suggested that anyone who says otherwise is just trying to put him down politically.
"You know, they hate to admit it because I had it," he said. "So they used to say, 'Well when you have it, you're immune to life', right? Once I have it, they give you four months … everyone but me, you're immune for life."
"You're immune now" – Trump asks how many people in the audience had coronavirus, then mistakenly congratulates them on immunity (there are documented cases of people becoming re-infected) pic.twitter.com/7l4BnalBVP
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 14, 2020
The bottom line, as Vox's Brian Resnick and Eliza Barclay pointed out, is that experts don't really understand why some people get infected twice, which means, “While we wait for scientists to find out everything, everyone, including those who did Have had the virus before but should try not to avoid infection at all. "
The president's dangerous false news about immunity came minutes after Trump thought about walking into the crowd and kissing everyone.
"I'm immune. I could come down and start kissing everyone," he said. "I'll kiss any guy. Man And Woman. Look at this guy how handsome he is. I will kiss him. Not with much joy, but that's okay. "
"I'm immune. I could come down and start kissing everyone. I'll kiss any man. Man and woman. Look at this man, how good he looks. I'll kiss him. Not with much joy, but that's okay . " – the President of the United States, Donald Trump pic.twitter.com/QDeN0cqE1A
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 14, 2020
It seems the bizarre kiss comments could become a regular feature of Trump's rallies. He said the same thing during his speech on Monday night in Sanford, Florida.
"They say I'm immune. I feel so powerful. I'll look into that audience, I'll go in there, kiss everyone in that audience. I'll kiss the guys and the beautiful women." – Trump pic.twitter.com/JvhmagVrVA
– Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 12, 2020
Some may find these weird comments amusing, but they are unlikely to convince someone who isn't already wearing a MAGA hat that the president did a good job dealing with the pandemic – or even that he has the science behind it understands. However, Trump is not acting like someone trying to win an election.
It's almost like Trump is trying to alienate voters
Shortly after his rally in Johnstown ended, Trump posted a tweet demoting another major demographic he was struggling with – seniors. A meme advises that people over a certain age like Biden are not fit and should be in a retirement home.
He followed up with a retweet introducing an unfounded, unfounded conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama had worked with the Iranian government to stage the assassination of Osama bin Laden.
Trump is who he is. Although his act seemed like a breath of fresh air to some voters in 2016, four years later it is getting increasingly grotesque and seems to have given up containing it amid a pandemic he has mistreated.
For Trump, however, the immediate thrill of playing the biggest hits for his base seems more important than trying to appeal to convincing voters. So expect more of the same at the rallies he plans to hold almost every night until election day.
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