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SHOCK: ABC Hails ‘Empathetic’ Trump’s ‘Calm,’ ‘Pretty Good’ Town Hall

by | Sep 17, 2020

By Scott Whitlock

In a surprising twist, Nightline journalists and guests at ABC hailed Donald Trump’s Tuesday night town hall with voters and host George Stephanopoulos as “pretty good,” showcasing the President’s “empathy” and “calm.” The most shocking praise came from veteran Democrat Rahm Emanuel who saw strong “message discipline” from Trump. 

Chief White House correspondent Jon Karl reacted to the 90 minute event in Pennsylvania by complimenting: “On balance, this was a pretty good event for Donald Trump. He got to show another side of himself, an empathetic side, talking about the incredible death toll from COVID.

Without mentioning Joe Biden’s basement strategy (the Democrat just took a three day weekend off campaigning), Karl reiterated, “On balance, an interesting town hall, a rare chance to see the president truly interacting with uncommitted voters.” 

 Emanuel, a former Democratic operative, Obama official, and mayor of Chicago, offered the most surprising praise: 

He showed incredible message discipline in the face of adversity. He didn’t get knocked off his game. Now, do I think he was factually correct? No. Do I think if I looked at that —  I would make sure in real time that the campaign from Biden is putting out constant fact correctors. 

Republican Chris Christie was also impressed:         

I think what the President did tonight was to calmly and directly answer questions from members of the audience and to spar pretty good with our colleague, George Stephanopoulos back and forth. I think the President walked away feeling relatively good about how things went, and I think he should

Sara Fagen, who worked for the George W. Bush administration, marveled: 

To Governor Christie’s point, this is one of the calmest performances I’ve seen him. And he did get asked some very tough questions, some fair questions. But they were confrontational and he never lost his cool one time

Something must have changed overnight. On Wednesday’s Good Morning America, Stephanopoulos underlined, “Grilled on health care, race, taking tough questions on his handling of the pandemic.” He bizarrely added, “That was a different kind of forum for President Trump last night, taking questions from voters who haven’t yet made up their minds. Some supported him in the past and this is not something he’s done very, very often.”

But, of course, Trump often does these sorts of events. It’s Biden who doesn’t. On GMA, Cecilia Vega highlighted the negatives, “His handling of the pandemic under fire from the beginning.” She added, “The President also on the defensive over health care.” 

Editor’s note. This appeared at Newsbusters and is reposted with permission.

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