Forget Taking the Heat; Trump Can’t Take Lukewarm.

As threatened, Trump has released his team’s video of the Lesley Stahl 60 Minutes interview. I have not watched it, so I defer to the headline at Daily Beast: Trump Exposes Himself as Whiner-in-Chief in Leaked ‘60 Minutes’ Interview.

Matt Wilstein writes, “what anyone who watches all 38 minutes will see is that the president spent the bulk of his time openly whining about how ‘tough’ the questions were while refusing to actually answer any of them in a coherent manner.”

For example, Stahl’s first tough question was “Why do you want to be president again?” I take it from reading about it that she also pressed him on his second term priorities, and he couldn’t answer that one, either.

On Thursday morning, CBS “This Morning” aired a short preview of Trump’s “60 Minutes” interview that he reportedly walked out on because he was unhappy with “60 Minutes” anchor Lesley Stahl’s tough questioning.

The short clip aired by CBS “This Morning” shows Stahl asking Trump what his “biggest domestic priority” is, but the President proceeded to boast about his supposed economic achievements while dodging the question. Stahl pushed back on Trump’s assertion that his administration “created the greatest economy in the history of our country” by telling him “you know that’s not true.”

And, of course, it’s not true. And it wasn’t true before the pandemic, either.

Trump also got caught with his pants down on health care:

Democrats seized Thursday on Trump’s acknowledgment in his “60 Minutes” interview that he would like the Supreme Court to end the Affordable Care Act, saying that it is further evidence that he is trying to take health care away from Americans.

During the interview — a recording of which the White House released ahead of its scheduled airing Sunday — Trump told CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl that he hopes the court abolishes the policy, commonly known as Obamacare.

“I hope that they end it; it’ll be so good if they end it,” Trump said.

Pressed by Stahl how he would respond to millions of Americans losing their health insurance, Trump insisted that he has a plan, even though he has not released one.

Trump also complained (several times, I take it) that Stahl asked Joe Biden easier questions. Stahl responded (several times, I take it) that someone else was interviewing Joe Biden for 60 Minutes; she hadn’t asked Joe Biden anything. But if it’s anything like the dueling town halls, it was Trump who got the easier questions. Biden got asked about his vote on the Clinton era crime bill and about what he will do with the Supreme Court. Trump bungled softball questions on wearing face masks and repudiating QAnon.

In the past few days a number of media commenters have said Trump is too far lost in his own fake information bubble to navigate real-world interviews. And it enrages him when people try to make him inferface with reality. See, for example, My Wild 2 Weeks Inside the Trump Campaign Bubble by Ryan Lizza:

Trump set about creating a closed information ecosystem where he defines for his supporters what is true and what isn’t. …

…The rallies are crucial to Trump, not just because they feed his famously insatiable ego, but because they are the main vehicle by which he “informs” his supporters what he thinks they should know that professional reporters aren’t telling them. At a Trump rally, the pandemic is almost over, a vaccine is imminent, Biden is an obvious criminal (and also mentally “gonzo”), Trump saved millions of people from Covid, he is ahead in the polls in most swing states, “the Christmas season will be canceled” by Democrats, and there is widespread fraud with mail-in balloting .

That’s the reality Trump lives in, and any attempt to make him respond to, you know, commonly experienced reality is met with defensive antagonism.

Tonight is the last debate, as as of early this afternoon Trump hasn’t chickened out yet.  I’ll probably “watch” it the way I “watched” the first debate. On the New York Times live stream, with the sound off, following the running comments. Although I may try to Washington Post live stream this time.

8 thoughts on “Forget Taking the Heat; Trump Can’t Take Lukewarm.

  1. They have a nanny watcher to watch the toddler watcher:

    “The Trump campaign is putting a representative in the room with the person in charge of pressing mute to make sure they don’t abuse that power to mute the president of the United States.”

    Sheesh, this is what we have devolved into.

  2. I'm recording it.   

    The NY Giants are playing the Eagles, and frankly, I'm tired of his puss, his voice, and his schtick.  I need to get my head out of this election for a bit, to save some sanity for the CRAY-CRAY coming up.

    Besides, it's the same petulant whining about imagined persecutions: "It's all so unfair!  It's all, it's all against me! Blah-de-blah…"

    Or some attack!  Something crosses his empty mind, so he makes some shit up, and pulls some numbers, or "some experts say…" out of his ass, and leans-in to look tough.

    Go Giants!

  3. Overall, I think Biden got his points across. Global warming, transition to clean energy, jobs thru wind and solar. Trump's devotion to big oil is not a winning strategy except in Texas, maybe. 

    Biden took the blame for the crime bill, admitted it was a mistake. Biden did some damage by accusing Trump of being divisive. He backed it up referring to the Central Park Five. Trump's initial speech about Mexican "rapists", the Muslim ban, and "a dog whistle as loud as a foghorn." Biden closed the deal by promising to be a president for all Americans. (Biden got Trump to go after "democrat-run cities", a line that will go over big in the states Trump already owns but didn't win over any "suburban housewives" who just heard Trump promise to take a knife to essential services in cities.

    Trump tried several times to take over the line of questions and got shut down every time by the moderator wh returned to the topic SHE was asking about. Trump tried to interject Hunter Biden, IMO without success. 

    Trump was considerably more subdued – somebody musta showed Trump how the poll numbers tanked after the first debate.  Biden is not the orator Obama is. In his own clumsy way, he's likeable and sincere. That worked, I think. The final appeal by Biden was that the election is about character – though I have plenty of reservations about Joe, he was leading to his strong suit by making the election a rejection of a sleaze.

    All in all, Trump needed to complete three hail-mary passes and win two onside kicks between the three. Trump didn't melt down, which I'd hoped for, but I don't think he put many points on the board and he never got close to a decisive win.

    The only play left is to try to steal the election. Republicans are going to be shaken by the magnitude of the loss – I think it will be that big of a blowout. There won't be a lot of  Republicans eager to risk the blowback of putting their name on an attempted reversal of the popular vote when it's almost certain to fail!

    After the election, Trump will expect Democrats to do to him what he wanted to do to Biden, HRC, and Obama. Jail. Trump knows some  of the laws he broke – he was warned (I think) that there could be consequences (until Trump ran everyone out of the WH with enough smarts and guts to tell him the truth.) How that plays out will be interesting, especially with NY state waiting in the wings with charges.

  4. "That’s the reality Trump lives in, and any attempt to make him respond to, you know, commonly experienced reality is met with defensive antagonism."

    Of course he does. The last thing a con artist wants is for the mark to step back, and objectively assess the validity of the spiel. Now when the artist and the mark are one and the same . . .

    • The buffalo will return and the white colonists will disappear, Wovoka prophesized, by means of the ghost dance.  He gained quite a following it is said, to the extent that the ghost dance was forbidden and persecuted in many areas.  His "reality bubble", not unlike that of Trump, satisfying those who opt into it.  The mystique of magical powers and the paranormal remain a compelling draw, as illusion continues to contend as real.  

      One of America's great gurus, who wrote and produced documentaries about hucksterism of all types died recently.  Known as the Amazing Randy, his skill at debunking and exposing charlatans will be missed.  The NYT published quite the obituary, and is a highly recommended read.  

      James Randi, Magician Who Debunked Paranormal Claims, Dies at 92

  5. I like to observe body language and I think I have figured out something about Trump.  Whenever he puts his hands up in front of him and begins to move them back and forth while he's talking, I think he is "framing" whatever he is saying, that is to say he is making it up.  I won't say lying because he doesn't see it as lying though whatever he says may be untrue.  Body language is very important and psychologists tell us that 70% of communication is non-verbal.  Animals know this but then they are probably smarter than humans.  angry

  6. Trump's BS machine simply ran out of gas last night.  The lies have become shopworn, and no longer have the desired effect.  The phony veneer of "successful businessman" has become farce.  He was pathetic in his desperation in going after Biden on China when he's been exposed as having a secret Chinese account and having paid more taxes to China than he has to the US.  I only wish Biden had brought up Ivanka and her Chinese patents.  In any case, didn't matter; subtract the lies and apply the common denominator of reality and Trump was an angry but empty vessel, a huckster who's act has gone stale.  


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