Posts tagged with "Trump"

Trump tries to set low expectations, and floats excuses, for debate with Biden

June 21, 2024

A few minutes into his speech at a campaign rally on Tuesday, June 20, Donald Trump asked a question of the few thousand who’d turned up to hear him speak. “Is anybody going to watch the debate?”

Trump was in Racine, Wisconsin, but it was clear his mind was in Atlanta,—the site of his debate matchup against President Biden next week, reports The New York Times.

He repeatedly mused about the potential scenarios, lowering expectations that he would dominate Biden and then, as if he couldn’t help himself, raising them again.

The expectations game is a particular challenge for the Trump campaign. Trump, 78, has spent months casting the 81-year-old Biden as a husk of a man who can barely walk or formulate complete sentences. Republicans have pumped out a stream of videos of Biden walking stiffly—some deceptively edited—that are meant to be proof of Biden’s decline.

Trump’s supporters in Racine showed they have been marinating in this content. “Biden can’t stand up!” one woman yelled during Trump’s speech. She stood near another woman who wore a T-shirt with a picture of Biden that read, “Impeach me. I won’t remember.”

But Trump also was preparing for his caricature of Biden to be punctured next week. He openly wrestled with the obvious question: What if Biden clears the very low bar that Trump has now set for him?

He had answers: If that should happen, it’s only because Biden will be “pumped up,” he told his followers, suggesting that the president would hoover up a pile of cocaine beforehand, since the drug was recently found in the White House by the Secret Service—although investigators never did figure out how it got there and it was not linked to the president or anyone in his family. (Still, it was an acutely cutting notion, coming a week after the Delaware trial that publicly aired the first family’s struggle with Hunter Biden’s addiction.)

Trump also told his followers to be suspicious of the whole debate enterprise, although his campaign negotiated the terms of his participation.

They should keep in mind, he said, that he’ll be up against multiple adversaries at once—not just Biden but both of CNN’s moderators, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, whom, Trump added, were constitutionally incapable of treating him fairly. “I’ll be debating three people instead of one-half of a person,” he said.

While it’s clear Biden has physically slowed and his gait stiffened in recent years, his doctor in February called him “fit for duty.” Trump has not disclosed a detail summary of his health. Neither man has released a comprehensive assessment of his mental fitness.

Lately, Mr. Trump has been experiencing his own adventures in aging for all to see. Last week, he bragged about passing a cognitive test when he was president but mixed up the name of the doctor who’d administered it. He also has confused Nancy Pelosi with Nikki Haley, and Biden with Barack Obama.

And so Democrats have their own set of video clips they’ve been consuming—seeing evidence of aging in Trump’s curious tangents about sharks and boats with electric batteries; or in the way he bollixes up words, as he did at the rally on Tuesday, when he barked at the Biden campaign for saying that “the videos of crooked Joe shuffling are clean fakes.”

He asked the crowd, “Do you know what a clean fake is?” The term Trump was reaching for is actually “cheap fake”—real footage that has been edited deceptively, omitting context by zooming in or cropping out.

In Racine, some of Trump’s supporters took a more nuanced view of the videos of Biden, the age factor, and how it all played into expectations for the debate.

“Oh, absolutely, we see them on every channel, and all over the Internet of course,” Marjean Stern, 79, a retiree from Kenosha, Wisconsin said of the videos of Biden. But, given her own age, she confessed to feeling a little queasy at the way her candidate has revelled in Biden’s seemingly senior moments.

“We’re elderly, so we don’t like that,” she said. “I don’t want to make fun of him. I [am] him.”

Research contact: @nytimes

Foreign policy experts trust Putin 3X more than Trump

November 13, 2017

Only in the “upside-down” political world of 2017 could these results be credible—and even predictable: Foreign policy experts say they trust Russian President Vladimir Putin more than three times more than they do U.S. President Donald Trump — but not nearly as much as they do German Chancellor Angela Merkel—according to results of a recent transatlantic poll just published by Newsweek.

Pew Research Center released the results on November 7 of a survey conducted among the attendees of the 2017 Brussels Forum, hosted last March by the German Marshall Forum.

“Across Europe and North America, foreign policy experts express little confidence in the world leadership of U.S. President Donald Trump. Only a cumulative 12% say they have a lot (1%) or some (11%) confidence in Trump to do the right thing regarding world affairs,” a report accompanying the data read.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin inspires somewhat more trust among experts. Nearly four-in-ten foreign policy experts (39%) say they have at least some confidence in Putin’s handling of world affairs,” it added.

Among the public, Trump fared slightly better than Putin, beating him 21% to 19%. However, confidence in the two controversial world leaders paled in comparison to attitudes about German Chancellor Angela Merkel—who was trusted by 93% of foreign policy experts and 61% of the public respondents.

Research contact:

Nearly half of Americans think Trump worked with Putin to win presidency

November 6, 2017

Just 30% of Americans believe that the alleged wrongdoing in the 2016 Trump campaign ended with the three campaign workers who were charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller last week—and about half (49%) of respondents to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll suspect that President Donald Trump, himself, broke the law, the news organizations reported on November 2.

The poll found substantial support for the Mueller investigation, with 58% of respondents approving of how the special counsel is handling it; and more—68% —approving of the filing of federal charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his associate Rick Gates. Both pleaded not guilty in a federal court on October 30.

In addition, Mueller’s team revealed on October 30 that George Papadopoulos, a  former campaign foreign policy adviser, had been cooperating with them for several months, after pleading guilty to charges of perjury in his interviews about the campaign.

While about half of respondents said that Trump was involved in the criminal activity; 19% said they believe that their opinion is supported by evidence, while 30% said it’s only their suspicion. Forty-four percent said they doubt that Trump committed a crime.

Moreover, just 37% think Trump is cooperating with the investigation, A majority (51%) of respondents said that he is not cooperating; another sizable share (12%) have no opinion.

Trump’s core supporters, however, remain overwhelmingly in his favor. Among those who voted for him last year, only  6% suspect him of law-breaking in the campaign. They say that the president’s repeated claims that he is not personally under investigation and that his campaign did not collude with Russia are true.

The telephone survey of 714 adults was conducted October 30 through November 1 on behalf of the news organizations by Langer Research Associates.

Research contact: