Viewers of CNN Newsroom may have been shocked to find out this morning that Fred Trump was a friend of the working man — or he was, at least according to Carol Costello, anchor during the 9:00 a.m. (EDT) news hour. While speaking with Larry Sabato — director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics — and Trump surrogate Boris Epshteyn, viewers may have found themselves wondering if the three were mixing up the phrases “blue collar” with “blue blood” in their analyses of how Trump “resonates.”
Costello’s tone became treacly when she broached the concept of unification. “Let’s talk about unifying. One demographic he is unifying is blue collar Americans. That term ‘blue collar billionaire’ came up again.”
Sabato responded: “Fact. When Donald Trump was talking about his father, Fred, he talked about how his father would mingle with the people who worked with him.”
After playing a clip of the acceptance speech where Trump referred to the elder Trump’s love for bricklayers and electricians (Trump’s history as a slumlord is well-documented), Costello reacted to the speech clip as if Trump had been speaking of his father as a working class hero. Fred Trump gave his son a sizable inheritance from the millions he earned from ripping off the FHA and enforcing the color line against black renters. Costello’s elision of any of those facts was shocking given what she was about to say.
“He went on to say, Larry, that that group of people have been the forgotten people in America. and I think that does really resonate with that particular demographic.”
“His base is non-college blue collar,” Sabato agreed. “And that’s why if he breaks through anywhere with Republicans, it will be in the Rust Belt States. So, I think that’s absolutely true. That’s where he draws this support. Where he loses support … is among the college educated. He is drawing a lower percentage among college-educated Americans than any modern Republican.”
At that point, Sabato and Epshteyn got into an argument about whether pointing out that Trump is not supported by the college-educated is a “liberal narrative,” but the “fact” of Fred Trump turning into the “working man’s friend” was allowed to stand.
Watch the video here: