Panelists on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” pondered the reasons for President Donald Trump’s weekend Twitter meltdown.
New polling shows the president’s approval rating had fallen even further behind Joe Biden’s since the conventions ended, and host Joe Scarborough asked the Rev. Al Sharpton whether that had freaked Trump out.
“Clearly Joe Biden [is] rising with approval and the president coming down is bad news for the White House, no matter how they spin it,” Scarborough said. “They’re now playing this, we’re in survival mode, trying to spin it as if this is some advancement. The thing that I observed, Joe, over the weekend, we had the big march in Washington Friday, which was probably the biggest civil rights march in the last several years.”
“The energy — remember, we had this on a work day in the middle of a pandemic — so remember for people to come out is a signal to the White House that people are energized to come out and vote,” Sharpton added. “They will come out and stand up and did it peacefully because the tone is set at the top, not one incident with several hundred thousands people there, and you have no problems, no incidents, and people ready to come and stay out all day. That’s a signal of what they will do Election Day, so if I was the White House between the polling and the turnouts I think I would be very concerned because it shows a determination against this kind of divisive hate-filled atmosphere that this president has established.”
The president fired off more than 90 tweets or retweets Sunday morning, starting before 6 a.m., and Scarborough asked PBS White House reporter Yamiche Alcindor whether she had any insight into Trump’s state of mind.
“I don’t think there’s any official explanation for why the president does what he does on Twitter, especially yesterday,” Alcindor said. “I think the things we’ve been talking about likely are the things weighing on President Trump’s mind. The idea that the reality TV president who sold himself as a showman, a deal maker, that he has lower ratings than the Democrats must really get at him.”
Trump staged the Republican National Convention at the White House and other national landmarks in apparent violation of the Hatch Act, but he still couldn’t beat the Democratic National Convention’s television ratings.
“When you think about what he risked to really put on this event at the White House that was, I think, troubling, interesting, remarkable and somewhat dangerous,” Alcindor said, “I think he put it all on the line and he’s put it all on the line with this idea, [that] if I do all this stuff, try to put the virus in the rearview mirror and say we are going to get through this, if I spread misleading information enough somehow Americans will believe me over the facts, over my own health officials and as a result I will be able to be re-elected. I think all of that is weighing on the president’s mind, and I think there was this civil rights march that Rev. Sharpton was talking about, there was so many people on the president’s doorstep telling him we don’t like the way you’re handling the virus and this racial reckoning.”
“I think he understands the nation is coming to a head when it comes to civil rights issues,” she added. “Black people are fed up, people of color understand they are being treated like second-class citizens and white Americans are waking up to the privilege they have and saying this is not right. I think we’re in a moment where everyone is recognizing, even if you’re a supporter of President Trump you’re recognizing he’s struggling with his response to the coronavirus and he’s not someone who has shown historically the empathy that people need in this moment when it comes to connecting with people who are reeling from the loss of so many Black men or the shootings of so many Black men.”