President Donald Trump has tried desperately to make mental stability an issue in the 2020 campaign, lashing out at former Vice President Joe Biden for his stutter and a series of doctored videos.
But in Trump's moment before the ABC town hall audience, Trump proved that mental acuity isn't exactly his forte, said conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.
Sure, there were Trump's typical lies, hyperbole and exaggerations about how great everything he does is. He claimed the vaccine would be ready any day when experts say we'll be lucky to get it by the end of the year. He lied about the U.S. mortality rate is better than other countries, it's actually worse. The "cupboards" weren't "bare" when Trump took office needing ventilators and personal protective equipment. "The Strategic National Stockpile held 16,660 working ventilators, which turned out to be enough to deal with the initial surge of the pandemic," said the Post's fact-check. There are more.
Beyond the lies and the dismissive attitude of voters' questions, Trump seemed very confused.
Rubin noted that, at one point, Trump claimed that Biden hasn't done anything for the past four years. The Obama administration did nothing to stop COVID-19 when they were in office. If Biden wanted a national mask mandate, he should have instituted one at sone point in the last four years. Rubin is concerned that Trump keeps forgetting he's the one who has been president for the past four years. At the same time, COVID-19 didn't exist when Obama was in office, a fact that Trump also seems confused about.
"He tried to interrupt a questioner, only to have her sternly tell him to let her finish," Rubin also said. "He rambled and came off as entirely uncaring in not directly answering questions from an African American pastor and a woman whose mother died of cancer."
She noted that at one point, ABC host George Stephanopoulos had to cut in to remind the president that he was still trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act in court, which is what outlined protections for preexisting conditions.
"Imagine how much worse it will be for Trump when he has a prepared opponent willing to deliver a tongue-lashing for such silly lies and excuses," wrote Rubin. "Biden could ask when we can finally expect Trump’s magic health-care plan and demand he bring it to the next debate. Biden could laugh and roll his eyes when Trump blames him for not assuming the duties of president ('C' mon, man — you are president, not me!' Read the full column at the Washington Post.