A “Policemen for Trump” hat on his head, Tom Kenney leaves the small room where a dozen or so supporters of the US president are watching the candidates’ debate in the swing state of Pennsylvania.
“I got sick of listening to Biden,” he says.
Inside the building, Fox News’ coverage of the widely-anticipated first debate between Donald Trump and his presidential challenger Joe Biden plays loudly to locals of Old Forge — a borough of working class Scranton, where Biden grew up.
Their colors are stuck to the mast — a life-sized cardboard cutout of Trump with two thumbs up welcomes those gathering to watch and Trump posters and anti-abortion slogans are stuck up liberally on the walls.
The group listens in silence as the two candidates rip into each other with gusto, then erupts with laughter when the president refers to his opponent personably, but with some depreciation, simply as “Joe”.
“I think Trump is doing very well, I think Joe Biden is having a difficult time making an argument, making his case,” says Doug Miller, 30, wearing a red “Keep America Great” hat.
Outside, Jackie Smith — who says she is a fervent supporter of the president — is smoking a cigarette in the rain.
“Trump has done a lot for us in the 4 years that he’s been in office,” she says.
Pennsylvania, like Ohio — where the debate was held — is a rust belt state that’s seen large job losses in recent decades as heavy industry has declined. Trump won them both in 2016, but they are in play for Democrats in November.
Trump tried hard to denigrate Biden’s mental acuity leading up to the debate and with the Democrat putting in a stronger performance that many expected, frustrations are starting to simmer in Old Forge.
Back on TV, the candidates wrangle over the Supreme Court, the coronavirus pandemic, climate change — topics chosen by debate moderator Chris Wallace, who allots time to each candidate and doesn’t hesitate to take Trump to task for interrupting his opponent.
But his efforts aren’t much appreciated.
“I feel for most of the evening (Trump) was not only debating sleepy Joe Biden, he was having to debate Chris Wallace, who I think is a total fool,” Miller says.
Wallace works for Fox News — a channel that skews conservative — but he has a reputation of going after anyone he comes across, regardless of their politics.
– Trump earrings –
The bitterly fought debate finished, opinions are divided on how their candidate performed.
“The winner was Donald Trump. I mean, he was competing against Chris Wallace and Joe Biden,” says 20-year-old student Lorenzo Febbo. “Joe Biden tended to respond like how he normally does, with interrupting.”
But for Nicholas Haas, also in his twenties, neither candidate came out on top: “Nobody really won because I didn’t learn anything from either side.”
Resplendent in a dress the colors of the American flag, a Trump brooch and blue Trump earrings, Lynette Villano, 74, recognized Biden’s performance was better than expected.
“He rested up for a couple days, so I guess, he was ok.”
Warm praise from the conservatives of Old Forge.
© 2020 AFP
Trump has 66 GOP endorsements ‘former national security and senior officials’ — who have no real experience: conservative
In an election year, it is commonplace for candidates to list lengthy endorsements in an effort to showcase the trust, loyalty and earned respect by recognizable names and organizations. This year, the process is a bit different.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden is winning far more endorsements from national security professionals and retired flag officers — and by a large margin. The former vice president has the endorsement of 780 retired military officers and national security appointees — nearly 12 times as many as Trump. On the flip-side, Trump has a total of 66.
Trump ‘abruptly’ storms out of 60 Minutes interview and refuses to return: report
President Donald Trump was said to have "abruptly" ended an interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl at the White House.
According to CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, the "drama" occurred on Tuesday afternoon.
"Apparently there was some drama while President Trump was taping his 60 Minutes interview today," Collins wrote on Twitter. "He abruptly ended his solo interview after around 45 minutes & did not return for a scheduled walk & talk he was supposed to tape with Pence, @abdallahcnn and I are told by sources."
Apparently there was some drama while President Trump was taping his 60 Minutes interview today. He abruptly ended his solo interview after around 45 minutes & did not return for a scheduled walk & talk he was supposed to tape with Pence, @abdallahcnn and I are told by sources.
Donald Trump Jr.: Biden already had a chance to ‘fix’ racism because Obama is Black
Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday argued that former Vice President Joe Biden should have solved racial tensions when there was an African-American president.
At a campaign event in Pennsylvania, the president's son responded after a member of the audience called Biden a "racist."
"Well, he is," Trump agreed. "He was best friends with every segregationist ever to walk the halls of Congress."
"But he's going to fix those issues now, right?" he added sarcastically. "Now he's going to fix racial tensions in America. Why did you wait 47 years, Joe? You know, if you really cared, if you thought it was something you were going to campaign on, maybe you would have utilized, I don't know, your 38 years in the United States Senate."