Trump's supporters won't listen to him on vaccines after he blew his chance to claim credit
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

On CNN Wednesday, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman suggested that it's too late for former President Donald Trump to convince vaccine-refusing MAGA supporters to get the shot.

"They booed him when he tried to recommend kind of half heartedly getting the vaccine," said anchor Brianna Keilar. "What did you think?"

"I think that whatever opportunity that former President Trump had to try to lead his supporters to take this vaccine has come and gone," said Haberman. "I think that he had the opportunity to do it when he was still in office. But instead he chose to focus on false claims of widespread election fraud. He tried to look for ways to stay in office and to extend his time at the White House. And now what he's doing, Brianna, we've seen him do this over and over, over the years, he doesn't actually direct his followers to a certain place all the time. Sometimes he does, but often he's following their cues."

"What you saw there is a vaccine hesitant population that supports him," added Haberman. "He saw that his support wasn't playing well, so he goes in the other direction and says, but freedoms, but freedoms. The problem is when you're saying to people take the vaccine, and then in the next beat you say, yes, but freedoms are important, you are undermining your own message."

"Because that's the buzzword that they wanted to hear there," agreed anchor John Berman. "You're right. In real-time, you can see him reacting. He doesn't like to be booed, even when he tries to take a stand. It's interesting. People who are criticized should come out more strongly now. The point may be it's too late."

"I think the ship has sailed," said Haberman. "He should have come out and could have come out back when he got the vaccine, which was still in the White House. Remember, they didn't even make public he had gotten the vaccine until we asked one of his advisers and he said he got it. So he had the opportunity to do it on camera. Even if not on camera, to come out and say, I just did this. It might not have impacted all of his supporters, but it likely would have impacted some of them. And now the ship has clearly sailed."

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