#Election2020: Trump and His Pearly Whites Spar With Guthrie; Biden Drifts Through Town Hall as Easy as ABC

By Al Perrotta Published on October 15, 2020

Two candidates, two town halls, two networks. And the two could not have been more different.

On NBC, Donald Trump endured a non-stop barrage of antagonistic questions and interruptions and false assumptions from “moderator” Savannah Guthrie.

On ABC, Joe Biden was massaged by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos like a patient in a rehabilitation center.

Guthrie did not stop pressing. The only thing pressed in the ABC town hall was Joe Biden’s dress shirt.

Actually, this was perhaps the best summary of the two presentations:

Nonetheless, the night belonged to a spunky voter in the NBC audience. But that’s for later.

The Joe Biden Town Hall Ignores the Elephant

The Joe Biden Town Hall was greatly social distanced. The candidate, moderator and attendees were so far apart none of them touched the elephant in the room.

Namely, the bombshell stories in the New York Post that A) demonstrate Joe Biden has been lying about his knowledge of his son’s Ukrainian dealings, and  B) offer documentation that Hunter Biden was getting paid millions upon millions by Burisma and the Chinese for access.  

Somehow Biden was not asked about the apparent corruption involving his family, and possible abuse of his office for personal family gain. Not by the audience, and most shamefully, not by George Stephanopoulos.  (I guess when you worked for the Clintons, you look at the Post stories and say, “Corruption? You call that corruption?”)

Despite being offered an easy ride, Biden did manage to raise some eye-brows.

Court-Packing? We’ll See. Wink, Wink

Biden kept the door wide open for packing the court. He said he’s not a “fan” of court-packing, but “it depends on how this turns out.” When asked about taking a position before election day, he said “depends on how they handle this.” Let’s unpack his packing answer. If nominee Amy Comey Barrett is confirmed and he’s elected, he will move to add justices to the Supreme Court to create a progressive majority that will rule for generations.

His Crime Bill Was a “Mistake”

Biden called his championing of the 1994 crime bill a “mistake.” That bill ended up imprisoning countless millions of black Americans, largely for the same drug his son is pictured indulging in, punishment-free, in the newly released images.

That aside, let’s take a moment to assess. Joe’s biggest domestic accomplishment he now says is a “mistake.” His biggest foreign policy decision was approving and supporting the Iraq War. Which he also now calls a “mistake.” If your biggest foreign and domestic accomplishments were both mistakes, why in the world would we trust you with foreign or domestic policy?

Cops Should Shoot People in the Leg

Joe Biden insisted he doesn’t want to defund police … though we know the radicals propping up his campaign will insist on it. But he did demonstrate how little he knows about police work. Again at the town hall he suggested police officers should shoot suspects in the leg.

As any cop — even the K-9s —know, this is idiotic, for practical, tactical and legal reasons. Here’s a link to a good explanation.

He also wants to send social workers alone to “non-dangerous” 911 calls. As any cop knows, it’s dangerous to assume any 911 is non-dangerous. Especially in a climate where cops are being ambushed. 

Three Policy Positions That Should Open Your Eyes … and a COVID Confession.

Joe Biden wants mask mandates.

Joe Biden wants to mandate vaccinations when a COVID vaccine becomes available.

Joe Biden admitted he didn’t call for any masks, or social distancing, or limits on social gatherings, in January … or February … or most of March. 

Joe Biden wants 8 year olds to have the authority to “transition” … though studies show most kids who believe they are another gender grow out of it.

Two Good Questions

Joe faced some decent questions. For example: “So my question for you, then is, besides ‘you ain’t black,’ what do you have to say to young black voters who see voting for you as further participation in a system that fails to protect them?”

Biden’s answer:

  1. Making criminal justice system fair. (He wrote the bill that made it unfair. Trump fixed it.)
  2. A garbled sentence basically meaning, “help black Americans gain wealth.” (He had 47 years in the Swamp, including 8 as VP. That didn’t happen. However, incomes and opportunities, including opening small businesses, rose dramatically for blacks in Trump’s first three years.)
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Another good question: “Peace is breaking out all over the world, our troops are coming home, Serbia is talking to Kosovo and the Arabs and Israelis are talking peace… Does President Trump’s foreign policy deserve some credit?”

Biden Answer: “A little but not a whole lot.”

Guthrie Berates Trump

Meanwhile, on NBC, voters had a little time to ask Trump questions. But not a whole lot.

The Trump Town Hall was one hour. One hour for real voters to ask their President questions to their heart’s content. Savannah Guthrie spent the first 25 minutes berating Trump with gotcha questions, attack questions, asinine questions, questions that had zero importance to the life of average Americans.

She asked if he had pneumonia. She asked him about herd immunity as a COVID strategy, but only so she could interrupt and say how that strategy will kill people. (Ignoring the Great Barrington Declaration by top epidemiologists who are now saying lockdowns are the worst possible thing you can do going forward.) Trump answered, “The cure can’t be worse than the virus.”

She kept pressing him on masks and social distancing. He kept insisting a president can’t hide, and if people, like Gold Star families want to hug him, he’s not going to tell them no.

She asked him to, you guessed it, condemn white supremacy. Trump did so, repeatedly … as he has done repeatedly. Then asked why she wouldn’t ask Biden about Antifa.

Guthrie Orders and Accuses Trump

She ordered him to condemn QAnon. When Trump said he didn’t know much about what it is, she said, “I just told you what it is.” He responded, “What you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact.”

She asked him about a retweet of an allegation that UBL was not actually killed in Pakistan and there was a deadly cover-up. She did NOT ask him about Twitter shutting down his campaign’s Twitter feed today for sharing the New York Post article laying out the Biden Family corruption.

Later, she jumped on him about his taxes and releasing his taxes.

She accused him of wanting to sacrifice people with pre-existing conditions with his efforts to end Obamacare.

And of course, she demanded to know if he would accept the results of the election. (Days after Biden said the only way he will lose is through “chicanery.”)

Trump: Respectful, Engaging, Amiable

All told, Trump seemed pretty happy to swat back at her questions and interruptions. Mixing it up with an obviously biased and determined moderator as a way to wind down his evening. But Trump also worked to be agreeable and amiable. “We’re on the same side,” he told her more than once.

When there were questions from actual voters, he responded respectfully, engagingly … if sometimes vaguely, with his typical Trumpian asides. What a clear hint of what the night could have been, if Guthrie hadn’t been so determined to appease Never-Trumpers. Including her own NBC colleagues upset that the network scheduled the town hall against Biden.

Newsflash, Liberals: If your boy can’t take the competition he can’t take the heat of the Oval Office.

Tim Murtaugh of the Trump campaign summarized the town hall this way. “Even though the commission canceled the in-person debate that could have happened tonight, one occurred anyway, and President Trump soundly defeated NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.”

The Night’s Winner by a “Smile”

However well Trump may have done — or Biden, for that matter — the winner of the night is sweet and spry #PauletteDale. Paulette was at the NBC Town Hall in Miami. She identifies as GOP but voted for #Hillary and is leaning #Biden:

She grabbed the mic, and melted hearts. 

“You have a great smile,” she said. “You’re so handsome when you smile.”

In all this election ugliness, how great to have a moment of beauty.

Thank you, Paulette!


Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream and co-author, with @JZmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl. And if you aren’t already, please follow The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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