Donald Trump’s town hall with ABC News on Tuesday night did not go well at all. The president’s performance that consisted of a floodgate of lies was widely panned. Fox News’ Laura Ingraham tried to paint the town hall as an “ambush,” but that only confirms what a disaster it was for this president less than two months ahead of the election. Following the event, a Pennsylvania man who voted for Trump in 2016, and an uncommitted voter spoke to CNN’s Brian Stelter.
Paul Tubiana of Bethlehem asked the president the first question at ABC’s town hall event.
“Mr. President, I voted for you in 2016. I’m a conservative, pro-life and diabetic,” Tubiana said. “I thought you were doing a good job with the pandemic response until about May 1. Then you took your foot off the gas pedal. Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?”
Instead of answering the question, Trump blamed China and promised that “we’re within weeks of getting” a vaccine. That, of course, isn’t true, though.
“He didn’t answer anything,” Tubiana told Stelter afterward. “He was lying through his teeth.”
As the coronavirus pandemic raged, “I was feeling scared, alone and powerless,” Tubiana said. He said “there were failures of government on both sides of the aisle” last winter and spring, but he said he felt like Trump stopped providing leadership as the crisis continued from spring to summer. He went on to say he thought Trump stuck to “canned responses” at the town hall event.
Ellesia Blaque, an English professor at Kutztown University, explained to Trump that she was born with sarcoidosis and said she’ll die without the medication covered by her expensive insurance plan. Blaque asked the president what he is doing to protect people like her.
“He didn’t answer my question,” Blaque said.
She told Stelter she left the town hall fuming, but going into the town hall, she said, she was “on the fence” about voting at all in 2020. She said, “I’m going to vote for Biden.” Trump “reanimated me to vote.”
After Florida, Pennsylvania boasts the second-highest number of electoral votes at stake among battleground states, and Trump pretty much made a free ad for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Trump can continue to do interviews with Sean Hannity if he can’t take questions from the American people, but he won’t be reaching out to independents and uncommitted voters.
DoD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Marianique Santos