The presidential candidates appeared at dueling town hall meetings on Thursday. However, the moderators took a very different approach to the events.
Town Hall or Debate?
NBC’s Savannah Guthrie moderated President Trump’s town hall session. She spent the first segment of the engagement interrupting and berating the president. She accused him of supporting white supremacists, prodded him on his willingness to transfer power peacefully. Guthrie also referenced the unverified tax returns that the New York Times claims belong to Trump.
“Are you listening? I denounce white supremacy,” Trump told Guthrie after she asked why he hesitated to denounced fringe white supremacist elements during the last debate. “What’s your next question?”
“It feels sometimes you’re hesitant to do so,” Guthrie responded.
“Hesitant? Here we go again,” Trump lamented.
From the first 20 minutes, it was hard to tell whether Trump was participating in a townhall or debating Guthrie. Guthrie grilled the president for a full 20 minutes before she opened the floor to audience questions. Guthrie’s opaque efforts to further her political narrative drew criticism from fellow journalists.
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Guthrie’s combative handling of President Trump’s town hall session served as a sharp contrast to the Democrat candidate Joe Biden’s appearance on ABC. There, moderator George Stephanopoulos handled the candidate with kid gloves. With it, the audience lobbed a steady stream of softball questions.
Biden continued to withhold his position on court-packing, although he flip-flopped on his previous statement that voters didn’t deserve to know his position before the election. “Don’t voters have a right to know where you stand?” Stephanopoulos asked Biden.
“They do have a right to know where I stand,” Biden finally admitted. “And they will have a right to know where I stand before they vote.”
“So, you will come out with a clear position before Election Day?” Stephanopoulos replied.
“Yes, depending on how they handle this,” Biden conceded.
Biden’s statement appears to indicate a commitment to revealing his position before Election Day. However, with voting already underway in several states, his hesitancy to reveal a policy position to voters seems to be politically manipulative and, at worst, an intentional effort to mislead voters.
Biden also said he wasn’t in favor of banning fracking, although his true position on energy industry regulation remains unclear. “ I do not propose banning fracking,” said Biden. However, his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), has emphatically stated in the past she supports banning fracking, and Biden’s campaign has repeatedly stressed an environmental stance that would include phasing out fossil fuels.
No Questions Made
Trump and Biden town halls: highlights and analysis
The events were planned after Trump pulled out of Thursday's scheduled presidential debate. https://t.co/kvzGDOLO6X
— Roberto FE Soto, Multilingual Media Maestro (@CIMAGES) October 16, 2020
Perhaps the biggest travesty of the Biden debate is that, despite a lengthy town hall session, neither Stephanopoulos nor the audience asked one question about the recently emerged evidence of influence-peddling involving Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and his tenure on the board of a Ukrainian gas company Burisma.
The New York Post released a story just days earlier which included several email messages with detailed accounts of clandestine meetings between then-Vice President Biden and key Burisma executives. Several instances of cash payments were also documented, as well as Hunter Biden’s overtures to state-owned Chinese companies.
However, the media and the so-called undecided voters at the Biden town hall didn’t think this historic account of corruption at the highest levels of government even warranted a question, let alone a detailed explanation, from a presidential hopeful.
The sharp disparities in the town hall formats provide yet more evidence of the media’s mass manipulation effort to further their political agenda. It’s clear President Trump isn’t just running against Joe Biden. He’s going against a litany of deep-pocketed powerful foes, including the media, deep state underminers, a heavily biased presidential debates commission, and just about every other liberal elitist oligarch in the U.S.