The morning after a vice presidential debate that was far more tempered than his own, President Donald Trump wasted no time trying to belittle Sen. Kamala Harris, calling her a “monster” while continuing to boast about his record in the Black community. Trump also took the time to decline his participation to appear in the second presidential debate, which was scheduled for next week.
In a phone conversation with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo, he answers her question about outreach from Black conservatives like Herschel Walker and Candace Owens.
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“I have done more for Black community than any president except Abraham Lincoln,” a talking point he has repeatedly made over the course of the election cycle, specifically bringing up his record of support for HBCUs, criminal justice reform and opportunity zones. “The Black community understands it, they’ve been used by the Democrats. Five months before an election they come back; they want the vote of the Black voter.”
Typical, Trump then launches into a tirade about Democratic challenger Joe Biden, who is now leading him in several statewide election polls in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Michigan, which then quickly segues into blasting Harris.
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“He’s not mentally capable of being president. You know that everybody knows that” Trump said to Bartiromo. “And this monster that was on stage with Mike Pence, who destroyed her last night, by the way, this monster she says ‘no, no, there won’t be fracking, there won’t be this…’ Everything she said is a lie.”
Trump also used the occasion to back out of the second debate with Biden, scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, which was originally set to have a town hall format. The Committee on Presidential Debates, while retaining that format, changed it to participation from remote locations because Trump has been diagnosed with coronavirus and could potentially still be a spreader of the disease. While the Biden campaign agreed to the change, Trump said he would not “waste his time” with it.
The news follows a vice presidential debate last night that centred largely on the Trump administration’s coronavirus response, which has been widely criticized as a failure showcasing the deaths of over 210,000 Americans from the pandemic.
“The vice president and president knew that it was lethal in consequence, that it was airborne, that it would affect young people…and they knew what was happening and they didn’t tell you,” Harris said.
To which Pence responded in defence of the administration: “The reality is under the Biden plan, it looks a lot like what President Trump and I and our task force have been doing every step of the way.”