Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp on Thursday sought to insult Joe Biden’s ABC News town hall by comparing it to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which critics saw as an endorsement for the Democratic presidential nominee.
Schlapp quoted a tweet from Fox News host Greg Gutfeld that criticized the simultaneous event for President Donald Trump on NBC News. Schlapp added in her own tweet that Biden’s town hall was akin to watching an episode of the beloved children’s show.
Trump and Biden held town halls for voters at the same time after the second presidential debate was scrapped due to Trump’s refusal to participate in a virtual event after testing positive for COVID-19.
At Trump’s NBC News event in Miami, he clashed with the host, defended and refused to condemn the QAnon conspiracy, the followers of which the FBI has deemed a national security threat; declined to confirm if he tested negative for COVID-19 on the day of the first debate; attacked advance voting and applauded his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, which has so far killed more than 217,000 people in America. He made false statements about many topics.
Biden’s Pennsylvania event was a more placid affair. The former vice president called for a national strategy against the pandemic and gave lengthy responses to questions about his policies on a range of issues. He made some missteps but largely avoided making untrue claims.
Twitter users swarmed on Schlapp’s intended slight. Many people found it hard to see how the comparison to the educational classic could be considered a negative. Others pointed out there are much worse comparisons. And some noted that Pennsylvania native Fred Rogers, an ordained minister and the much-loved host of the show, which ran from 1968 to 2001 and was particularly treasured in his home state ― which happens to be one that the president desperately needs to win.
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