On Monday, the Trump campaign’s Erin Perrine appeared on Fox News, and naturally was asked about the impact of Donald Trump’s covid-19 diagnosis on the president’s reelection efforts. Perrine, who is the campaign’s director of press communications, tried to spin Trump’s flouting of covid-19 guidelines as a good thing—because as she put it, he now knows what it’s like to have covid-19 and Joe Biden doesn’t and that somehow is good? Help!
Fox News host Sandra Smith asked Perrine if the campaign’s messaging around covid-19 will change. “The president has coronavirus right now, he’s battling it head on, as toughly, as only President Trump can, and listen, of course that’s going to change the way that he speaks of it, because it’ll be first-hand experience. That experience, not only of coronavirus, but being president of the United States, that’s why you just see a different tone from him,” Perrine responded.
I’m not sure what “different tone” she’s referring to. Perhaps Smith was confused as well, because she pressed on. “It’s been law and order and it’s been the economy. Does this become a key issue for your campaign?” Smith asked.
Here’s where Perrine really went flying off the rails. “He’s talked about coronavirus as well. He’s talked about it all. And listen, he has experience as commander-in-chief, he has experience as a businessman, he has experience now fighting the coronavirus as an individual. Those first-hand experiences, Joe Biden, he doesn’t have those.”
It’s truly an incredible effort by Perrine here, one that I have to applaud for its sheer audacity.
Naturally, Perrine felt her words were taken out of context, and she shared the rest of the clip, which honestly didn’t really add anything new! But if you want to watch her recycle some tired Republican talking points about Biden, his son Hunter, and China, here you go:
Perrine wasn’t the only one on Monday who attempted to paint Trump as a man of (hahaha) empathy and compassion. “I think that he is going to be able to relate to those individuals who’ve been inflicted by coronavirus, who’ve lost a family member to coronavirus,” said campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp on Fox News, of a man who, when asked to talk about the fact that covid-19 has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, said, “It is what it is.”
Instead of reading the millions of stories about the MAGA crowd outside of Walter Reed hospital, why not read instead about the vast majority of Americans who think Donald Trump is supremely dumb for doing everything humanly possible to get covid-19?
According to a new ABC/Ipsos poll, 72 percent of voters think the man “did not take the ‘risk of contracting the virus seriously enough,’ nor ‘the appropriate precautions when it came to his personal health.’” This includes a not-insignificant percent of Republicans—43 percent, according to the poll—and basically every single Democratic voter.
And in another bit of bad news for Trump, despite his entreaty to not be afraid of covid-19, a growing number of Americans are becoming even more afraid of getting covid-19, including a good chunk of Republican voters. Again, via ABC News:
In the wake of Trump’s diagnosis, the survey also found an increasing number of Americans concerned that they, or someone they know, will be infected with the virus. Eighty-one percent are either very or somewhat concerned about contracting COVID-19, compared to 72% two weeks ago. The percentage of “very concerned” respondents rose 8 percentage points, from 29% to 37%.
The overall jump can be almost entirely attributed to Republicans, whose net concern increased 18 points (52% to 70%), and independents, whose concern increased 13 points (69% to 82%). Democrats held steady at 86%.
In other polling news, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll has Joe Biden up 14 points nationally and Trump is tanking in Arizona.
These terrible numbers might explain why Trump announced today that he’s leaving the hospital, though the optics of him hitting the campaign trail again don’t seem like they’ll hit the way he wants them to.
And let’s all remember:
- Secret Service agents are pretty mad that their boss put their health in danger for his little photo op stunt over the weekend. [CNN]
- Speaking of, when exactly did Trump last test negative?
- “Discretion,” eh?
- Meanwhile, the UK is having a normal one. [BBC]
- Hey, here’s a very bad story about how Exxon “has been planning to increase annual carbon-dioxide emissions by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece... setting one of the largest corporate emitters against international efforts to slow the pace of warming.” [Bloomberg]
- Cal Cunningham, the Democrat running for Senate in North Carolina, is very lucky his rather boring sexting scandal came out in the precise moment that it did! [The Atlantic]
- Senator Pat Toomey, the most prominent Republican in Pennsylvania, announced he’s retiring in 2022 and also has no plans to run for governor. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
- Which means...
- : )
- The worst man in Texas (and that’s saying a lot!) continues to be a little piece of shit. [Texas Tribune]