Truth be told, I didn’t think tonight’s NBC town hall would have much of an impact for Donald Trump one way or the other. I figured Trump’s incoherent rambling wouldn’t make any news, and the public would be too busy being angry at NBC to even care about Trump’s role in the debacle. But it turns out I was at least somewhat wrong, because I wasn’t expecting Trump to go nearly as far off the deep end as he did.
Trump ended up having two major problems during his town hall. The first was that he spent much of the evening angrily and defensively yelling at the host, while looking sweaty and unwell. He came off as a guy who was on the ropes, and knew it, and had no idea how to get off the ropes. Trump’s second problem tonight was probably even more damaging.
During his rambling, flustered, and semi-coherent answers, Donald Trump appeared to admit that his $421 million in debts is indeed owed to foreign entities. Trump also claimed not to know if he was tested for coronavirus on the day of the debate. He claimed he doesn’t know what the infection in his lungs was while he was hospitalized with coronavirus. These are the “soundbite” moments that are going to get aired over and over again, and are going to frame the political narrative for the next week.
Donald Trump screwed himself something fierce tonight. His narcissism compelled him to make the stupid mistake of doing a competing town hall tonight, just because he didn’t want Joe Biden getting all the attention. As a result, Trump made a complete mess for himself. Trump is unraveling, even as Biden comes off as more presidential than ever.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report