With just 13 days to go before Election Day, both incumbent President Donald J Trump and opponent former Vice President Joe Biden are hard at working convincing voters. So why would Trump walk out on one of his last chances to present a calm and thoughtful image to worried voters? CELEB considered the possibilities as to why the president was willing to bail early on one of his final chances to convince the undecided.
What Happened with the Interview?
The interview in question is a 60 Minutes interview with host Lesley Stahl. According to reports, the interview, which is set to air Sunday, focused mostly on coronavirus. This is the president’s weakest point, and the issue on which voters have the least confidence in his ability to handle things.
Trump did 45 minutes of taping with host Lesley Stahl before he walked out and did not return for a scheduled ‘walk and talk’ taping with Vice President Mike Pence, according to CNN.
According to CNN, Trump told producers he believed they had enough material for the interview.”
Trump Attacks Stahl on Twitter
Shortly before the news broke about Trump walking out early on the interview, the president took to twitter to take aim at Stahl. The Independent reports, “Donald Trump threatened to post a 60 Minutes interview he cut short ‘PRIOR TO AIRTIME’ as he mask-shamed a journalist.
‘I am pleased to inform you that, for the sake of accuracy in reporting, I am considering posting my interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes, PRIOR TO AIRTIME!’ wrote Mr Trump.
‘This will be done so that everybody can get a glimpse of what a FAKE and BIASED interview is all about…
…Everyone should compare this terrible Electoral Intrusion with the recent interviews of Sleepy Joe Biden!’
He did not elaborate on what he meant by ‘Electoral Intrusion.’
Later at his rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, Mr Trump again targeted the TV show.
‘Oh, and you have to watch, you have to watch what we do to 60 Minutes. You’ll get such a kick out of it. You’re gonna get a kick out of it. Lesley Stahl’s not gonna be happy,’ said Mr Trump.”
So Why Did Trump Bail?
Per CNN, “Trump walked out of the interview because he was frustrated with Stahl’s line of questioning, one source said. Another person said the bulk of the interview was focused on coronavirus.”
Trump has a history of walking away from contentious media exchanges in the past. But with the clock ticking towards Election Day, the president is running out of time to get in front of the voters. After the first debate left many voters with a bad taste in their mouth over Trump’s combative performance, these sit-down interviews provide a controlled and peaceful environment for the president to convince drama-weary voters that he’s focused and on task. Walking away from Stahl and proceeding to lob attacks from a distance manages to project the exact opposite. While the president’s supporters seem to revel in his contentious and belligerent approach to conflict, this last minute outburst may not pay off as the small percentage of undecided voters gets a glimpse of what another four years of a Trump administration might bring.
Trump’s Attacks Are Setting the Stage for His Image
The majority of campaigning has been done by now and the only thing left to the candidates is to prove to voters that they will provide the best option for the next four years. Voters weary by a year of loss from the pandemic and turmoil are looking for hope, stability, and calm. While Trump’s bellicose behavior has paid off in the past, it’s unlikely to strike a chord with exhausted and anxious voters with just 13 days to go.
Trump, furious apparently over Stahl’s line of questioning, tried to brainstorm with aides ways to “go after” her. The interview, which will also include segments with Biden and VP candidate Kamala Harris, is still set to air Sunday. It appears that Biden and Harris completed their interviews without incident.
As voters head to the polls in the coming days, the image they have in their head of the president will be an angry, contentious one. It won’t be long before it becomes obvious whether or not that was the right image to portray.