Billed as a presidential town hall with questions from undecided voters, ABC showed that they pulled a fast one on the American people as Tuesday’s The President and the People: A 20/20 Special Event ended up being debate prep for President Trump as, instead of Joe Biden, he faced 90 minutes of hostility from chief anchor and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos.

For the purposes of part two, we’re going to look at portions pertaining to Democratic-run cities, ObamaCare, and race relations. Go here to read the indefatigable Nick Fondacaro’s recap on Stephanopoulos’s antagonism and constant interruptions on the coronavirus and The Atlantic’s September 4 hit job against Trump.

 

 

Race relations came into focus 20 minutes in with a question about “racial injustices…in this nation” and what Trump would do to address them.

Trump barely had two minutes to respond and highlight Saturday’s ambush of two Los Angeles County sheriffs deputies before Stephanopoulos interrupted to insist “there’s no question” what happened “was monstrous,” but police are still inherently bad:

[Y]ou talk about police choking. You talk about bad apples, but a lot of people look at the statistics. Black Americans, more than three times more likely than white Americans to be killed by police and that indicates that this just isn’t bad apples. This just isn’t choking. This is a real, systemic, endemic problem. Do you believe that? What will you do to address it?

Stephanopoulos circled the drain and offered no assurances there were effective and good members of law enforcement. At one point, he wanted to know whether Trump believed that acts of police misconduct meant they’re systematically racist (along with America).

At the 9:25 p.m. Eastern mark, Philadelphia pastor and 2016 Jill Stein voter Carl Day stepped to the microphone and, over the next few minutes, offered three queries that served as music to the America-trashing media’s ears (click “expand”):

DAY: You’ve coined the phrase Make America Great Again. When has America been great for African-Americans in the ghetto of America? Are you aware of how tone-deaf that comes off to African-American community? [sic]

(….) 

DAY: I mean, your statement is make it great again. So, historically, the African-American experience, especially in these — out in these ghettos that have been red lined, historically these ghettos that have systemically been set up and treated they have been, the conditions of the drugs, the guns, and everything else that actually created the symptoms for what we see, that you profess to just be Democratic cities themselves, these things have historically been happening for African-Americans in these ghettos and we have not been seeing a change. Quite frankly, under your administration, under Obama’s administration, under the Bush, under the Clinton, the very same things happen in the very same system, the cycle continues to ensue and we need to see — because you say again, we need to see when was that great? Because that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such greatness and, I mean, you’ve said everything else about choking and everything else, but you have yet to address and acknowledge that there’s been a race problem in America.

(….)

DAY: But income inequality is still — but income inequality is higher. So I mean, jobs can produced, but at the same time, in a lot of these big, major cities where African-Americans are underserved, under resourced, that’s an $8 — $8 an hour job does not meant that they can necessarily afford to live where they have to live or where they’ve been living at for the last 20 years. 

TRUMP: Well, the income inequality, which I agree with you that is a problem, I’ve always agreed with that, but if you look under President Obama and Biden, the income inequality was phenomenal, it was record-setting, it was horrible.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s getting worse now.

Throughout the event, Trump called out the ineffectiveness and lawlessness of liberal cities and states, but during a debate with Stephanopoulos about negotiations on more COVID stimulus, the liberal hack feigned outrage and insisted he stop making that distinction because all cities and states are “American” instead of Democratic or Republican.

Go ahead and click “expand” on the back-and-forth without having your eyes roll into the back of your head:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not call the speaker down to your office, hammer it out in the Oval Office? 

TRUMP: What they want is a bailout of Democrat-run states that have doing poorly and, you know, I don’t think this is the right —

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why do you keep talking about Democratic states and Democratic cities? 

TRUMP: They are.

STEPHANOPULOS: They’re American states and American cities. 

TRUMP: No, Democrat-run states are the ones that are doing badly, George. If you look at New York, if you look at Illinois, if you look at a lot of different places, they’re doing poorly, and cities in particular, cities. I mean, these cites are being run so poorly —

STEPHANOPOULOS: Don’t you have a responsibility for those cities and states, as well? 

TRUMP: — largely because — largely because — but largely because of the crime. They don’t want to do anything about crime. Sanctuary cities, they have sanctuary cities where they’re protecting criminals. They have things that the Republicans don’t have. So they are. I mean, don’t want to say Dem — look, I’m the President of everybody, but I don’t want to say it, but they’re Democrat-run cities. It is what it is.

Later and after one of only two right-leaning audience questions, Trump took a jab at Stephanopoulos by telling him that “I know you’re a Democrat, but this is largely a Democrat problem.” Funny how Stephy didn’t feel the need to “fact check” that line.

On health care, Trump has insisted he wants preexisting conditions to be covered under any ObamaCare replacement, but Stephanopoulos had to muddy the waters on behalf of the Biden campaign and ObamaCare:

I have to stop you there. I just have to stop you there, because just on a couple points. Number one, Joe Biden has ran against Medicare for All in the primaries. Much more importantly, ObamaCare guaranteed people with pre-existing conditions could buy insurance, guaranteed they could buy it the same price after everyone else. Guaranteed a package of essential benefits, guaranteed that insurance companies couldn’t put a lifetime limit on those benefits. You fought to repeal Obamacare. 

He went onto argue that because the Trump administration has continued to press the Supreme Court to “strike [ObamaCare] down,” millions would instantly lose their health care and the federal government would lack a response to that.

After Stephanopoulos correctly noted the administration has yet to put one into action (although, as Stephanopoulos didn’t admit, was due to Congress), Trump brought up his success removal of the individual mandate that forced Americans to go “literally bust” to buy health care.

Even though this sparring session was going nowhere, Stephanopoulos made clear his partisan intentions by relitigating the issue (click “expand”):

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re trying to strike down the whole law. 

TRUMP: We have run it really well, but we also have now — other — if you go Department of Labor, a — our great secretary, as you know and you know him well, we have other alternatives to ObamaCare that are 50 percent less expensive and they’re actually better.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s been three-and-a-half years. 

TRUMP: George. It’s been 40 years since you had good health care. Never really had good health care in this country. This country has never had it, but when you say that Biden doesn’t want to do it, everybody else does. Bernie does, he agreed to the manifesto as I call it, the agreement with Bernie, is that you’re going to go to socialized medicine. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: He ran against Medicare for All.

While divisive, liberal partisans may have enjoyed every second of it, the American people were the real losers as, instead of an actual discussion with people of varying points of view, they were treated to a personal venting session against the President from Stephanopoulos.

This ambush by a liberal operative was made possible by advertisers such as Aleve, Ancestry, Nature’s Bounty, and Verizon. Follow the links top the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back Page.

To see the relevant ABC transcript from September 15, click “expand.”

ABC’s The President and the People: A 20/20 Special Event
September 15, 2020
9:20 p.m. Eastern

LAURA GALVAS [“Always voted Republican”]: Hello, Mr. President. Martin Luther King Jr. once famously wrote, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. In the light of the ongoing protests surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, do you feel racial injustices are occurring in this nation and if so, what can be done to address them? 

(….)

9:22 p.m. Eastern

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS [on LA ambush]: That was monstrous. There’s no question about that. But a lot of people look at the statistics —

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: But that’s a lack of respect. When somebody can do that, that’s a lack of respect. There’s no retribution.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s horrific. 

TRUMP: This guy walks up to a police car and he starts shooting point blank range at two innocent people. You can’t let that happen. You have to — you have to be very tough on crime when it comes to things like that.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Tough on crime, but also obey the rules and regulation for policing and you talk about police choking. You talk about bad apples, but a lot of people look at the statistics. Black Americans, more than three times more likely than white Americans to be killed by police and that indicates that this just isn’t bad apples. This just isn’t choking. This is a real, systemic, endemic problem. Do you believe that? What will you do to address it? 

(….)

9:24 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: What would you do? 

TRUMP: Bring in the National Guard. We’d bring it in and we would stop that — well, we did it in Minneapolis. Take a look at Minneapolis.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But how do you stop police killing blacks at three times the rate of killing whites? 

(….)

9:24 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, you didn’t think that’s a sign of systemic racism? 

TRUMP: I think there’s problems, but I also think there’s some very big problems where if you don’t believe police back their authority, right now, police are afraid they’re going to lose their pension, they’re going to lose their job if they talk to somebody in the wrong way. When I watch New York, you know, the New York City police endorsed me and I love them. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: One group of the New York City police, yes.

(….)

9:25 p.m. Eastern

CARL DAY [Jill Stein voter]: You’ve coined the phrase make America great again. 

TRUMP: Right. 

DAY: When has America been great for African-Americans in the ghetto of America? Are you aware of how tone-deaf that comes off to African-American community? [sic]

(….)

9:26 p.m. Eastern

DAY [Jill Stein voter]: I mean, your statement is make it great again. So, historically, the African-American experience, especially in these — out in these ghettos that have been red lined, historically these ghettos that have systemically been set up and treated they have been, the conditions of the drugs, the guns, and everything else that actually created the symptoms for what we see, that you profess to just be Democratic cities themselves, these things have historically been happening for African-Americans in these ghettos and we have not been seeing a change. Quite frankly, under your administration, under Obama’s administration, under the Bush, under the Clinton, the very same things happen in the very same system, the cycle continues to ensue and we need to see — because you say again, we need to see when was that great? Because that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such greatness and, I mean, you’ve said everything else about choking and everything else, but you have yet to address and acknowledge that there’s been a race problem in America.

(….)

9:28 p.m. Eastern

DAY [Jill Stein voter]: But income inequality is still — but income inequality is higher. So I mean, jobs can produced, but at the same time, in a lot of these big, major cities where African-Americans are underserved, under resourced, that’s an $8 — $8 an hour job does not meant that they can necessarily afford to live where they have to live or where they’ve been living at for the last 20 years. 

TRUMP: Well, the income inequality, which I agree with you that is a problem, I’ve always agreed with that, but if you look under President Obama and Biden, the income inequality was phenomenal, it was record-setting, it was horrible.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s getting worse now.

(….)

9:30 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President, we have — we have to move on, but even before the pandemic, the average black family was earning half of what the average white family was earning. Even if you hold education constant. 

TRUMP: I can only compare it to the past. The — the African-American, the black community, was doing better than it had ever done by far. Both in terms of unemployment, home ownership, so many different statistics, even in terms of crime.

STEPHANOPOULOS: There was still a gap between blacks and whites. 

TRUMP: Oh, I mean, there was a gap, but we were doing a good job. It was getting better and then it was artificially shut down by this disease that came onto our land. 

(….)

9:35 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not call the speaker down to your office, hammer it out in the Oval Office? 

TRUMP: Because they know exactly where I stand. At the right time, I’ll do that, but they know exactly where I stand. What they want is a bailout of Democrat-run states that have doing poorly and, you know, I don’t think this is the right —

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why do you keep talking about Democratic states and Democratic cities? 

TRUMP: They are.

STEPHANOPULOS: They’re American states and American cities. 

TRUMP: No, Democrat-run states are the ones that are doing badly, George. If you look at New York, if you look at Illinois, if you look at a lot of different places, they’re doing poorly, and cities in particular, cities. I mean, these cites are being run so poorly —

STEPHANOPOULOS: Don’t you have a responsibility for those cities and states, as well? 

TRUMP: — largely because — largely because — but largely because of the crime. They don’t want to do anything about crime. Sanctuary cities, they have sanctuary cities where they’re protecting criminals. They have things that the Republicans don’t have. So they are. I mean, don’t want to say Dem — look, I’m the President of everybody, but I don’t want to say it, but they’re Democrat-run cities. It is what it is.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So, will you be calling the speaker in? Can you hammer out a deal?

TRUMP: At the right time, yes. I would like to see additional stimulus for people that really — it wasn’t their fault, wasn’t your fault, wasn’t anybody’s fault. It was China’s fault. I don’t care how you want to define it. This was China’s fault and our people shouldn’t be hurt and we should do stimulus. We did a lot of it initially and now they stopped because they think it’s going to be better for the election. I don’t think it hurts them.

STEPHANOPOULOS: They say if you’ll come up — they said they’ll meet you halfway on the money. 

(….)

9:37 p.m. Eastern

ELLESIA BLAQUE [Hillary voter]: Mr. President, I was born with a disease called sarcoidosis. And, from the day I was born, I was considered uninsurable. That disease started in my skin, moved to my eyes and to my optic nerves and when I went to graduate school, into my brain. When it hit my brain, I was automatically eligible for disability for the rest of my life. I chose, instead, to get a bachelor’s degree, a masters degree, a Ph.D and become a professor. 

TRUMP: That’s great. 

BLAQUE: It is great. Except I still have similar health care problems. It costs me, with co-pays, I’m still pays $7,000 a year in addition to the co-pay and should pre-existing conditions, which Obamacare brought into — brought to fruition, be removed? 

TRUMP: No.

BLAQUE: Please stop and let me finish my question, sir. Should that be removed within a 36 to 72-hour period without my medication, I will be dead and I want to know what it is that you’re going to do to assure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we’re supposed to do, can stay insured. It’s not my fault I was born with this disease. It’s not my fault that I’m a black woman and in the medical community I’m minimized and not taken seriously. I want to know what you are going to do about that.

(….)

9:40 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: I have to stop you there. I just have to stop you there, because just on a couple points. Number one, Joe Biden has ran against Medicare for All in the primaries. Much more importantly, ObamaCare guaranteed people with pre-existing conditions could buy insurance, guaranteed they could buy it the same price after everyone else. Guaranteed a package of essential benefits, guaranteed that insurance companies couldn’t put a lifetime limit on those benefits. You fought to repeal Obamacare. You were arguing as —

TRUMP: Well, I essentially did. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: — you are arguing in the Supreme Court right now to strike it down. That would do away with pre-existing conditions. 

TRUMP: No, so —

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve been promising a new health care plan. We — I interviewed you in June of last year, you said the health care plan would come in two weeks. You told Chris Wallace this summer it would come in three weeks. You promised an executive order for pre-existing —

TRUMP: I have it already. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’ve been trying to strike down pre-existing conditions. 

TRUMP: I have it already and it’s a much better plan for you and it’s a much better plan. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: What is it? 

TRUMP: When you say Obamacare, I got rid of the individual mandate, which is the worst part of ObamaCare.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You are striking down the whole law. 

TRUMP: Wouldn’t be — pertain to you, but it’d pertain to a lot of people, where they were going literally bust because they didn’t want to have health insurance and they were paying for it anyway and it was no good. ObamaCare was a disaster. ObamaCare is too expensive. The premiums are too high. It’s a total disaster. You’re going to have new health care and the pre-existing condition aspect of that will always be in my plan and I’ve said that loud and clear.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you haven’t come up with it. 

TRUMP: And we got rid of the individual mandate, which essentially ended ObamaCare and I had a decision to make.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Only because you’re arguing for it. 

(….)

9:42 p.m. Eastern

STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re trying to strike down the whole law. 

TRUMP: We have run it really well, but we also have now — other — if you go Department of Labor, a — our great secretary, as you know and you know him well, we have other alternatives to ObamaCare that are 50 percent less expensive and they’re actually better.

STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s been three-and-a-half years. 

TRUMP: George. It’s been 40 years since you had good health care. Never really had good health care in this country. This country has never had it, but when you say that Biden doesn’t want to do it, everybody else does. Bernie does, he agreed to the manifesto as I call it, the agreement with Bernie, is that you’re going to go to socialized medicine. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: He ran against Medicare for All. 

(….)

10:06 p.m. Eastern

ALEXANDER J. FLOYD [Trump voter]: Hello, Mr. Trump. My question is actually about police reform and how can we balance common sense police reform without sacrificing public safety in a time when, you know, part of the country is calling to defund the police and actively cheering when they’re gunned down in the street and another part is tired of seeing the lawlessness? 

(….)

10:09 p.m. Eastern

TRUMP: But you take a look, this is a Democrat problem, George, I know you’re a Democrat, but this is largely a Democrat problem. If you — just look at the list. Every Democrat city, almost, not all, but a lot of them, certainly in the top 25, even if you go the top 50, almost every city is run by the Democrats. People don’t respect our police. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President —

TRUMP: They have to respect them. 

STEPHANOPOULOS: — you promised four years ago at the Democrat — at the Republican convention, I’m going to restore law and order in this country.