Tapper, who is usually an outspoken critic of the president, began by stressing Trump’s “shattering” of U.S. political norms, noting that using the White House grounds as a convention venue may have violated the Hatch Act.
“You saw this evening and in the last four nights the view of the world from Planet Trump, the view of the world as the president wishes it were,” Tapper said. “He has talked about the world and the pandemic as almost it is over in terms of the event and how he’s holding this event. A pandemic event — nobody was social distancing with a crowd of 1,500 [to] 2,000 individuals, very few masks, no mass testing. It was as if we were not in the middle of a deadly pandemic, which is, of course, what the president wishes were the case but is not the case.”
Tapper then stressed that the country witnessed a “filtered” President Trump throughout the convention, noting how he mostly stuck to the teleprompter with very few ad-libs.
“That is the Trump that White House officials and campaign officials wish they had all the time, one who is not sending tweets that upset people, one who is not making comments that upset people when he ad-libs,” Tapper explained. “And I think it’s important to note that I do expect there to be some sort of narrowing in the polls after this rather filtered week, but we still have many days to go and we’ll see if the president is able to stay as disciplined.”
Tapper’s colleague Dana Bash agreed, calling the term ‘disciplined’ a ‘good word for it,’ adding that what voters saw was “Teleprompter Trump” and comparing his speech to a State of the Union address.
“He’s doing what he has to do, not what he wants to do when it comes to what he is saying,” Bash said. “He delivered the kind of speech that his advisers have been desperate for him to be doing when it comes to the strategy for him to win reelection and more importantly, to do that by really throwing the toughest punches as he possibly can against Joe Biden.”
She went on to call Trump’s attacks against Biden the president’s “strongest” and most “robust” attempt to define his Democratic rival.