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Total Joke: CNN’s Biden Town Hall Filled with Softballs Versus ABC’s Ambush of Trump

Total Joke: CNN’s Biden Town Hall Filled with Softballs Versus ABC’s Ambush of Trump

Illustrating the liberal media’s purposeful and shameless carrying of water for Democratic ticket, CNN’s presidential town hall was a cakewalk on Thursday for Joe Biden, thanks to no fact-checking, no snarky rebuttals, or major hostility at PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania. That stood in stark contrast to the ambush President Trump faced on ABC Tuesday night in Philadelphia.

Biden faced 16 total audience questions with 13 coming from Democrats to just three Republicans. When it came to the questions themselves, six were left-leaning, five neutral, and five right-leaning. And perhaps most notably, Biden had a friendly host in rabidly anti-Trump CNNer Anderson Cooper to shepherd him through the town hall’s 75 minutes.

In contrast, the President constantly battled ABC chief anchor and former Clinton official George Stephanopoulos while taking questions from 12 audience members. Of that group, four voted for him in 2016, three voted for Hillary Clinton, one for Jill Stein, two that didn’t/couldn’t vote, and one was undefined during the 90-minute program.

Unlike Biden, Trump’s audience questions were heavily skewed with eight from the left, five neutral, and only one right-leaning (with Stein voter Carl Day having three cracks at Trump).

Whereas, Stephanopoulos lectured Trump about The Atlantic hit piece, his responsibility for the coronavirus death toll, ObamaCare, and racism, Cooper refused to challenge Biden when he called Trump officials like Attorney General Barr “sick,” referred to China as only a “competitor,” and claimed that every single coronavirus death was caused by Trump and he should resign.

Stephanopoulos whined that Trump would call out certain cities and states as Democratic-run instead of “American” cities and states, but there was no such outburst from Cooper. Instead, it was all about helping the gaffe-challenged candidate survive.

Click “expand” to see a sampling of instances when Cooper chaperoned Biden to the left:

8:03 p.m. Eastern: Mr. Vice President, President Trump has said that he downplayed the coronavirus because he didn’t want to cause panic. If you were President, could you see a scenario where you downplayed critical information so as not to cause panic?

(….)

8:20 p.m. Eastern: You referenced something that the attorney general just said yesterday — or just said last night. You haven’t ruled out shutting down the country in the future if the pandemic worsens and science leads you to that. The attorney general said last night that lockdowns were the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in U.S. history, other than slavery. 

(….)

8:22 p.m. Eastern: Do you think that the comments by the attorney general contribute to people — I mean, encourage people not to wear masks?

(….)

8:38 p.m. Eastern: Mr. Vice President, Bob Woodward asked President Trump about white privilege and whether or not he benefited from it. And the President said “no, I don’t feel that way at all” and sort of mocked Bob Woodward. Do you see ways you have benefited from white privilege? 

(….)

8:50 p.m. Eastern: Let me just follow up on that. You said you won’t ban fracking but that you wanted to gradually move away from it ultimately. It sounds like to some you are trying to have it both ways, that, I mean, politically it is understandable why you might say that but if fracking contributes to climate change and climate change is an existential threat, why should fracking continue at all? 

To his credit, he had four instances when he questioned Biden from the right, which was when they were discussing the double standard around Black Lives Matter protests versus Trump rallies, the First Step Act, rising crime in major cities, and whether someone has an “individual liberty” to not wear a mask. 

Rewinding to Tuesday, there was never an instance where Stephanopoulos asked a question or made a statement from the right.

Pivoting back to the audience questions, Biden’s six softballs included gripes that the administration has “caused so many people…to ignore this virus and not take the necessary precautions,” a plea “to make health care affordable,” address “[t]he climate crisis,” and find out how Trump and Russia have “compromised the United States.” 

When challenged, Biden faced questions about needing to continue to grow the natural gas industry, over regulation crushing farmers, restoring respect for police, unemployment benefits disincentivizing a return to the workforce, and unfair Chinese business practices.

Kutztown University professor Ellesia Blaque became a liberal media darling this week for snapping at President Trump as he interjected during her question about health care and preexisting conditions, 

That said, it’s doubtful Pennsylvania Farm Bureau member and Trump voter Julia Masser Ballay will fetch the same media coverage for how she handled Biden (click “expand”):

MASSER BALLAY: Good evening. Over regulation puts an extreme burden on small and family owned farms and is a contributing factor to many farms going out of business. Policies during the Obama administration such as the rules under the Waters of the U.S. Act threatened to increase that regulation, as does policies proposed through the Green New Deal, which your climate plan embraces —

BIDEN: No it doesn’t embrace — 

BALLAY: — excuse me, if I could finish. 

BIDEN: I’m sorry.

BALLAY: Thank you.

BIDEN: I apologize. 

BALLAY: How do you plan to decrease the regulatory burden for farmers and businesses as a whole? 

Biden’s evening on easy street with his fellow Democrats and Anderson Cooper (but I repeat myself) was made possible by advertisers such as (but not limited to) Liberty Mutual, Roman, and Volkswagen. Follow the links to the MRC’s Conservatives Fight Back page.

CNN’s Presidential Town Hall with Joe Biden
September 17, 2020
8:01 p.m. Eastern

SHANI ADAMS [Philadelphia Democrat]: Good evening, vice president Biden, how are you? And Anderson. My sister Fenicia lost due to contracting COVID-19 on the job. No, she was not a doctor or nurse. She worked in the environmental services department of a hospital. As a result, my niece is without a mother, my parents are without a daughter, and we are without a sister. My sister was full of life and had a smile that lit up the room. Vice President Biden, what plan do you have in place to keep us from contracting COVID-19 virus in our workplace?

(….)

8:03 p.m. Eastern

ANDERSON COOPER: Mr. Vice President, President Trump has said that he downplayed the coronavirus because he didn’t want to cause panic. If you were President, could you see a scenario where you downplayed critical information so as not to cause panic? 

(….)

8:04 p.m. Eastern

WILLIAM “TRIP” O’MALLEY [Dunmore Democrat]: Mr. Vice President, the messaging on the coronavirus from the White House has been all over the place since February. It’s been extremely inconsistent. It’s caused so many people in this country to ignore the virus, and not take the necessary precautions. How will you get the proper messaging out to all Americans to keep them informed as to how to properly protect themselves and others from this pandemic?

(….)

8:07 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Mr. Vice President, you called the President’s rallies irresponsible, yet you praised peaceful protesting this summer. What is the difference between it comes to COVID safety? 

JOE BIDEN: I think COVID safety is a problem no matter where people are wearing masks, if they’re not — if they don’t have masks on. The context of praising people who protest peacefully is they have — there was a question of a right to speak. Not to loot, not to burn, not to do anything that causes damage. The right to speak out makes sense, but we should be careful across the board, but there is a big difference between people walking, moving along, and people sitting down, cheek to jaw, shoulder to shoulder, a thousand of them, breathing on one another, indoors and out, that causes real, serious problems. 

COOPER: You — you said about a month ago, for the next three months, all Americans should — you’d like to see all Americans wearing masks. 

BIDEN: Yes. 

COOPER: And that you would push governors to institute mandates for — for mask wearing. Back in the pandemic in 1918, in some states, in some towns, they had actually outdoor courts to fine people who weren’t wearing masks. Is that something you would like to see happen in states?

BIDEN: would like to see the governors enforce mask wearing, period. I can do that on federal property. As president, I will do that. On federal land, I’d have the authority. If you’re on federal land, you must wear a mask. In a federal building, you must wear a mask and we could have a fine for them not doing it. Look, this is about saving people’s lives. There’s no question that it saves people’s lives. 

COOPER: To those who say it’s individual liberty to not wear a mask?

BIDEN: Well, let me tell you something. You know, I — what Bill Barr recently said is outrageous, that it’s likely slavery. You’re taking away freedom.

(….)

8:09 p.m. Eastern

JOE VADALA [Democrat from Jermyn]: Hi, vice president. Welcome home. I am a high school teacher who has multiple sclerosis. I am on a drug that has compromised my immune system. My question for you is when the students come back in person to school, will you and your administration mandate the vaccine to be taken like the MMR to enter school when it becomes safe and available to the public because I love teaching, but I don’t want to die and have my wife lose another best friend like how she lost her mother to COVID-19. 

(….)

8:12 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Let me ask, the vaccine policy in schools is really done by states and localities. 

BIDEN: Yeah.

COOPER: But as president, would you want to see — would you encourage states that they would have to guarantee that all students who went to school had taken the vaccine? 

(….)

8:13 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: You said you trust Fauci. Do you trust the current head of the FDA, the current head of the CDC and would you keep them in their positions? 

(….)

8:14 p.m. Eastern

SHELIA SHAUFLER [Republican from Scranton]: And good evening and welcome back. There are many frontline workers who are making much less than people on unemployment who benefitted from the extra $600 in stimulus payments. I have personally spoken to people who refuse to even look or apply for jobs because of the extra money. What is your plan to get Americans back to work and off the government payroll? 

(….)

8:16 p.m. Eastern

JOSEPH FARLEY [Democrat from Dunmore]: But Mr. President, welcome home. And right now, I do work in a cancer center in the area. I make under $15 an hour. 

BIDEN: Ahh.

FARLEY: During these COVID times, unfortunately, I had to open a credit card with 25 percent interest just to cover my groceries. I’m barely making ends meet. I receive no hazard pay, no raise. I’m struggling, not only mentally, but financially. I look up to you and as a middle class health care worker, do you have any plans to stand up for us health care workers?

(….)

8:20 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: You referenced something that the attorney general just said yesterday — or just said last night. You haven’t ruled out shutting down the country in the future if the pandemic worsens and science leads you to that. The attorney general said last night that lockdowns were the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in U.S. history, other than slavery. 

(….)

8:22 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Do you think that the comments by the attorney general contribute to people — I mean, encourage people not to wear masks? Encourage —

BIDEN: Sure. Quite frankly, they’re sick. Think about it.

(….)

8:24 p.m. Eastern

KRISTEN SHEMANSKI [Democrat from Dunmore]: Good evening. My mother was diagnosed with cancer two years ago at the age of 66. The cost has been astronomical. However, my family has been fortunate that both she and my father had long careers at good companies that afforded them the opportunity to save for retirement, which is helping to pay for her care. Mr. Vice President, what is your plan to make health care affordable so Americans don’t need to drain their savings when care is necessary?

(….)

8:31 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: I just want to start with a question of my own. The first debate is 12 days away. President Trump was asked this week how he’s preparing for it. He said, “I sort of prepare every day by just doing what I’m doing.” How are you preparing for the debate? 

BIDEN: About the same way, although I have gone back and talked about and looked at not only the things he said, but making sure I can concisely say what I’m for and what I’m going to do. 

COOPER: Do you have somebody playing president trump, and if so —

BIDEN: Not yet.

COOPER: Okay.

(….)

8:32 p.m. Eastern

LEAH CONNOLLY [Democrat from Philadelphia]: Good evening Anderson, and vice president Biden. The dependability of our mail-in ballots and necessity for this year and potentially upcoming elections is in question for the November 3rd election. If elected, what steps would you take to ensure voters in future elections do not face the same uncertainty that their vote will be counted in time for election results?

(….)

8:33 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Well, let me ask you about that. The President just this morning tweeted the results from the November election “may never be accurately determined.” Given everything that we’ve been hearing from the President, I’m wondering what you expect the days and weeks after the election to look like?

(….)

8:35 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Do you think that — that — I mean, President Trump has said that — that, he’s not yet said that — that he’s not yet said he would be willing to accept the results of the November election. Would you commit tonight to accepting the results of the election? 

(….)

8:35 p.m. Eastern

MAVIS BALL [Democrat from Philadelphia]: Hello, Vice President Biden. Black parents across America need to know how much different will the talk be with our sons and daughters about police interaction under your administration?

(….)

8:38 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Mr. Vice President, Bob Woodward asked President Trump about white privilege and whether or not he benefitted from it. And the President said “no, I don’t feel that way at all” and sort of mocked Bob Woodward. Do you see ways you have benefitted from white privilege? 

BIDEN: Sure. 

(….)

8:39 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Let me ask you. President Trump signed the First Step Act, which advocates — advocates for criminal justice reform, thinks it’s a good start in reforming the criminal justice system. Why should voters believe that you are the right person to build on that legislation, given that in the administration you had with President Obama, you guys weren’t able to get a First Step Act? 

(….)

8:41 p.m. Eastern

BIDEN: Chief, didn’t I meet you when you were chief? 

BILL BARRETT [Democrat from Wilkes Barre]: Ah, we did, sir. It’s a pleasure.

BIDEN: I thought so. I’m looking at you like I know — I know you.

BARRETT: Good evening, Vice President Biden.

BIDEN: Good evening.

BARRETT: Anderson. As mentioned, as retired police chief, I am very concerned about the violence taking place in our cities across this country, especially concerned about the lack of respect shown towards law enforcement officers and the military. Can you tell us how you will address this and bring our nation back together, sir? 

(….)

8:43 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: A lot of protesters have called for defunding police. This summer, murder rates in some big cities have shot up. Chicago murders are up 52 percent so far. New York up 23 percent. Los Angeles up 15 percent. There are a lot of people who worry about a breakdown of law and order in this country. Are you one of them? 

(….)

8:49 p.m. Eastern

TOM CALPIN [Democrat from Moosic]: Good evening, Mr. Vice President. Mr. Cooper. With the abundance of natural gas in northeast Pennsylvania, do you support the continuation of fracking safely and with proper guidelines of course and growing the industry to add additional jobs to our region? 

(….)

8:50 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Let me just follow up on that. You said you won’t ban fracking but that you wanted to gradually move away from it ultimately. It sounds like to some you are trying to have it both ways, that, I mean, politically it is understandable why you might say that but if fracking contributes to climate change and climate change is an existential threat, why should fracking continue at all? 

(….)

8:53 p.m. Eastern

HANA CANNON [Democrat from Allentown]: Good evening. So, as you know the entire west is on fire. Glaciers are melting. Air quality is poor in many areas. The climate crisis cannot be ignored. I participated in many climate actions in recent years and am about to become a mother for the first time. As you know, black, Hispanic, and communities in poverty are more vulnerable to the climate crisis. Are you a firm supporter of the Green New Deal and how you will make sure our communities are protected? 

(….)

8:54 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Let me — let me just jump in though. She was asking about the Green New Deal. Do you back that or do you think it’s too much? 

(….)

8:59 p.m. Eastern

KINA SMALLWOOD BUTTS [Democrat from Landstowne]: Good evening, vice president Biden. Good evening, Mr. Cooper. My question is a two-parter. How will you handle Russia’s involvement with Trump? How will we know the many ways he has compromised the United States? 

(….)

9:01 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Lemme — let me ask, FBI Director Chris Wray said just today Russia has been very active to influence the election and, “denigrate you.” You said that there would be economic price to pay for Russia if they continue with this. Can you be more specific? What do you — what do you — what’s the price to pay? 

BIDEN: It wouldn’t be prudent for me to be more specific, but I assure you they will pay a price. 

COOPER: Do you believe Russia is an enemy?

BIDEN: I believe Russia is an opponent. 

(….)

9:02 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Do you view China as an opponent? Because the — the President says you’ve been too cozy with China. Too accepting of them and the international community. 

BIDEN: I’m not the guy — look. China — we now have a larger trade deficit with China than we’ve ever had. And in our administration when the World Trade Organization he keeps going on just ruled that his trade policy violated the world trade organization. We sued, we went to the world trade organization 16 times. 

COOPER: Do you view China as an opponent? 

BIDEN: I view China as a competitor — a serious competitor.

(….)

9:04 p.m. Eastern

JUSTIN GAVAL [Democrat from Mahoning City]: I’m an army veteran who served in Afghanistan 2013-2014. I want to know if you are elected, will you bring my brothers and sisters home and our military involvement in these unnecessary, endless wars that don’t have any end in sight? 

(….)

9:05 p.m. Eastern

GARRY HARTMAN [Republican from Berwick]: Vice President Biden. Cheetah Chassis is located in Berwick, Pennsylvania where we produce intermodal container chassis. We’re a small family owned business that is facing unfair trade container chassis, imports from — well, we‘ll call a massive state owned entity in China. The products are currently under section 301 but the Chinese have found a way to undermine the relief of the tariff. So as President, how would you address China’s unfair trade policies? 

(….)

9:07 p.m. Eastern

JULIE MASSER BALLAY [Republican from Harrisburg, PA Farm Bureau]: Good evening. Over regulation puts an extreme burden on small and family owned farms and is a contributing factor to many farms going out of business. Policies during the Obama administration such as the rules under the Waters of the U.S. Act threatened to increase that regulation, as does policies proposed through the Green New Deal, which your climate plan embraces —

BIDEN: No it doesn’t embrace — 

BALLAY: — excuse me, if I could finish. 

BIDEN: I’m sorry.

BALLAY: Thank you.

BIDEN: I apologize. 

BALLAY: How do you plan to decrease the regulatory burden for farmers and businesses as a whole? 

(….)

9:10 p.m. Eastern

SUSAN CONNORS [Democrat from Moosic]: Thank you, Anderson. Mr. Vice President, I look out over my Biden sign in my front yard and I see a sea of Trump flags and yard signs and my question is, what is your plan to build a bridge with voters from the opposing party to lead us forward toward a common future? 

(….)

9:14 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: Do you think it’s still possible to reach across the aisle? 

BIDEN: Yes, I do. 

COOPER: The lines are so divided. 

BIDEN: In case you haven’t seen, a group of Republicans have said they’re prepared to work with Joe Biden if he’s elected. 

Published at Fri, 18 Sep 2020 00:20:00 +0000