WASHINGTON (AP) – The coronavirus cannot be wished away. Real people kept it real. Preparation – and the moderator – matters.
President Donald Trump’s town hall in front of undecided Pennsylvania voters offered an intriguing preview of how he may approach his first debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden in two weeks.
Tuesday night’s event on ABC featured predictable attack lines and vague promises of policy from Trump. But it also showcased, again, the president’s struggle to effectively defend his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of nearly 200,000 Americans.
And while the president’s aides have been eager to shift focus off the virus, the town hall made clear that the campaign, now down to its final seven weeks, has remained a referendum on the president and the pandemic.
Here are other takeaways from a night that served as a tantalizing opening act for the first general election debate on Sept. 29: