By and large, I thought President Trump did well in last night’s debate. At many points, it was reminiscent of this scene from the 1975 film The Man Who Would Be King.
This is not to say the performance was flawless. In my view, there were two golden opportunities presented to President Trump, and he took a pass on both of them. At the very end of the debate, when Chris Wallace moved well beyond the point of pretending to be a moderator and was acting the role of Maggie Haberman for the Clinton campaign, that is, teeing up softball questions for Joe Biden whiff. At the end, Wallace launched the “peaceful transfer of power” trope that has gained a foothold on the left. President Trump could have put it to rest with a simple statement but elected to give a much more convoluted answer, which is probably going to haunt him. And, after letting Joe Biden use the calumny that he’d called the neo-Nazi [counter-]demonstrators in Charlottesville, VA, “very nice people”–and it was Trump’s duty to call Biden out on this egregious lie, not Wallace’s–Trump again muffed an easy demand that he denounce white supremacists.
Chris Wallace: "Are you willing, tonight, to condemn white supremacists and militia groups and to say that they need to stand down…"
Trump: "Proud Boys, stand back and stand by! But I'll tell you what, somebody's got to do something about antifa and the left." pic.twitter.com/4vrPocKzcu
— Axios (@axios) September 30, 2020
Even though this was a bullsh** question by Wallace obviously designed to put the issue into play before a national audience (even FactCheck.org has noted several times when Trump explicitly denounced white supremacists, so it is hard to give this the benefit of the doubt)
One would think the Biden campaign would have been content to take their W and go on their way. But this is 2020, and rules don’t apply.
Here is the video version. Rittenhouse appears at about 0:11.
There’s no other way to put it: the President of the United States refused to disavow white supremacists on the debate stage last night. pic.twitter.com/Q3VZTW1vUV
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 30, 2020
The image is of Kyle Rittenhouse as he was being set upon by a mob on a street in Kenosha, WI. As far as I know, the only activity in Portland is Biden constituents attempting to burn cops alive and killing people from ambush. Rittenhouse has no connection whatsoever with any white supremacist group. This claim has been widespread on the left but has been thoroughly debunked by every news organization reported on the unwarranted attack on Rittenhouse. For a campaign to float a known lie like this that could easily affect a potential jury pool is simply inexplicable beyond having a penchant for casual cruelty.
It has not gone unnoticed:
Response to Joe Biden's defamatory allegation that my client Kyle Rittenhouse is a "white supremacist" — pic.twitter.com/m2QUJ25rAt
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) September 30, 2020
On behalf of Kyle Rittenhouse, I shall sue @JoeBiden & Biden/Harris Campaign for libel.
I am partisan in 20/20 supporting @realDonaldTrump.
I am non-partisan trial lawyer who aggressively pursues truth to achieve justice.
Put in your hearing aid, Joe. You will hear footsteps.
— Lin Wood (@LLinWood) September 30, 2020
I don’t think the Biden campaign will get sued over this; in fact, it looks like they may have pulled the original tweet. But it gives a good insight into the soulless character of Joe Biden and the people around him. A candidate who would put national security on the table to enrich his family, who would, for all intents and purposes, disavow his own illegitimate grandchild, and who would falsely accuse a 17-year-old of being a white supremacist is not someone you want near the levers of power.