How do you get Donald Trump to talk to you with less than two weeks to go before Election Day? Tell him exactly what he wants to hear. That’s been the approach by Fox News’ Sean Hannity and radio host Rush Limbaugh.
And now we can add Mark Halperin to that list.
The co-host of Bloomberg Politics’ With All Due Respect (which also airs on MSNBC) and Showtime’s The Circus approached Trump after he delivered a ribbon-cutting speech to open his new Washington, D.C. hotel on Wednesday and asked some truly laughable questions of the Republican nominee.
For instance, “People who say this was a great Trump speech, as far as you’re concerned, do you think they’re all great?” Yes, he does, but this one wasn’t enough in the “Make America Great Again” spirit to rile up his rally crowds.
Then there was this one: “You’ve redefined how candidates talk about polls. Some polls you’re winning, some you’re behind. We have a new poll where you are up in Florida. What’s your general sense of where you are in the battleground states?”
Trump thinks he’s “winning” in Iowa and Ohio, as well as in Florida “by much more” than the new Bloomberg poll, which has him up by two points in that must-win state (though he’s still not favored to win it overall).
The real-estate mogul also thinks he’s “winning” in North Carolina and “will soon be winning” in New Hampshire. Halperin did not disagree with these assessments despite the fact that all polling aggregators say otherwise.
“Do you think you’re going to get 270 electoral votes?” Halperin asked. Yes, Trump replied, “I think we’re going to win.”
And with that, Halperin took a sharp turn to talk about WikiLeaks, asking Trump what aspect of the email hack has been undercovered by the media—the same question he asked Julian Assange on The Circus this past Sunday.
The mocking from political Twitter was swift.
Halperin’s soft treatment of Trump in Washington on Wednesday was not an isolated incident. Just this week, he was singled out by the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank as being one of the “lap dogs of democracy who didn’t bark at Trump.”
This has especially come across on Morning Joe, where Halperin is a frequent guest. When the rest of the media was up in arms over Trump’s refusal to say if he would accept the results of the election, Halperin joined Joe Scarborough in framing the issue as one that only matters to “elites,” adding, “normal people won’t care about that answer.”
Again, Halperin might want to take a peek at scientific polling before he weighs in on issues like these.
One poll immediately following the debate showed that 65% of Americans disapproved of Trump’s answer on that particular question. Yet somehow, the word “rigged” did not come up during his interview with Trump today.