The daily display of Trump surrogates who go onto cable news programs to defend the president’s indefensible behavior and policies is a constant source of amusement to many who marvel at the spokespeople’s attempts to spin Trump’s copious B.S. into something resembling political gold.
Sometimes, however, the president’s acolytes make Trump look worse than if they had simply stayed home and kept their mouths shut rather than proselytizing for presidential purposes.
That was the case today when Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh hit the airwaves of CNN to hype up his boss’s re-election campaign efforts after the unmitigated disaster that was his sparsely-attended post-coronavirus lockdown campaign kickoff event in Tulsa, Oklahoma this weekend.
Murtaugh praised the president for the enthusiastic support he has garnered from his followers, despite the noted evidence to the contrary that the Tulsa rally debacle demonstrated.
The re-election mouth-piece also contrasted Trump’s enthusiasm for hitting the campaign trail — in the midst of a pandemic in which his own CDC is still recommending that people limit their social contacts as much as possible in order to stem the spread of the deadly virus — with that of his Democratic opponent Joe Biden who has limited his public appearances during the pandemic to a few select venues as prudence and intelligence would warrant.
While Biden’s relatively lower public profile during the heights of the COVID-19 outbreak may be a deliberate political strategy to allow Trump to sink his own ship through his unbroken record of missteps and incompetence, CNN’s Brianna Keilar had a ready comeback to Murtaugh as he tried to denigrate Biden as a coward, claiming that he was spending the pandemic in his basement rather than engaging with the public as the president has done.
Trump campaign spox Tim Murtaugh: Trump's hitting the campaign trail while Dems are telling Biden to stay in the basement.
CNN anchor Brianna Keilar: "I’m surprised you bring it up. Because there’s only one person who sought refuge in a basement recently." pic.twitter.com/pYrmKdMioN
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) June 22, 2020
Keilar’s litany of Joe Biden’s public appearances — little covered by a media that knows that they can get better ratings by covering Donald Trump’s latest daily outrage than focusing on the compassionate and empathetic former vice president — proves that Murtaugh’s accusations against Biden are pure campaign fluffery of no actual substance.
Her zinger about Trump’s panicked rush to the White House’s basement bunker, however, is likely to hit Trump right in his weak spot as his faux masculinity and macho posturing are belied by his actual — if vigorously denied — feeble behavior.
Any of Murtaugh’s efforts afterward to portray Joe Biden as a comparatively less manly and resolute opponent to the president are fully thwarted by the images of the “bunker baby” cowering in the White House basement in fear as unarmed protestors surround the gates of his state residence.
Touché, Ms. Keilar, you found the perfect retort to bring a serious Trumpian gaslighter back to reality.
If only this administration would acknowledge that reality exists outside their world of magical thinking.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.