Trump Takes Mostly Hostile Questions From Voters at ABC's Town Hall

By Susan Jones | September 16, 2020 | 9:21am EDT
President Donald Trump takes mostly hostile questions from voters at an ABC News town hall on Sept. 15. (Photo Screen capture)
President Donald Trump takes mostly hostile questions from voters at an ABC News town hall on Sept. 15. (Photo Screen capture)

( - "We’re here with a group of Pennsylvania voters," ABC's George Stephanopoulos told President Trump Tuesday night at the start of a televised town hall.

"You should know that some of these people voted for you last time around. Some voted for Hillary Clinton, some voted for third party candidates, or no one at all. All have written their own questions."

And here are the questions put to President Donald Trump, all of which he answered calmly and politely. Some of the questioners went on at length, and one woman even interrupted the president after he started to answer her.

-- Mr. President, I voted for you in 2016. I’m a conservative, pro-life and diabetic. I’ve had to dodge people who don’t care about social distancing and wearing face masks. I thought you were doing a good job with the pandemic response until about May 1st. Then you took your foot off the gas pedal. Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?

-- The wearing of masks has proven to lessen the spread of COVID. Why don’t you support a mandate for national mask wearing? And why don’t you wear a mask more often?

-- My question is, if you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities?

-- Martin Luther King Jr. once famously wrote, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." In the light of ongoing protests surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and the recent shooting of Jacob -- Jacob Blake, do you feel racial injustices are occurring in this nation? And if so, what can be done to address them?

-- You’ve coined a phrase, make America great again. When has America been great for African Americans in the ghetto of America? Are you aware of how tone deaf that comes off the African American community?

-- I worry about a second or third wave of unemployment. Employers that weathered the first six months of COVID-19 are now seeing their businesses dramatically impacted due to the effect of this virus on our economy. What, as the president, is your plan to aid these workers who may not lose their jobs today but in the months to come?

-- Mr. President, I was born with a disease called sarcoidosis, and from the day I was born, I was considered uninsurable. That disease started in my skin, moved to my eyes, into my optic nerves, and when I went to graduate school, into my brain. When it hit my brain, I was automatically eligible for disability for the rest of my life. I chose instead to get a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, a Ph.D. and become a professor.

(TRUMP: That’s great.)

Questioner: "It is great, except I still have similar healthcare problems. It costs me -- with co-pays, I'm still paying almost $7,000 a year in addition to the co-pay. And should preexisting conditions, which Obamacare brought into…brought to fruition be removed?

("No," Trump started to answer.)

The woman interrupted: "Please stop and let me finish my question, Sir. Should that be removed? Within a 36- to 72-hour period, without my medication, I will be dead.
And I want to know what it is that you're going to do assure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we're supposed to do can stay insured. It's not my fault that I was born with this disease. It's not my fault that I'm a black woman, and in the medical community, I'm minimized and not taken seriously. I want to know what you are going to do about that."

-- At times, some have called your behavior not presidential. What, if anything, would you do differently if reelected, to create a more unified message where all sides can take responsibilities for their actions and come together to make positive change?

-- So I’d like to ask, regarding your recent comments about our United States soldiers, referring to them as suckers...and particularly the late John McCain, our prisoners of war, as losers...And recently requesting amputee veterans from the military parade. How do you expect to win back the support of our military, their families, their friends and military supporters?

(TRUMP responded, "It’s easy, because I never made those statements. They were never made by me.")

-- Hello, Mr. Trump. My question is actually about police reform and how can we balance common sense police reform without sacrificing public safety in a -- in a time when part of the country is calling to defund the police and actively cheering when they’re gunned down in the street and another part is tired of seeing the lawlessness?

-- My name is Flora Cruceta. I'm sorry if I can't hold my -- hold my tears. I came in 2006 with my mom from Dominican Republic--sorry...We come from Dominican Republic in 2006 to live our American dream. But she forgot how to take care of herself and she died last month..I'm sorry. She had breast cancer but it made metastases on her brain, bone, and lungs and she passed on the 19th. One of her biggest dreams was to become a citizen to vote, and she did. She did, 10 days before she died. And I did it too. She pushed me so hard to do it, and I did it this past 28th. I'm here because of her. She was supposed to be here and ask you and thank you for this -- if they should take -- during this epidemic, you made people closer. We lost our jobs but we learned how to love our family. So I'm saying that from her. Her question for you was -- because she write this question -- what will you do for our immigration system? What will you change to make more people, like me and like her, to become citizens and vote?

-- My question is, what has been the most difficult part of your presidency? And what have you learned from it?


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