CNN does the after action report on the ABC and NBC dueling Town Hall sessions….
(CNN)President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden were both forced to answer tough questions Thursday night during dueling town halls, with Trump trying to defend his response to the coronavirus pandemic, his embrace of conspiracy theories and his stance on White supremacists under tough questioning from NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.
Biden aims to stay the course
Trump needs a game-changer but leans on usual lines
President Trump on Thursday refused to disavow QAnon during an NBC News town hall, saying he knows nothing about it beyond that supporters of the theory are “strongly against pedophilia.”
Trump was asked by host Savannah Guthrie to disavow the conspiracy theory, after she described it as a theory about Democrats being a satanic pedophile ring.
“I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little,” Trump said. “You told me but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that.”…
Trump has previously offered tepid support for the group, telling reporters at a news conference in August that he knew little about it but understands its supporters like him “very much” and “love America.”
But despite fears that the event would amount to a free promotion for Trump’s campaign, it ended up being one of the toughest grillings he has faced as president, with questions about white supremacy, covid-19 deaths and his taxes….
For his part, Trump protested Guthrie’s questioning, saying, “I knew you’d be doing this. … You always do this.” He complained that Biden got much easier questions from moderator Lester Holt when he participated in a similar event held by the network on Oct. 5. “He was asking questions like Biden was a child,” the president said….
Mr. Biden, seated in a chair at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, sought to connect with the voters sprinkled throughout a mostly empty auditorium by making constant references to his plans to confront the major challenges facing the nation, including the coronavirus and school and business reopenings. He concluded many of his lengthy responses by expressing hope that he had answered the voters’ questions….
In his appearance, Mr. Biden also confronted a number of issues that have been challenging for him to address throughout the campaign, including his views on expanding the Supreme Court and his record on the 1994 crime bill. Under questioning he indicated that he would clarify his position on expanding the Supreme Court before Election Day. And he also seemed to briefly acknowledge that it was a mistake to support the crime bill, a measure in which he played a central role, though he went on to immediately suggest the perceived problem came in how the states implemented it…..