Fox News is hyping an “on message,” less-fringy Donald Trump, claiming that “we haven’t had a pop-off” from the Republican presidential nominee “for a few days now.” But over the past few days,Trump has cited “misleading” statistics to make the point that “everything is bad” in black communities and has gone on a Twitter tirade against MSNBC hosts, while those close to his campaign have continued to push conspiracy theories about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s health.
Trump’s New Campaign Team “Discussed The Need For” Trump “To Stay On Message”
WSJ: Trump And His New Campaign Team “Discussed The Need For The Candidate And Campaign To Stay On Message.” According to The Wall Street Journal, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and his new campaign heads, chief executive Steve Bannon and campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, “discussed the need for the candidate and campaign to stay on message to avoid giving foes ‘ammunition against him.’” [The Wall Street Journal, 8/17/16]
Fox News Claims Trump Has Been “Very Much On Message” Since Campaign Shakeup
Fox Host Martha MacCallum: “You Can Argue That We’ve Seen A Very Big Difference In The Way He’s Campaigning.” He’s Been “Very Much On Message” With “A Lot Less Of The Stuff Around The Fringes.” Fox News host Martha MacCallum insisted that “we’ve seen a very big difference in the way [Trump's] campaigning” since he changed campaign leadership last week, saying Trump is “very much on message,” with “a lot less of the stuff around the fringes that got him in trouble, a lot less ad-libbing.” From the August 22 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
MARTHA MACCALLUM: In terms of the campaign, you can argue that we've seen a very big difference in the way he's campaigning over the last seven or eight days. Four very big speeches, all very much on message, a lot less of the stuff around the fringes that got him in trouble, a lot less ad-libbing. Is it too late, though? [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 8/22/16]
Fox’s John Roberts: “Donald Trump Has Now Spent An Entire Week Entirely On Message.” Fox’s John Roberts reported that Trump “has now spent an entire week entirely on message.” Roberts highlighted Trump’s “prepared remarks and teleprompters at” rallies, adding that Trump has not been “making any of the big deviations in script that led him into so much trouble in the past.” From the August 22 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
JOHN ROBERTS: Now, we've said this before, but I think it bears saying again that Donald Trump has now spent an entire week entirely on message. He's been using these prepared remarks and teleprompters at these rallies, ad-libbing around it a little bit, but not making any of the big deviations in script that led him into so much trouble in the past. And it appears as though it's beginning to be reflected in the polls. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/22/16]
Washington Examiner’s Lisa Boothe: “We’ve Seen An On-Message Donald Trump.” Washington Examiner contributor and frequent Fox guest Lisa Boothe maintained, “We’ve seen an on-message Donald Trump,” adding that “we’re going to see the polls change if he continues the trajectory that he has been on.” From the August 22 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
LISA BOOTHE: We've seen an on-message Donald Trump, even in his last five speeches that he's been giving, and also last week as well. And I think we're going to see the polls change if he continues the trajectory that he has been on. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 8/22/16]
Fox’s Eric Shawn: “We Haven’t Had A Pop-Off” From Trump “For A Few Days Now.” On the August 22 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, host Eric Shawn insisted that Trump has “been on message,” adding that “we haven’t had a pop-off, a Trump pop-off, for a few days now.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 8/22/16]
But Within The Last Week, Trump And Those Close To His Campaign Have Engaged In Race-Baiting, Gossip, And Conspiracy Theories
While Attempting To Appeal To African-American Voters, Trump Asked, “What The Hell Do You Have To Lose?”:
Donald Trump To Black Voters: “You’re Living In Poverty, Your Schools Are No Good, You Have No Jobs, 58 Percent Of Your Youth Is Unemployed -- What The Hell Do You Have To Lose?” On August 19, Trump attempted to reach out to African-American voters in Dimondale, MI, saying, according to CNN.com, “You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed -- what the hell do you have to lose?" According to CNN, the question was “an unscripted moment from a speech in which he otherwise stuck to his teleprompter.” From CNN.com’s August 19 article:
Donald Trump on Friday continued his outreach to African-American voters, presenting them with a stark question: “What the hell do you have to lose?”
Speaking in Dimondale, Michigan -- a predominantly white suburb of Lansing -- Trump lamented the collapse of American manufacturing and criticized free trade deals as he laced into Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, saying they are taking black voters for granted.
“You're living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed -- what the hell do you have to lose?” Trump asked the audience in an unscripted moment from a speech in which he otherwise stuck to his teleprompter.
Trump has cited the 58% statistic before, a figure likely extrapolated from the employment-population ratio, which shows that 42.7% of blacks ages 16 to 24 had a job in July. But that doesn't mean that those without a job are necessarily looking for one, so a CNNMoney Reality Check earlier this month found Trump's claim to be true, but misleading. [CNN.com, 8/19/16]
Trump Doubled Down With Fox’s Jeanine Pirro: For African-Americans, “Everything Is Bad” Because They Have “No Health Care, No Education, No Anything.” In an appearance on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine, Trump asserted that, for African-Americans, “everything is bad. No health care, no education, no anything.” Trump also doubled down on his “what do you have to lose” comment, adding that “you can’t do any worse.” Trump promised to “get jobs” for the African-American community, adding that he would do so by “creat[ing] spirit.”
DONALD TRUMP: The African-American people have been absolutely mistreated and abused by Democratic politicians who have taken advantage of them. It was in my speech and I really sort of just was reading the statistics where you have 40 percent that are living in poverty, 58 percent of the students -- I mean the young people, they can't get jobs. It's just like a total catastrophe. The unemployment rate. Everything is bad. No health care, no education, no anything. No anything. And poverty is unbelievable. And then I said, "Hey, wait a minute, vote for me, what do you have to lose? I can't do worse, you can't do any worse than what these people have been doing, and I will do better.” And I actually said if you vote for me next time in four years I'll get 95 percent of your vote because you're going to see such a big improvement. But I said to the African-American people, in all of these cities -- I just looked at those numbers, they're atrocious that you just put up. I said, “Vote for me. What do you have to lose?”
JEANINE PIRRO (HOST): What would you do differently, Donald?
TRUMP: Well, I'd get jobs. For one thing -- you know, you need jobs. I'd also create spirit. We have a president who is absolutely a divider. I call him the great divider. And there is so little spirit and there is such great division, and we need a cheerleader. I thought he was going to be a cheerleader. He's not a cheerleader. [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 8/20/16]
Trump Surrogates Pushed Conspiracy Theories About Clinton’s Health:
Trump Surrogate Rudy Giuliani: “Go Online And Put Down ‘Hillary Clinton Illness’ And Take A Look At The Videos For Yourself.” Top Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News Sunday and implored viewers to research claims about the Democratic presidential nominee, saying they should “go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness’ and take a look at the videos for yourself.” From the August 21 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:
RUDY GIULIANI: She doesn't need to campaign. She has The New York Times, she has the [New York] Daily News, she has ABC, she has CBS, she has NBC. She has an entire media empire that constantly demonizes Donald Trump and fails to point out that she hasn't had a press conference in 300 days, 200 days, 100 days, I don't know how long. Fails to point out several signs of illness by her. All you got to do is go online. All you have to do --
SHANNON BREAM (HOST): Which her campaign and a number of people defending her saying there's nothing factual to the claims about her health, and that that's speculation at best.
GIULIANI: Go online and put down “Hillary Clinton illness” and take a look at the videos for yourself. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 8/21/16]
Trump Surrogate Amy Kremer Compared Clinton’s Health To That Of NFL Players Who Have Had Multiple Concussions. Trump surrogate Amy Kremer compared Clinton’s health to “NFL players [who] have also had concussions,” saying that “it doesn’t matter how long ago” Clinton had a concussion and that the status of Clinton’s health “is a serious issue and the people want it answered.” From the August 21 edition of CNN Newsroom:
AMY KREMER: I am sorry, but [Hillary Clinton] has had an incident where she fell and had a major concussion, and then she had a blood clot in her head, a very serious blood clot. I mean, that's something to be concerned about.
POPPY HARLOW (HOST): That was years ago and she's been cleared by her doctor.
KREMER: Poppy -- and you know what, no, let me say this. The NFL has had major lawsuits from players having concussion years ago. It is a serious issue and the people want it answered. Why not just release the medical records?
HARLOW: Are you -- hold on. Hold on. Are you comparing Hillary Clinton's health and --
KREMER: No. You said that was a long time ago.
HARLOW: And the state of her brain to an NFL player who has a serious concussion after multiple hits?
KREMER: What I said -- no, no.
HARLOW:Then what was the comparison?
KREMER: What you said is that was a long time ago, and I'm saying, yes, and NFL players have also had concussions long --
HARLOW: So you are making the comparison?
KREMER: My point is it doesn't matter how long ago, Poppy, just release the medical records. I think all Americans have a right to know about our commander in chief, and I don't have a problem with them releasing Donald Trump's medical records. I think we have a right to know.
HARLOW: Hey, Amy on that point about right to know and transparency, so should Donald Trump then release his tax returns?
KREMER: Donald Trump is going to release his tax returns, from my understanding.
HOLLY SHULMAN: Oh, really? Because he said so many years ago, and he still hasn't.
HARLOW: Not -- it doesn't sound like before the election.
KREMER: Well, this is what I'll say is that Donald Trump's tax returns have no impact on how he's going to run the country. Their health, both his and Hillary Clinton's health have an impact on how each of them will run the country. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 8/21/16]
Trump Went On A Twitter Tirade Lashing Out At MSNBC’s Morning Joe Hosts:
Trump: “Tried Watching Low-Rated @Morning_Joe This Morning, Unwatchable! @morningmika [Mika Brzezinski] Is Off The Wall, A Neurotic And Not Very Bright Mess!”
Trump: Some Day, When Things Calm Down, I’ll Tell The Real Story Of @JoeNBC [Joe Scarborough] And His Very Insecure Long-Time Girlfriend, @morningmika [Mika Brzezinski]. Two Clowns!”