Right-wing media figures lauded Donald Trump’s use of a teleprompter during a June 7 speech, neglecting to mention Trump’s repeated criticisms of politicians using teleprompters.
Trump Uses Teleprompter During June 7 Speech
CNN: “Trump Turns To The Teleprompter.” CNN reported on Donald Trump’s “teleprompter-controlled delivery” during his speech on June 7, writing, “A top campaign adviser called the speech ‘very important to recovering from these five bad days'”:
Donald Trump on Tuesday night sought to calm fretful Republicans bolting from his side over his latest controversy, laying out in measured terms his campaign platform and recasting himself as a “fighter” prepared to take on Hillary Clinton. After days of characteristic defiance amid charges that his comments accusing a Mexican-American judge of bias were racist, Trump's speech Tuesday night marked an about-face as a more restrained, yet out-of-character Trump appeared. Donald Trump turned to the two teleprompters to his left and right on Tuesday night and took a victory lap, as Republicans cast their final votes of the primary season. [CNN, 6/7/16]
Media Figures Celebrate Trump’s “Presidential” Teleprompter Use
Megyn Kelly: This Is “The More Presidential” Trump, “A Very Different-Sounding Man.” Fox anchor Megyn Kelly claimed that Trump’s usage of a teleprompter indicated he was “more controlled,” “staying on message,” and “the more presidential version he told us he was more than capable of being.” Kelly continued, saying, “Here he stands tonight, the presumptive Republican nominee, a very different-sounding man.” From the June 7 edition of Fox News’ The Kelly File:
MEGYN KELLY (HOST): A fired-up Donald Trump, a little less fired up than normal, perhaps, a little bit more controlled. Using the teleprompter, which is something we almost never see him do. Staying on message. Some of the reaction on Twitter suggesting that this is the more reined-in Donald Trump that people like Senator Mitch McConnell have wanted to see. Perhaps some people internal in his campaign did not want to see, because their motto has been “let Trump be Trump,” but perhaps this is Donald Trump too, the more presidential version he told us he was more than capable of being. You know, when he announced his candidacy a year ago, no one thought he had any chance. He was at single digits in the polls. And here he stands tonight, the presumptive Republican nominee, a very different-sounding man, at least tonight. [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/7/16]
David Wohl: Trump’s Teleprompter Use “Is So Natural ... He Could Be A News Anchor.” Trump supporter David Wohl claimed that “you saw [Trump] reading off a teleprompter, and it’s so natural, by the way, that he could be a news anchor.” From the June 7 edition of Fox News’ The Kelly File:
DAVID WOHL: Ronald Reagan was called the great communicator, I can tell you right now that you just witnessed it. Donald Trump is also a great communicator in a different way, and sometimes it can seem a little rough around the edges. But the power of his words -- and you just saw him reading off a prompter, and it's so natural, by the way, that he could be a news anchor. But he's amazingly talented at communicating the ideas with such force and power that you believe when he says he's going to do things, I mean you sit there and say, “Wow, well I think he can really do it.” [Fox News, The Kelly File, 6/7/16]
Lou Dobbs: Trump Was “All Business Tonight”; “From The Misadventure Of Three Days, He Returns.” Fox host Lou Dobbs claimed that Trump’s usage of a teleprompter indicated “he was all business tonight,” arguing “from this misadventure of three days, he returns.” Dobbs continued, stating, “What you saw is the guy I think we are going to see through the rest of this.” From the June 7 edition of Fox Business’ Cavuto: Coast to Coast:
LOU DOBBS (HOST): What we saw tonight in that speech, which I thought was absolutely terrific, was a man who is saying “OK, I’ve had enough adventure, I’m going to return to the teleprompter. I’m going to stay on message.” You know -- and he was all business tonight, all business.
LISA KENNEDY MONTGOMERY: Do you think he was showing Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan that he was capable of doing that? Do you think that’s part of the strategy and the teleprompter?
DOBBS: I think that’s part of it, certainly. No question about it, because the donor class in particular had to be, we know --
DOBBS: They were very nervous indeed. So, from this misadventure of three days, he returns. What you saw is the guy I think we are going to see through the rest of this. [Fox Business, Cavuto: Coast To Coast, 6/7/16]
Steve Doocy: “What A Difference A Teleprompter Makes.” On Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt praised Trump for his use of a teleprompter, with Doocy noting the “difference a teleprompter makes” and saying Trump “sounded a little more presidential” because of it. Earhardt observed that “a lot of people [said] reading from the teleprompter made him a lot more presidential." From the June 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): What a difference a teleprompter makes, many saying the presumptive GOP nominee sounded a little more presidential last night.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): A lot of people saying that they liked it, they thought it was positive. Reading from the teleprompter made him a lot more presidential, they said. Wasn't all about himself, it was more about what he's going to do for the American people. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/8/16]
Brian Kilmeade: “What A Difference A Teleprompter Makes. Many Saying The Presumptive GOP Nominee Sounded More Presidential Than Ever.” Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade praised the “difference a teleprompter makes,” noting that “many” are saying that Trump “sounded more presidential than ever last night.” From the June 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): What a difference a teleprompter makes. Many saying the presumptive GOP nominee sounded more presidential than ever last night. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/8/16]
Lee Carter: “This Was A Totally Different Tone. First Time We've Seen Him With A Teleprompter, And He Really Did A Great Job.” Pollster and frequent Fox guest Lee Carter observed Trump’s “totally different tone,” noting, “First time we’ve seen him with a teleprompter, and he really did a great job.” From the June 8 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
LEE CARTER: So, this is fascinating. I think that, not surprising, Republicans loved it. What I thought was so, so interesting was independents gave it a B, Democrats gave it a C minus. Now, I have never seen Democrats dial Donald Trump above 30 or 40. They were along for the ride here. They like that he acknowledged that most people think of him as a fighter. They like that he started turning and said, “Look, I want peace, I want unity, I want to bring people together, and here's what I'm going to do.” This was a totally different tone. First time we've seen him with a teleprompter, and he really did a great job. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/8/16]
Trump Has Argued That “If You’re Running For President, You Shouldn’t Be Allowed To Use Teleprompters”
Trump: “If You’re Running for President, You Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Use Teleprompters.” In an August 26 post, Breitbart News reported that “Before a Dubuque, IA rally on Tuesday night, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump spoke with reporters telling them that he ‘doesn’t believe in teleprompters’ and that is why he has gotten large crowds.” Breitbart additionally reported that Trump stated “I don’t believe in teleprompters,” saying, “In fact, I jokingly say if you’re running for president, you shouldn’t be allowed to use teleprompters.” [Breitbart News, 8/26/15]
Trump: Hillary Clinton “Reading Poorly From The Telepromter (sic)! She Doesn’t Even Look Presidential”:
Bad performance by Crooked Hillary Clinton! Reading poorly from the telepromter! She doesn't even look presidential!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2016
Trump: “Why Does @BarackObama Always Have To Rely On Teleprompters?”
Why does @BarackObama always have to rely on teleprompters?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2012
Trump Retweet: “When Will We Stop Electing Presidents Whose Singular Most Important Quality Is Reading A TP?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 10, 2014
Trump Retweet: “You Would Be The Most Straightforward Prez Weve (sic) Ever Had. I Dont See You Reading Prepared Speeches Off A Teleprompter”:
"@paul1994loan You would be the most straightforward Prez weve ever had. I dont see you reading prepared speeches off a teleprompter"
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2015
Trump: Clinton “Read Directly Off Her Teleprompter...But There Was No Emotion, No Truth. Just Can’t Read Speeches”:
Hillary said such nasty things about me, read directly off her teleprompter...but there was no emotion, no truth. Just can't read speeches!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 5, 2015