The night of the first presidential debate many social media users said they wished a mom had been moderating, because a mom would be able to deal with the constant interrupting and insulting that went on between President Trump and Joe Biden.
This week we didn’t get a second presidential debate with Biden, but we did see the President face off against a mom: NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.
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The TODAY anchor did more than hold her own against the President, she questioned him, debated him, and fact-checked him in real time.
“I don’t get it,” was a frequent phrase for Guthrie throughout the program, as she challenged President Trump on everything from whether he tested negative before the first presidential debate (He said: “Possibly I did, possibly I didn’t.”) to his position to white supremacy (“I denounced white supremacy,” he insisted, adding “Are you listening?”) to his refusal to denounce the mass delusion known as Q Anon.
When the president stated that he knows Q Anon “are very much against pedophilia. They fight it very hard,” Guthrie took the president to task, pressing him to admit that there is no satanic pedophile cult.
The president replied, that no, he doesn’t know that and neither does she. She then asked the president why he tweeted a conspiracy theory about Joe Biden .
“That was a retweet,” Mr. Trump said, and that’s when Guthrie said something that lit up the internet.
“I don’t get that,” she told Trump. “You’re the president. You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever.”
The president, at times, insulted Guthrie, once suggesting that she—an award-winning news journalist—isn’t up on her current events.
It happened during an exchange about mail-in ballots and President Trump’s suggestion that mail ballot fraud is a widespread issue (it’s not). When Guthrie fact-checked the president in real time, stating that there is no evidence of widespread mail ballot fraud, he said: “How can you say that? You do read newspapers? You do watch the news?”
Still, Guthrie held her own against the man who occupies the highest office in the nation.
She pressed the president on his tax returns, and he said the $750 figure reported by the New York Times is simply a “filing number” and suggested that the newspaper obtained his tax records illegally. Guthrie pointed out that there is no law preventing the president from releasing his tax returns himself, to which he replied, no, “except common sense and intelligence.”
Throughout the program, Guthrie introduced citizens who presented questions to the president, on subjects such as Amy Coney Barrett‘s Supreme Court nomination and whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned.
The president didn’t answer directly, but stated that he wanted to leave that up to a brilliant jurist.
“I think she is going to make a great decision,” the president said, referring to Coney Barrett.
When a woman from the audience asked about policing of Black Americans, the president replied: “I’ve done more for the Black community than any other President other than Lincoln.”
Another woman asked the president about immigration, and he replied: “They have to come in through a merit system and they have to come in legally. And people are very happy, you haven’t heard any complaints about that.”
In the last 30 seconds of the evening President Trump told Guthrie a vaccine is coming soon and that next year will be better.
We hope you’re right, Mr. President.
[Editor’s note: Motherly is committed to covering all relevant presidential candidate plans as we approach the 2020 election. We are making efforts to get information from all candidates. Motherly does not endorse any political party or candidate. We stand with and for mothers and advocate for solutions that will reduce maternal stress and benefit women, families and the country.]
[Correction: A previous version of this post suggested Guthrie made the “crazy uncle” comment in reference to Q Anon. It was in reference to a specific conspiracy theory regarding the former Vice President.]