When President Barack Obama was in office, Donald Trump repeatedly ridiculed him over the use of a teleprompter — a form of electronic cue cards — to deliver speeches, even though teleprompter use has long been common for presidents and other politicians who must deliver lengthy speeches often with little preparation. At the same time, Trump boasted of his own supposed ability to deliver speeches without a teleprompter, once asking reporters, “Isn’t it nice that I’m not one of these teleprompter guys?” according to The New York Times.
Trump amplified his attacks on teleprompter use when it came to his 2016 presidential election opponent, Hillary Clinton, repeatedly slamming her for delivering speeches aided by a teleprompter. As Politico recounted, he once ridiculed her for allegedly having one of “the biggest teleprompters” he had ever seen.
But after Trump won the 2016 election, his attitude toward teleprompter use appears to have changed completely. In fact, his many speeches given using a teleprompter have been delivered in a tone so different from his rambling, off-the-cuff campaign rally speeches that, according to Vox, there are now two Trumps — the more subdued “Teleprompter Trump” and the wilder, unscripted version.
Trump has now become so heavily reliant on the teleprompter that on Friday, he blamed a major gaffe in his Fourth of July speech the previous day on a malfunctioning teleprompter, as USA Today reported.