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.
In the speech, as The Inquisitr reported, Trump listed a number of victories achieved during the American Revolutionary War. But somehow, among those accomplishments, Trump stated that the revolutionary army “took over the airports.”
Of course, airplanes and airports would not exist for more than 120 years after the conclusion of the American Revolution, leading to widespread mockery of Trump online and in the media for the bizarre gaffe. But on Friday, Trump — in what the political site Talking Points Memo called “a rare moment of humility” — claimed that his teleprompter malfunctioned due to rain, somehow causing him to apparently claim that there were airports in the 18th century.
Remember when Trump made fun of Obama and Hillary Clinton for using teleprompters?
Here's Trump complaining that the teleprompter went out during his 4th of July speech. pic.twitter.com/N8Lu2WONrR
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) July 5, 2019
“The teleprompter went out, it kept going on and then at the end it just went out, it went kaput, so I could’ve said — and actually right in the middle of that sentence it went out and that’s not a good feeling,” Trump told reporters on Friday.
However, Trump also claimed that he “knew the speech very well” and therefore “was able to do it without a teleprompter,” as quoted by the BBC, creating further confusion over why he made the “airports” misstatement. Trump also claimed that the teleprompter was “hard to look at” due to the fact that “there was rain all over it.”