On Thursday, during the daily coronavirus press briefing at the White House, Donald Trump was asked about the 2020 presidential election. A reporter asked the president whether he believes the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to concerns about the legitimacy of the November election, given that some Americans might not be able to vote safely.
“We have a sleepy guy in the basement of a house that the press is giving a free pass to who doesn’t want to do debates because of COVID, and lots of things are happening, right?” the president began.
“And I watched a couple of interviews and I say oh, I look forward to this, but they’re keeping him sheltered because of the coronavirus,” Trump said of Biden, arguing that the media is treating the Republican Party much worse than the Democratic Party, despite the fact that his economy was “the greatest” in United States history.
Trump also said that his administration has not gotten enough credit amid the coronavirus pandemic. He pointed out that even Democratic politicians — such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom — have praised the federal government’s response to the crisis, saying that Trump is keeping his promises.
According to Trump, Biden has been given “a pass” by much of the media, which is why it is impossible to make predictions about the upcoming election. The president insisted that the press is granting his presumptive opponent preferential treatment while criticizing his administration and the GOP.
Trump then drew a comparison between the coronavirus pandemic and impeachment. According to the president, the way he is now being treated by the media is evocative of the “impeachment hoax” and of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.
“It was illegal and with all of that, I’m doing fine. because the people see we’re doing a great job,” Trump said.
“If we had an honest press, this country would be even greater.”
As suggested by the latest polling, Trump has every reason to be concerned about the presidential election. According to an Ipsos poll released on Thursday, Trump is trailing Biden in the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. The president won all three states in 2016 but is now trailing Biden by six points.
In all three states, Trump’s approval ratings are low, and most voters apparently believe their governors have done a better job handling the coronavirus pandemic. Forty-seven percent of voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania approve of the president’s response to the pandemic, while 67 percent believe their governors are doing a good job.