President Trump Misses Opportunities To Take Strong Approach To Issues At Debate

VIDEO — Trump Fights Back in Fiery CPAC Speech

( President Donald Trump took an aggressive approach to Tuesday night’s first presidential debate.

While he certainly had Democratic candidate Joe Biden taken aback and off balance, was Trump’s approach “too hot,” as some Republican political leaders have said?

One of the biggest takeaways from Trump’s performance on Tuesday night is that while he played well to some of his staunchest supporters, he may have ostracized a lot of voters who could still be on the fence.

The first topic on which he may have made voters cringe is the coronavirus pandemic. At one point during the debate, Biden was discussing the tragic situation in the United States, which has seen more than 205,000 people lose their lives to COVID-19.

Biden was trying to appeal to American voters by saying:

“How many of you are in a situation where you lost your mom or dad and you couldn’t even speak to them. You have to have a nurse holding the phone up so you could say goodbye?”

Trump then responded to this comment by telling Biden, “You would have lost far more people.”

The president has been criticized consistently for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. But, not all people have disliked his approach, especially as it relates to re-opening states and getting people back to work.

But, Trump took it to a whole new level during Tuesday’s debate by downplaying the number of people who have died as the result of the pandemic. The president had an opportunity to express sympathy and empathy. Instead, he chose to mock Biden, saying if he were in charge of the country, even more people would have died.

That’s not a strong response from a president. Voters on the fence don’t want to hear a candidate ignore the fact that so many people have died, choosing instead to brush it off and throw a weak attack on his opponent.

The other topic that could work significantly against Trump with undecided voters is when he basically refused to denounce white supremacy.

Trump didn’t blame white supremacists for the violence that has happened at places such as El Paso and Pittsburgh. He chose instead to say:

“I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace. Proud Boys — stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem … This is a left-wing problem.”

In one statement, Trump threw his support behind an extremist group while talking down about another. Again, he had an opportunity to assure a country that is more and more divided every day that hate is not acceptable — whether it’s hate from the left or hate from the right.

But, Trump didn’t do that. His statements may have played well to those right-wing supporters, but the fact is that group was likely to vote for him no matter what. What his statements could have done, though, is convince undecided voters that he’s not worthy of a second term.