John Oliver on Trump's debate performance: 'His best behavior is still absolutely appalling'

Nick Romano
·2 min read

HBO

Remember the final presidential debate between Joe Biden and Donald Trump? Feels like it happened years ago. But, no, it was just last week and John Oliver made time to revisit because it's worth remembering that Trump's "best behavior is still absolutely appalling."

The host of HBO's Last Week Tonight lampooned the president for claiming he was "the least racist person" in the debate, as well as media commentators who celebrated the fact that “no one set themselves on fire in the last presidential debate." That remark came from CNN International's Becky Anderson.

"Historically, the bar for succeeding at these events has been a little higher than 'nobody burns alive,'" Oliver said. "This is a presidential debate not a beginner's fire juggling class at the community center. And for any other candidate, things Trump said on that debate stage would've been an act of self-immolation."

During the debate, Trump said, “I am the least racist person. I can’t even see the audience because it’s so dark, but I don’t care who’s in the audience. I’m the least racist person in this room."

"That is strange for multiple reasons," Oliver tore in. "First, he’s implying his answer might have changed if the house lights were up. ‘I can’t even see the audience, but I’m the least racist person... Hold on. Is that Tom Hanks? Oh, s---, he is definitely less racist than me, for sure. But I do still think I’m in the top two.' Also, it is worth noting that when he said he is the least racist person in the room, that room contained — and this is true— h is family. So he’s effectively throwing them under the bus there, too."

The "really sad" part about people claiming Trump was on his best behavior, Oliver continued, is "that's actually true."

The late-night host then referenced how Trump told supporters at a rally in Erie, Penn. recently how "there was no way" he would've come to Erie on a campaign stop before the pandemic, and also how his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was caught in a compromising position in the new Borat sequel. "But [Trump's] best behavior is still absolutely appalling because even when the bar is so low as to be virtually nonexistent — like, don’t tell your supporters that you hate their stupid city, or don’t say everyone in the audience is more racist than you, or don’t hire a personal attorney who falls for a Borat prank 14 years after the first movie came out — the unshakeable fact is unless you set the bar at 'nobody caught fire,' Trump will always find a way to disappoint," Oliver said.

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