The Trump campaign, evidently, wasn't terribly pleased with the dueling town halls between President Trump on NBC and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on ABC Thursday night. And Trump campaign senior adviser Mercedes Schlapp, who spent two years as Trump's White House director of strategic communications, had an interesting way expressing that displeasure.
This isn’t the diss you think it is. https://t.co/OWbShLAXKt
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) October 16, 2020
Comparing Joe Biden to Fred Rogers certainly isn't unreasonable, but it is an interesting strategy if you want to win over anyone who loved and respected the long-running PBS show, who died in 2003. Even if you didn't revere Mister Rogers, nobody considered him a scary antifa-loving socialist, though you could maybe view his calming demeanor as "sleepy."
I’m confused. Has Donald Trump been vowing to make suburban neighborhoods safe from Mr. Rogers?
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) October 16, 2020
She meant that as an insult, but I think Joe Biden would take it as a compliment. As any decent person would.
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) October 16, 2020
Thankful for all the lessons Mr. Rogers taught us growing up.
— Charles Booker (@Booker4KY) October 16, 2020
If you are unfamiliar with the Mister Rogers oeuvre, Mr. Rogers himself gave a pretty good summation in his final show.
In his final broadcast, Mr. Rogers said:
"I know how tough it is some days to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead. But I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger. I like you just the way you are." pic.twitter.com/OGdXxN2VvE
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) October 16, 2020
It doesn't appear that Schlapp was freelancing, either. Another Trump campaign senior adviser, Steve Cortes, said on Fox News that the ABC town hall reminded him of Mister Rogers Neighborhood, calling it "the equivalent of a church ice cream social for Joe Biden." So maybe the talking point is that ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos is Fred Rogers? He probably wouldn't object to that comparison, either.