In last night’s MSNBC “town hall meeting” with Donald Trump, hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski left enough time for eight questions from the South Carolinians in the audience.
Taking questions from “ordinary voters” always sounds good in theory, but the questions are almost always some version of “but what will you do for me?” Occasionally there’s a specific topic, or they can get the candidate to say something new or revealing, but more frequently they’re beyond softball questions; they’re Nerf™ softball questions.
The questions from the audience last night:
1) “In the current administration, African Americans have felt as though they can do anything, be anything. If you’re elected, how will you relate to the African American community, minority business owners, small businesses? Do you have a plan?”
2) “When will we ask our allies to help fund the U.S. troops stationed in their country for protection?”
3) “Some of these trade agreements like NAFTA and others have been very destructive for the working class. My question is what specific steps would you take to help renegotiate those deals or help protect American jobs?”
4) “Mr. Trump, multiple past presidents have attempted to establish a peace agreement between both sides of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. And the one common theme is that they’ve all been unsuccessful. What specific steps would you take to establish an agreement between both sides?”
This is the question that generated Trump’s “Let me be sort of a neutral guy, let’s see what — I’m going to give it a shot. It would be so great” answer.
5) “Where do you think the line is between boldness and honesty, and disrespect and rudeness? And does that line change?”
6) “Hi, Mr. Trump. I was just — I’m a college student, so education is really important to me. And I was just wondering, since there’s so much going on right now in the rest of the campaign, I was just wondering how you are going to — what — like, what are your thoughts on Bernie’s higher-education plan and how he’s going to reduce the cost?”
7) “My question is you’re facing stiff competition from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. How do you think you will set yourself apart from those two candidates, and how are you going to go and win the general election against, say, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton?”
If you’re asking, “How will Trump set himself apart from Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio,” you really haven’t paid any attention to anything in this race, and know nothing about them.
8) “My question for you is why did you decide to run for the presidency in the first place?”
I’m sure you’re shocked to learn that Donald Trump is running for the presidency because he wants to make America great again.