Charles Krauthammer said President Trump’s initial response to the violence in Charlottesville was disappointing:
This is not a media story. This is a presidential story. What’s shocking is that the president of the United States did not have the instinctive, reflexive, automatic response you would expect of any American leader, what we saw across the spectrum in American leadership and among the populace in being utterly revolted by these right-wing, white supremacist neo-Nazi groups. If the president did not do what was absolutely natural, that’s what makes it a story. The fact that he said oh, yes, and then he added in a statement on Saturday, he ad-libbed, “On many sides.” He repeated it. Where did that come from? There is a denunciation to be had of the left, but this was begun by, instigated by, created by neo-Nazis, KKK and white supremacists. They were the ones who created the beginning of this incident. One of them is the one who killed a woman, injured a lot of others. It seems to me you start by denouncing what is obvious. The fact that the president did not, had to do it two days later, is simply stunning. I’m not begrudging him that he said it now but I remember in the campaign he used to mock his other candidates, his competitors, for reading from a prompter. He had to read from a prompter the names of these groups rather than spontaneously answering on his own on Saturday when he was on his own.