Magazine | July 29, 2019, Issue

Third Presidential Debate

Author Marianne Williamson and former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper during the second night of the first Democratic presidential candidates debate in Miami, Fla., June 27, 2019. (Mike Segar/Reuters)


October 4, 2020
Wertheim Performing Arts Center
Florida International University
Miami, Fla.


mr. trump: We’ve got the number-one economy in the world, totally amazing, really a phenomenal economy thanks to me, and our military is strong once again, not that I want to use it, if ever, though I am looking at some things and there will be an announcement soon about things like that, just saying we’re looking at a lot of things and a lot of actions we can take with our powerful military, but also, the economy, I mean, it’s superb, it’s a truly superb economy.

ms. williamson: You seem afraid. What is it that you fear?

mr. trump: Lady, look, I don’t fear anything, okay?

ms. williamson: And yet there is fear in your voice. A quivery kind of anxiety. A little boy in a big man’s suit. May I touch you?

mr. trump: No. Just stay over there on your side. Andrea, she’s moving, she’s got her arm out, Andrea! She’s touching me! Andrea!

andrea mitchell: Ms. Williamson, the rules, as you know, were very clear. No touching. We agreed on that.

ms. williamson: I’m healing him.

mr. trump: Well, stop it.

ms. williamson: You’re hurting. So much pain. Let me just — 

mr. trump: Andrea, this is very unfair. No president has ever had to be touched like this during a debate.

ms. williamson: Big cleansing breath in. Big cleansing breath out. And again. Cleansing breath in, cleansing breath out.

mr. trump: This whole debate is a very unfair farce, and I plan to — 

ms. williamson: Cleansing breath in — 

mr. trump: (inhaling) I plan to — 

ms. williamson: Cleansing breath out — 

mr. trump: (exhaling) Stop this whole thing if you — 

ms. williamson: Now, shake! Shake it out! Shake out the fear! Shake out the anger and the hurt. Say, “Goodbye!” To all of it! Bbbbbbrrrrrrbbbbbbbbrrrr! Ggggggggggbbbbrmmm.

mr. trump: Is there a question? Someone?

ms. williamson: Bbbbbbbbrrrrrrrrrrbbbbbbbbrrrr! Ggggggggbbbbrmm.

mr. trump: Anyone? A — bbbbbbbbbrrrrrrrbbbbbbbbrrrr! gggggggggggbbbbrmmmmmm! — question?

andrea mitchell: We have a question for you, Ms. Williamson. If you’ll let go of President Trump’s wrist.

ms. williamson: Can I answer the question while I stand here filling him up with love?

mr. trump: No, no she can’t. Stop filling me up with love. Andrea, tell her to stop filling me up with love.

ms. williamson: Who’s there, inside you?

mr. trump: Nobody!

ms. williamson: Nobody. So revealing. Are you nobody, Donald?

mr. trump: I just meant . . . I was saying — 

ms. williamson: I think we all heard what you said, Donald. It was what we call a Freudian slip.

mr. trump: It was not a Freudian slip, or whatever you call it. I’m a very stable person with a terrific grasp of the English language.

ms. williamson: I’m not sure you know what a Freudian slip is.

mr. trump: I know what it is! It’s when you say one thing but you mean a mother. Another. Another. You say one thing but you mean another. A mother. Wait! You’ve got me all turned around!

ms. williamson: Close your eyes! Who’s there, inside you?

mr. trump: I don’t want to play this game anymore! Make her stop playing this game, Mom!

ms. williamson: Donald, where are you?

mr. trump: I’m outside. I’m playing with some kids.

ms. williamson: Are you happy?

mr. trump: No! They’re being mean to me!

ms. williamson: Donald, put your arms around yourself. Big breath in. Hug yourself tight. Say, “Wonderful, wonderful me.” Say, “Wonderful, wonderful me.” Big breath out. Again.

mr. trump: Wonderful, wonderful me.

ms. williamson: Wonderful, wonderful me.

mr. trump: Wonderful, wonderful me.

andrea mitchell: Ms. Williamson, can we talk a bit about foreign policy? Specifically, you’ve been critical of the president’s policy regarding North Korea, but you’ve been silent about your own ideas about that country. What do you say to people who think you’re unprepared for the real-world, practical responsibilities of the presidency?

ms. williamson: I’d say, Look what I’m doing right now. Look at what I’ve managed to do for Donald Trump in one short session of release work. He just needs to love and cherish himself. He needs to know it’s okay to be Donald Trump, just as he is. I can do the same for Kim Jong-un, or any world leader for that matter. It’s really about love, Andrea. All along, with the aggressive language and the bullying talk and the tweets, the president just craved the unconditional love of one person: himself.

mr. trump: Wonderful, wonderful me.

andrea mitchell: If we could shift our attention to the crisis at the border — 

mr. trump: Why do we even have borders?

ms. williamson: See what I’m saying? It’s powerful work.

andrea mitchell: Would it work on Mitch McConnell?

ms. williamson: Unlikely. But it’s worth a try!

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners




After Harvey Mansfield's disinvitation from Concordia University, a professor writes in to NR to clarify. Plus, Fred Schwartz on baseball.
The Week

The Week

The Canadian newspaper the National Post reports, ‘Ancient life awakens amid thawing ice caps and permafrost.’ Good news for Joe Biden.

Girth Dearth

According to the Left, it is bad to stigmatize the mentally ill, but unless you have the proper opinions on social issues, you have a mental illness.

Most Popular

White House

More Evidence the Guardrails Are Gone

At the end of last month, just as the news of the Ukraine scandal started dominating the news cycle, I argued that we're seeing evidence that the guardrails that staff had placed around Donald Trump's worst instincts were in the process of breaking down. When Trump's staff was at its best, it was possible to draw ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More