Chuck Todd did something both he and other mainstream journalists rarely do, challenge Republicans. Todd was forceful and insistent as he accused the Trump administration of gaslighting.
Chuck Todd challenges VP Mike Pence
Chuck Todd started the sub-segment by appeasing Mike Pence a bit to make him comfortable with the direction of the questioning.
“You have gone out of the way since you have been appointed to this to try to keep this from getting politicized,” Todd said. “But I want to play for you what some of your allies had said about the coronavirus. Here is including the president’s son and the RNC chair.”
Todd also included a statement from Rush Limbaugh. Rush falsely said that the coronavirus was being weaponized to bring down the president. The RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel said the Democrats were using the crisis for political gain to instill fear in Americans. Donald Trump Jr. said that Democrats hope the pandemic comes to America and kills millions of people so they can stop Donald Trump’s streak of winning.
“None of this seems to match the facts,” Todd said. “What facts are there that the Democrats are doing this? Seems like people are asking questions. And they are concerned about the virus. This implies some sort of political motivation which is kind of gross.”
Mike Pence tried to turn the table stating that people on the left are doing the same thing. Chuck did not accept the argument.
“Who is this?” Todd challenged Pence. “Name some names sir.”
He then hits the Vice President.
“Because this is just,” Chuck Todd continued. “It just feels like gaslighting. Please name some names. We are all big people. Name some names.”
Pence referred to the Gail Collins column titled “Let’s Call It Trumpvirus” which was likely an editorial choice of titles as the phrase is never used in her well-written article. If that is all that Pence could come up with, Chuck Todd’s statement on the Vice President and the administration gaslighting is accurate.
Chuck continued to hammer the Pence.
“This does not help,” Chuck said. “Do you think this rhetoric from your side helps?”
Kudos to Chuck on this one. Mike Pence is a smooth talker. Chuck challenged him today better than most who have had the opportunity to interview him one on one.