Exactly three weeks out from election night, President Donald Trump spent the evening retweeting memes mocking the elderly and conspiracy theories about Osama bin Laden’s death and a shooting in Denver last weekend.
On Tuesday, almost immediately after leaving the stage at a rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Trump tweeted a meme that said “Biden for Resident” and that sported Biden’s photoshopped head at a nursing home, among other elderly people.
One reason that Trump, who is 74 years old, is currently trailing so badly in the polls is that he’s been largely abandoned by seniors. A pair of polls released earlier this month showed Biden with a more than 20-point lead among voters 65 or older; four years ago, Trump won the same group by double digits.
Trump probably isn’t doing himself any favors by mocking the elderly, a group he belongs to.
But the president didn’t stop there. Later, he retweeted a video featuring supposed “Benghazi whistleblower” Nick Noe, claiming that the CIA kept Osama bin Laden in Iran until “Obama's trophy kill,” and that there were payments to Iran. There’s no evidence any of that is true.
Finally, Trump retweeted, without evidence, a claim that the shooter in a deadly incident in Denver last weekend was a member of antifa. Matthew Dolloff, a 30-year-old man who was working as a Pinkerton bodyguard for a local television station, claims he shot 49-year-old right-wing protester Lee Keltner in self-defense.
Denver police said on Saturday that Dolloff is not linked to antifa.
The president, however, retweeted a thread by a far-right Twitter personality named Tayler Hansen, claiming Dolloff was a “far-leftist” who was radicalized by Bernie Sanders. He also retweeted a GIF by Malaysian right-wing sympathizer Ian Miles Cheong and a video of Keltner, which was accompanied by a tweet noting that Denver “has a DemocRat mayor.”
Trump’s Twitter spree followed a lukewarm rally in Pennsylvania, where he’s currently trailing in the polls. Speaking before a crowd in Johnstown, Trump called former Vice President Joe Biden a “servant of the radical globalists.” Trump, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 and hospitalized less than two weeks ago, also claimed he was so immune to coronavirus now that he “could come down and start kissing everybody” in the crowd.
At one point, the president even begged for votes from suburban women, who rejected him in droves in the 2018 midterms and are doing the same in polling this year. As he’s often wont to do, Trump defaulted to racism, after months of full-throated attacks on low-income housing. This time, he practically begged.
“Suburban women, will you please like me?” Trump asked. “Please. Please. I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?”
Cover: Supporters cheer as President Donald Trump departs a campaign rally at John P. Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport in Johnstown, Pa., Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)