Alternative media can also serve up softballs.
Donald Trump participated Wednesday in a Reddit “Ask me anything” forum, but the Trump backers allowed in by the subreddit moderators didn’t ask the Republican presidential nominee anything much.
Trump presumably hoped to disrupt the Democratic National Convention by fielding questions during the event, but his familiar responses are unlikely to undermine the proceedings in Philadelphia.
“There have been many amazing Presidents in American history including George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, all of whom I greatly admire,” Trump said when asked to name his favorite.
Trump answered a dozen questions over more than 90 minutes on Wednesday while flying, he said, to Toledo, Ohio. The session was hosted by r/The_Donald, a popular, though acrimonious, user-created “subreddit” of Trump fans who refer to the businessman as “God Emperor.”
The group’s anonymous moderators carefully selected questions by limiting who could post queries, and allowing Trump to answer only those he chose. The result was mush. Trump took as much as 15 minutes between answers and seemed less than fully invested even in addressing the friendly questions thrown his way.
When asked “are you tired of winning?” by Reddit user iamaAMAfan, Trump was ready. “I am never tired of winning and as your president I will win for you, the American people,” he said. “I’m with you.”
Challenged with the question of what he’d tell a college student considering law enforcement in the face of recent attacks on cops, Trump pledged to protect “our nation’s amazing police.”
Trump took questions on how he’ll appeal to voters considering Libertarian Gary Johnson and how he might win over disillusioned supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who on Monday urged his backers to vote for Clinton and attacked Trump.
“Hillary Clinton’s message is that things will never change,” Trump claimed. “My message is that things have to change, and they have to change right now.”
While “Bernie is exhausted and has given up on his revolution,” Trump said “millions of Bernie voters will refuse to vote for Hillary because of her support for the War in Iraq, the invasion of Libya, NAFTA and the TPP and of course because she is totally bought and sold by special interests.”
(The United States led a bombing campaign against the former regime in Libya but not an invasion of the country.)
“We welcome with open arms all voters who want an honest government and to fix our rigged system so it works for the people,” he said.
Trump vowed to “repeal and replace Obamacare” with “an amazing new plan,” but he did not offer additional details beyond saying it would allow the purchase of health insurance across state lines and bargaining for cheaper drug prices.
He pitched but did not describe a “plan for to reform visa program for skilled workers to protect American workers,” calling it “the exact opposite of Crooked Hillary Clinton.”
Asked if NASA can help “make America great again,” Trump offered tepid agreement. “Honestly I think NASA is wonderful!” he said. “America has always led the world in space exploration.”
Trump also vowed to help young Americans who are confronting rising education costs by creating “millions of jobs, reforming the education system and reducing student loan costs.” He didn’t explain how he would achieve this.
When asked if he’s worried Clinton will try to steal the election, Trump did not rule it out. “Voter fraud is always a serious concern and authorities must be vigilant from keeping those from voting that are not authorized to do so,” he said.
As weak as the questions may have been, Trump wasn’t necessarily limited by them. Asked how he’d reduce money in politics, he pivoted. “Keeping Crooked Hillary Clinton out of the White House,” he said.