John Oliver finally got his chance to respond to last week’s first presidential debate on Sunday night, and HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” comedian used the opportunity to wholeheartedly rip into GOP nominee Donald Trump and his “winning temperament.”
Looking at the aftershocks of Trump’s first debate face-off with Hillary Clinton, Oliver focused his attention on Trump’s continued insistence in citing online reader polls that said he won the debate, as well as Clinton calling out Trump for past disparaging remarks about women. (Fortune and Time both published online reader polls, which showed Trump “won;” neither polls were scientifically valid.)
This is how the host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight summed up Trump’s showing in the first debate: “Donald Trump’s performance consisted mainly of an incoherent jumble of sniffles and nonsense, like a racist toddler coming out of dental surgery.”
Oliver especially mocked Trump for making the surprising assertion at the debate that the GOP nominee’s most impressive quality is his “temperament.”
“For the record, you can’t incoherently rant about having the best temperament,” Oliver said on Sunday night. “That is a claim that disproves itself. It’s like getting a forehead tattoo that says, ‘I have excellent judgement.'”
And: “This week, we then saw what a ‘winning temperament’ actually means: it’s a temperament that allows you to insist that you won something that you demonstrably lost, because Trump’s spent the last seven days citing his victories in what he’s called ‘final debate polls.”
Noting that Trump cited various non-scientific online polls as proof that he won the debate, Oliver pointed out the obvious problem with those polls: they don’t necessarily target likely election voters and allow Internet users to vote anonymously over and over again, if they so choose.
Oliver cited the fact that even a Fox News executive sent around a memo to certain staff last week reminding them that such polls “do not meet our editorial standards.”
To prove his point, Oliver then delved into Trump’s past and recent comments regarding former Miss Universe winner Alicia Machado. Clinton brought her up during the debate, saying Trump had previously taken a shot at the beauty contest winner’s supposed weight gain by calling her “Miss Piggy.”
Oliver then showed a clip of Trump doubling down on those past insults in a recent interview on Fox & Friends. And, the comedian also brought up Trump’s late-night Twitter tirade from last week in which the presidential candidate called Machado “disgusting” and urged his followers to “check out” an alleged sex tape.
Finally, Oliver played a video clip of Trump and Machado together in a 1997 interview on CBS where Trump first scolded the Miss Universe winner for her weight gain (she politely shut him down) before asking viewers to vote in an online poll asking whether or not pageant winners should be required to maintain their physical appearance after winning.
“And thus, the two threads of this week come together: completely unscientific polling, which we know Donald Trump trusts implicitly, and his deeply-held belief that female weight gain is a betrayal,” Oliver said before unveiling the results of that 1997 online poll. More than half (57%) of respondents to that poll said “No.”
“Oh, how about that, Donald? It seems you have a choice: either admit unscientific polling is bullshit, or that your views on women’s bodies are horrifying. I await whatever decision you make at 3 a.m. tonight on Twitter,” Oliver said at the end of the segment.