Thursday on The View, the hosts misconstrued a brief statement President Trump made to a White House reporter the day before, defending his intelligence, in response to a hostile question. The hosts at The View mocked Trump’s response, and stupidly claimed that he was “turning on his base” by defending his intelligence to the press.
The original exchange happened Wednesday morning as Trump was answering a few questions on the White House lawn, before boarding Air Force One. NBC correspondent and MSNBC host Hallie Jackson asked Trump point blank. “if he should be more civil.” He responded by defending his background and intelligence, saying the press mischaracterizes who he is:
"Well I think the press makes me more uncivil than I am. You know people don’t understand.I went to an Ivy League college. I was a nice student. I did very well. I'm a very intelligent person. You know, the fact is, I think, I really believe, I think the press creates a different image of Donald Trump than the real person," he stated.
Anyone could see that this was an off-the-cuff response to a hostile question, and typical of how Trump clunkily defends himself in response to the media’s relentlessly negative portrayal of him as stupid and mockable. Which is why The View’s analysis Thursday of this brief moment was particularly obtuse.
The panel appeared aghast that Trump was “turning on his base” by appealing to his Ivy League education:
“Why is he bragging about being at an elite school when he hates elites?” host Joy Behar gushed.
“In 2011 he said of Obama ‘How does a bad student go to Columbia and then Harvard. Let him show his records.’ Well, if you're actually who you say you are new guy in the office, show your records. Show us how smart you are,” Whoopi said to thunderous applause.
Co-host Meghan McCain noted how Trump seems to have a love/hate relationship with the press, since he loves talking to them but also loves attacking them. She advised he stay away from friendly reporters and sit down with an unfriendly reporter (something he has already done previously with NBC’s Lester Holt and ABC’s David Muir):
He was speaking before he was getting on the White House lawn. He's obsessed with the press as well as attacking them. If I were advising him right now I would say try and do an interview with someone other than a political pundit or a journalist that you know may be is fan of yours.
“Come here!” Joy Behar and Sunny Hostin urged, to audience applause. Hostin then tried to stir the pot, by pointing out rumors that Trump didn’t really get into those colleges on his own merit:
HOSTIN: I think that Whoopi your point was so fascinating to me because, one, he really attacked President Obama for being an Ivy educated president. He wanted to see his transcripts. He often boasted he graduated first in his class from an Ivy League School. With a little bit of research he transferred into the Ivy League school after spending two years at Fordham University, which is here in New York. A very respectable university. Apparently -- this is what's been written. He had an interview with an admissions officer who was friendly with his brother. And that is why he got into this Ivy League School.
WHOOPI: The hardest thing about all this for me is I want to know when did having an education become a negative. Because I grew up education was everything. Education is what got you where you're going. [APPLAUSE]
HOSTIN: The equalizer.
Whoopi appeared shocked that “conservatives” would have a negative thoughts about higher education, claiming they thought college was “a bad thing.” This whole discussion was reminiscent of a discussion the panel had with Jedediah Bila in July over liberal bias in higher education. At that time, the liberal hosts again pretended their heads were in the sand as to why there may be a negative stereotype of certain ivy-league schools among conservatives:
The idea that you -- well, I'm talking about everybody. The idea that suddenly now you're an elitist if you went to this school or this school or have a thought that's different from this. So many people have worked their behinds off to go to these schools that I don't understand why -- I know conservatives use that a lot like it's a bad thing and I don't know why.
But Joy Behar then claimed this wouldn’t go over with his base, because he was “turning on them:”
BEHAR: Didn't during the campaign didn't he say I love the poorly educated.
BEHAR: Now a lot of poorly educated voted for him. Now he's turning on them saying I'm not uneducated like you are. And they still like him. I don’t get it.
HOSTIN: He's attacked other people for being educated.
“It’s super simple. He doesn't speak like a politician, he doesn’t seem scripted,” McCain noted:
MCCAIN:I think he speaks like the average American who is sick of being told what to do. The analysis of Donald Trump's language --
SUNNY HOSTIN: I think the average American speaks much better than Donald Trump does, honestly. [ Cheers and applause ]
After that slam, McCain called for civility, saying it was more productive to understand Trump and his voters, than to simply mock him as stupid:
“Listen, I feel -- I know we have to move on. I think trying to understand him and his voters is a lot more productive than just simply attacking him for being stupid," McCain stated.
At that moment, Whoopi Goldberg and Hostin burst into laughter.
“I love how you did that. We'll be right back,” Whoopi said.