President Donald Trump defended his presidential behavior while speaking to undecided voters in Pennsylvania during ABC’s town hall event Tuesday evening, moderated by ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos.
“So, I’m fighting a battle. It’s a big battlefield and I have a lot of forces against me,” Trump said, according to ABC News. “Sometimes you don’t have time to be totally, as you would say presidential — you have to get things done.”
Trump went on to tout his record, noting he’s appointed more than 200 federal judges and two Supreme Court justices. He said there’s not enough time to be “presidential” if he wants to deliver on his promises to get things done.
“And honestly, we move very fast. And I have to get rid of people fast because they’re not doing their job … And when I do that to get somebody else that is good and if they don’t do it we get rid of that person,” Trump said.
Trump has fired a number of high ranking officials, including Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who notified Congress of a whistleblower who had concerns about Trump and Ukraine, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“The fact is being presidential is easier than what I have to do, but I get things done.”
Trump blamed Democrats’ failure to support Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s police reform bill when asked by a voter how the president plans to tackle common sense police reform without compromising public safety.
“The Democrats are viewing this as a political issue, and I probably agree with them, I think it’s very bad for them, because we’re about law and order,” he said.
He went on to say that Democrat-run cities are overwhelmed with crime because governors wouldn’t allow him to send in the National Guard.
“Wherever you have a Democrat city — not in all cases — but if you look at the really troubled cities in our country, they’re Democrat-run, and that’s Biden,” the president said. “They’re weak. They’re ineffective.”
However, Stephanopoulos pushed back against Trump’s claim that Democrats are to blame, saying “You’re president of all those cities right now.”
Trump said he’s limited in his capacity to respond, and said he doesn’t want to invoke the Insurrection Act to take care of small groups of “anarchists” when the National Guard would do just fine if he was allowed to send them in.
The president also said that Democrat-run states are doing poorly, and that he isn’t interested in bailing them out. (RELATED: Unemployment Higher In States Controlled By Democrats)
In exchange on battle over COVID relief bill, Pres. Trump claims Democrats want “a bailout of Democrat-run states.”@GStephanopoulos: “Why do you keep talking about ‘Democrat states’ and ‘Democratic cities’? They’re American states and American cities.'” https://t.co/YWh7PgnDpF pic.twitter.com/25qu09n11J
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) September 16, 2020
ABC reportedly offered to host a similar event with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, but was unable to set up a time.