On Wednesday, President Joe Biden had a town hall event in the Cincinnati area. What most people noticed about the event was some of Biden’s strange answers during the event.
In one viral clip, where he was ostensibly answering a question about when 12-year-olds would get vaccinated, he said, “And the question is whether or not we should be in a position where you are — why can’t the experts say we know that this virus is, in fact — is, is, is going to be — or, excuse me — we, we, we know why all the drugs approved are not temporarily approved, but permanently approved.” Right.
In another clip, he began by talking about vaccine hesitancy and ended up babbling about “whether those aliens are here or not” and whether “there’s a man on the moon or whatever.”
Joe Biden rambles: "Whether or not there's a man on the moon" pic.twitter.com/ljNkOXn91N
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 22, 2021
There was another unpleasant political reality those clips obscured, however: The fact that that the town hall was virtually empty.
What the Biden CNN town hall looks like from the back of the auditorium: pic.twitter.com/juUehd7PDu
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) July 22, 2021
That’s a mostly empty auditorium to see a president we’re told is unbelievably popular. It may have been a weeknight, but the optics are pretty underwhelming.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, a former president we’re told is radioactive appeared in Phoenix, Arizona, for an election integrity rally put on by the conservative group Turning Point Action.
The optics of Wednesday’s town hall meeting got even more underwhelming for President Biden at that point:
Here we go! Arizona Trump Rally (top) vs. Biden’s “town hall” (bottom). #AmericaFirst #Arizona pic.twitter.com/FdgcjhUwH2
— Arizona Republican Party (@AZGOP) July 24, 2021
We’ll get into what this means in a bit — and it’s bigger than just Trump being more popular than people think (and Biden being less popular than the media cheerleaders make him out to be). But first the particulars.
According to The Hill, Trump was speaking at the “Rally for Election Integrity,” which was in support of both election integrity laws and the ongoing audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, where Pheonix is the county seat.
During his remarks, Trump thanked “brave and unyielding conservative warriors in the Arizona state Senate” who’ve stood behind the audit.
“I am not the one trying to undermine American democracy; I’m trying to save American democracy,” Trump said to wild applause, according to The Arizona Republic.
While the atmosphere was lively inside, it began hours before as Trump supporters lined up to get into the event, held at the 5,000-seat Arizona Federal Theatre:
Look at that huge line in Arizona of patriots waiting for President Trump’s rally! 👊🏼🇺🇸👊🏼 pic.twitter.com/QPES548N0b
— Art TakingBack 🇺🇸 (@ArtValley818_) July 24, 2021
Conservative pundit Todd Starnes noted that many would-be participants were being turned away after the venue reached capacity:
JUST IN: Fire Marshal announces that building has reached capacity at Trump rally. Thousands are still outside waiting to get in. – per @newsmax
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) July 24, 2021
Even Trump remarked on the crowd during his speech.
“What a crowd, what a crowd,” Trump said. “And if you think this is a lot of people, you ought to look outside. It’s about 110 degrees or something. It’s an incredible group. So thank you to the people outside, we love you.”
"You think this is a lot of people, you ought to look outside." Trump praises the crowd at his Arizona rally. https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/8FeqKunPmy
— Newsmax (@newsmax) July 24, 2021
The obvious takeaway is the difference in the enthusiasm gap between President Biden and former President Trump. Even though the media loves telling us Biden is a historic president who won a historic election and is doing historic things, look at the crowd that showed up in Cincinnati.
Given his rate of gaffery at these town hall events, you’d think at least some people would show up to watch him wipe out, if not to see a sitting president of the United States. Meanwhile, despite no Twitter account, no social media presence and overwhelmingly negative media coverage, Trump is outdrawing Joe Biden easily — something that should worry Democrats hoping they’d be rid of Trump in 2022 and 2024.
However, what Trump was in Phoenix to speak about could be just as important for the midterms and the next presidential election, as Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk pointed out in a tweet:
Donald Trump is pulling bigger crowds after leaving office than Joe Biden has since he took office—or at any point during the campaign.
And to Republicans, take note—this is a rally to SECURE OUR ELECTIONS.
Listen to your base. Secure the vote.
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) July 24, 2021
“Donald Trump is pulling bigger crowds after leaving office than Joe Biden has since he took office—or at any point during the campaign,” he wrote. “And to Republicans, take note—this is a rally to SECURE OUR ELECTIONS. Listen to your base. Secure the vote.”
Democrats and their media propagandists like to describe anything that has to do with election integrity as part of the so-called “big lie.” And yet, it draws this kind of a crowd. For Democrats and squishy Republicans, these aren’t pictures you want to look at.
For Biden, meanwhile, they encapsulate why he should have a lot to worry about if he is a candidate in 2024. He can’t generate any kind of enthusiasm.
Trump can and election integrity does. The crowds don’t lie.