|Protesters strike again.|
I was able to attend the taping of Sean Hannity and Donald Trump's two-part "town hall" on immigration at the Moody Theater in downtown Austin on Tuesday afternoon. Since the press wasn't officially welcome at this event and one segment isn't scheduled to air until tomorrow, I'd say this bit of news counts as an exclusive:
Here's what happened.BREAKING: Trump (w/ Hannity) is pivoting HARD on immigration here in Austin. The crowd is confused and divided. Honestly, this is pathetic.— Hillary HQ (@Hillary_HQ) August 23, 2016
The first segment (which just aired) featured several mothers who lost their children due to violent acts or accidents by undocumented immigrants. It was incredibly heartbreaking to hear these stories one after the other, but it was equally heartbreaking that their sadness was being so obviously exploited by Fox News.
Here's the thing though: Just minutes before that, Trump made his first immigration pivot attempt of the day. His hard-edged but shallow refrains of "follow the law!" got some applause, but the words about "softening" his stance resulted mostly in confused silence mixed with a few yells of "don't back down!" from the crowd. If it had stopped there, it would have been awkward enough. But he was just getting started.So far, #TrumpInAustin is all about exploiting fear, pain and loss for political gain. Much like the Republican convention.— Hillary HQ (@Hillary_HQ) August 23, 2016
In the second half of the taping (which aired unedited Wednesday night) Trump literally polls the audience on whether he should flip flop...and it doesn't go well. Watch the full six-minutes of awkwardness starting around the 5:00 mark:
It was really something, and being there I can tell you that the overriding feeling in the room was "Wait...what?".
This display made clear that this pathetic flip-flop attempt is the worst of both worlds for Trump: Some of his hardcore supporters might be begrudgingly talked into it, but most of them will feel betrayed or confused. Meanwhile, everyone else knows that this is a transparently desperate move from a losing politician...and they aren't changing their vote.He's suddenly trying to convince everyone that longterm undocumented immigrants can maybe stay. Confusion is result. https://t.co/uZvIhQE5lK— Hillary HQ (@Hillary_HQ) August 23, 2016
Honestly, I think he might end up flip-flopping on the flip flop before this week is done.
Here are some additional tweets from the event:
A woman buys a pink Trump cap for her 8-yr-old niece...who is LITERALLY "in love with Donald". pic.twitter.com/P5mDAHO5p9— Hillary HQ (@Hillary_HQ) August 23, 2016
The people behind me in the Trump line are sure that he will win in a "shocking" landslide because what he says "just makes too much sense".— Hillary HQ (@Hillary_HQ) August 23, 2016
Protesters chant "BUILD BRIDGES NOT WALLS" and "LOVE TRUMPS HATE" as the statue of Willie Nelson looks on. pic.twitter.com/Gc1BguFoVN— Hillary HQ (@Hillary_HQ) August 23, 2016
The disruptive protests have begun. Welcome to Austin, Mr Trump.— Hillary HQ (@Hillary_HQ) August 23, 2016