Pelosi Works To Counter Trump’s Corona Show
New York Times
Speaker Nancy Pelosi doesn’t bother watching Trump’s lengthy daily televised briefings on the coronavirus pandemic. “I don’t watch his shows, I don’t have time to watch him contradict himself from one day to the next.”
People have come to understand that if you want to communicate with Mr. Trump, the best way is to go on television, and Ms. Pelosi, who led the drive to impeach him, is a master at getting under the president’s skin. But Pelosi — in tandem with her Senate counterpart, Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, who is amping up his own media presence — is doing more than just taking potshots.
Eager to offer an alternate narrative to the one Trump has been presenting, the two are trying to play on what they regard as Mr. Trump’s biggest political weakness: For all the talking the president is doing, many Americans do not believe what he says.
As the highest-ranking Democrat in the country and Mr. Trump’s constitutional equal, Ms. Pelosi insists politics is not at work. “This is life and death,” she said. But Ms. Pelosi has been using her media appearances to demonstrate how Democrats might govern, even as she highlights the president’s shortcomings. She has been particularly focused on Mr. Trump’s failure to live up to his claim that any American who needed a coronavirus test could get one. “It’s so important to come back to those three big words: testing, testing, testing,” she said, reiterating a phrase that she employs at almost every opportunity.
With Mr. Trump making one outlandish statement after another — he claimed last week that he had “total” authority in the pandemic, prompting a rebellion among governors, and on Wednesday he threatened to force Congress to adjourn — Ms. Pelosi said she was primarily interested in forcing the president to reckon with the truth. “If he tells more falsehoods, if he conveys more falsehoods again and again, they almost become factoids — not quite a fact,” she said. “He is eclipsing the truth, and you cannot let somebody who is not telling the truth say it so often.
She said she wrote the “Dear Colleague” letter she released Tuesday evening after reflecting about it over the Easter holiday. In it, she used the word “truth” 18 times to launch a string of broadsides against the president, including: “The truth is, a weak person, a poor leader, takes no responsibility. A weak person blames others.”
Mr. Trump obviously got the message.
“Crazy ‘Nancy Pelosi, you are a weak person. You are a poor leader,’” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning, quoting his friend Sean Hannity of Fox News. The president went on in his own voice: “She is totally incompetent & controlled by the Radical Left, a weak and pathetic puppet. Come back to Washington and do your job!”