Trump makes medicine-for-votes video appeal to 'seniors' as he drops 20 points in polls

In rare instance, 74-year-old president tries to be empathetic to older voters: ‘You are vulnerable. So am I’

John T. Bennett
Washington Bureau Chief
Friday 09 October 2020 08:49
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Trump appeals to senior citizens in new Twitter video

Donald Trump, in an unveiled play to a voting bloc he needs to win back in order to secure a second term, told seniors his administration “soon” would make available the same coronavirus treatment drugs he received.

"We have medicines right now, and I call them a cure,” the president said in the third video his team has released since he was airlifted to and from Walter Reed military hospital for treatment.

"I was very sick. ... And I took this medicine, and it was incredible,” he said, standing on the South Lawn. “I could have walked out the next day. ... Sooner. ... We're going to make them available."

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads Mr Trump among seniors, a key part of the Manhattan businessman’s 2016 coalition, by over 20 percentage points in some polls. In the video, Mr Trump calls seniors his “favorite people in the world."

One recent CNN poll showed Mr Biden leading 60 per cent to 39 per cent among older voters.

Mr Trump won the group by 9 points four years ago, 53 percent to 44 per cent, over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to data compiled by the Pew Research Center.

Mr Trump, accused by his critics of being vain, tried to relate to voters 65 and older, saying: “I'm a senior. … Nobody knows that.”

But he immediately suggested he might not want to be lopped into the group.

"Maybe you don’t have to tell them,” he said with a smile.

In a rare moment, the 74-year-old president did at least try to be empathetic to the high risk the coronavirus poses to older people.

“You are vulnerable,” he said. “So am I.”

He declared his administration would provide the drugs “free.”

But a senior aide on the Democratic-run House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday said the White House would have to get lawmakers’ approval to pay for a nationwide free medication hand-out.

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