Frustrated Chuck Todd Demands Trump Issue ‘Mea Culpa’

MTP Daily host Chuck Todd and New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker lamented that President Trump has not issued a Mea culpa thus far during his campaign on a Friday segment where they cited and praised three Democrats of previous years for apologizing to the voters for their records.

The disingenuous criticism began as Todd came out of a commercial break playing a clip of Thursday’s town hall with Savannah Guthrie where Guthrie asked Trump, not what he would have done differently or what he thinks his biggest mistakes were, but why people should re-elect him.

Trump response was, “Because I’ve done a great job. We had the strongest economy in the world, we closed it up, we’re coming around the corner. The vaccines are coming out soon and our economy is strong … and next year is going to be better than ever before.” 

Todd then declared, “That was President Trump painting, not surprisingly, a rosy picture at last night’s town hall with Savannah Guthrie. President Trump is seemingly unable to admit his first term has been anything less than a perfect success.”

After introducing Baker and National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru, Todd questioned Baker

So I’m going to be asking you guys to talk about something that we know is probably not Donald Trump’s toolkit and that is the Mea culpa or this is what I will do better. It is something that is really struck me, Peter Baker, that we know the president is unable to admit a mistake.

Baker agreed and cited Obama’s 2012 campaign as a good example of a Mea culpa,

I went back and looked at some of the coverage of the 2012 race, the last time of course we had an incumbent running for re-election, and I was struck by Barack Obama doing exactly what you are talking about. He tried to address the disappointments out there among people who thought he would be able to do more, achieve more, faster and better that he did.

It was probably easier for Obama to lament that he was not liberal enough for his supporters and that he failed to live up to the messianic complex that was built up around him.

Turning to Ponnuru, Todd played two ads from 2010 of Democrats running for re-election:

EARL POMEROY [FMR. NORTH DAKOTA REP.]: I know I have disappointed you with a vote here or there, but you can always count on the fact they do what I do for the right reason for the people of North Dakota. Thanks, for the chance. 

CHET CULVER [FMR. GOVERNOR OF IOWA]: As governor of Iowa, I have made my share of mistakes. But they were honest mistakes and I’ve listened to your concerns and I have grown on the job. 

On the other side of the clips, Todd humorously contradicted himself, “Now, Ramesh, I should remind people, both Earl Pomeroy and Chet Culver lost, so it didn’t work… But it would go a long way, would it not?”

This segment was sponsored by E-Trade, who you can contact by following the link provided.

Here is a transcript for the October 16 show:

MSNBC

MTP Daily

1:19 PM ET

DONALD TRUMP: Because I’ve done a great job. We had the strongest economy in the world, we closed it up, we’re coming around the corner. The vaccines are coming out soon and our economy is strong … and next year is going to be better than ever before. 

END CLIP

CHUCK TODD: Welcome back. That was President Trump painting, not surprisingly, a rosy  picture at last night’s town hall with Savannah Guthrie. President Trump is seemingly unable to admit his first term has been anything less than a perfect success. Despite his 50% problem in our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal polling including a majority giving him low marks on his overall job rating, handling of the coronavirus, and keeping the country united, could go on. Joining me now is Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent for the New York Times and MSNBC political analyst Ramesh Ponnuru, he’s a senior editor for National Review and a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion. So I’m going to be asking you guys to talk about something that we know is probably not Donald Trump’s toolkit and that is the Mea culpa or this is what I will do better. It is something that is really struck me, Peter Baker, that we know the president is unable to admit a mistake, but as an incumbent and whose got a whole bunch of people who are, say, more comfortable with his party’s ideology than they are with him, it could actually go a long way and he’s probably missing an opportunity here to at least pick up an extra two or three points at a minimum. 

PETER BAKER: Yeah, I think that’s right. I think it’s also constitutionally unlike him, right? It’s hard to imagine him doing that. I went back and looked at some of the coverage of the 2012 race, the last time of course we had an incumbent running for re-election, and I was struck by Barack Obama doing exactly what you are talking about. He tried to address the disappointments out there among people who thought he would be able to do more, achieve more, faster and better that he did. He said, look, I am not a perfect president. You know, anybody that thinks I am perfect has learned better, but I think we are making progress and we’ll do more in the second term if we keep going in the same direction. I can’t hear Donald Trump making a statement like that. Can you? It’s hard to imagine him acknowledging anything less than perfection. I think you are right. That doesn’t give a window of opportunity for people that want to support him for a second time but want some assurance to think that things will be different. 

TODD: Ramesh, I’m going to play for you a couple TV ads from 2010 right now. They were Mea culpa TV ads, they were at the time, one was an incumbent governor of Iowa and one was an incumbent member of Congress from North Dakota. But this is what a, the genre of a Mea culpa ad may look like if President Trump chose it. Take a look. 

BEGIN CLIPS

EARL POMEROY [FMR. NORTH DAKOTA REP.]: I know I have disappointed you with a vote here or there, but you can always count on the fact they do what I do for the right reason for the people of North Dakota. Thanks, for the chance. 

CHET CULVER [FMR. GOVERNOR OF IOWA]: As governor of Iowa, I have made my share of mistakes. But they were honest mistakes and I’ve listened to your concerns and I have grown on the job. 

END CLIPS

TODD: Now, Ramesh, I should remind people, both Earl Pomeroy and Chet Culver lost, so it didn’t work. The genre has worked in the past and we know that we could — there is not any chance on Earth that on this Earth that Donald Trump would say, I’ve made my share of mistakes like Chet Culver did. But it would go a long way, would it not? 

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