After nearly four years in office, President Trump offered a bleak assessment of the job he wants to be re-elected to in an interview on election day.
“They’ll go, ‘Mr. President, tell me: who is the country that’s most difficult to deal with? Is it Russia, is it China, is it North Korea?'” Trump said during a morning phone-in to “Fox & Friends,” his last appearance on a favorite television show before his fate is decided. “No, by far the most difficult country to deal with is the US. It’s not even close.”
About 45 minutes late for the interview, and his voice scratchy after a 17-rally sprint to the finish, Trump did not sound buoyant. He offered himself only a mildly optimistic prognosis for victory — “a very solid chance of winning” — and sounded less-than-enthusiastic about the idea of serving another four years in office.
“The inner workings of the US are very difficult,” he said. “Unless you want to sit there and do nothing, or unless you want to do everything that they want, and we don’t want to do that.”
Throughout the campaign, Trump has struggled to articulate why he wants to serve another term. When pressed on his agenda for a second four-year stretch, he has offered only the broadest answers. Instead he has focused on defeating Biden, hoping to avoid the humiliation of being a one-term president, and has basked in the adulation of his rallies.
With the campaigning now over, Trump seemed to look forward with some trepidation. He noted that his relationships with friends from before he was president had changed. They no longer call him “Don,” insisting on using the more formal “Mr. President.”
“They react differently to me now than they used to,” he observed.
Trump called into the same program four years ago, saying then he viewed it as a good luck charm because he’d done the same thing on days of primary elections where he won. But four years later, Trump seemed to view the call-in as a chance to explain how the network’s coverage had changed since he won.
“Somebody said, what’s the biggest difference between this and four years ago? And I say, Fox. It’s much different,” he said, complaining the network that’s boosted his relentless, often using conspiracy theories, airs too much coverage of his rivals.
Asked if he got emotional when his supporters chanted “we love you” at his final rally, Trump emphasized repeatedly he was only kidding and that he wasn’t going to cry.
“You feel the love,” he said. “And it’s so incredible.”