Instead of attending the White House Correspondents Association dinner, on April 29, 2017, Donald Trump spent his evening at a campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania celebrating day 100 of his presidency. The president spoke to the crowd bashing the media, commending himself, and showing new love for China.
Trump 100-Day Plan Changed in His 100-Day Speech
He blamed Barack Obama for a mess, insinuating an excuse as to why his administration could not make good on all of his 100-day promises. The president reminded everyone that he has continued in his pledge to encourage buying and hiring American. Most noticeable was his reneging on his China promise:
I think it’s not exactly the right time to call China a currency manipulator right now.
In his reasoning to take back his categorization of China as a manipulator of currency, Trump stated that China’s role in handling the regime in North Korea is more important. Since meeting the Chinese President Xi Jinping, earlier in April, the leader of the U.S. has been singing praises for the president, stating what a good person he is. In further explanation of his change of plans with China, Trump simply stated, “let’s see what happens.”
Trump First President Since Ronald Reagan to Not Attend Dinner
Trump chose to hold the Pennsylvania rally as an excuse to stay away from the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner, noted to be a light-hearted celebration of comedy. He is the first president to not make the occasion since Reagan could not attend in 1981. He was recovering after being shot in an assassination attempt.
Reagan might not have attended but he did manage to phone in some humor in the vein of the dinner’s comedic roast style. Referring to his secret service scrambling to get him into the car after being shot, he joked to all: “If I could give you just one little bit of advice, when somebody tells you to get in a car quick, do it.”
Before Reagan, only two contemporary presidents chose to skip the event. In 1978 and 1980, President Jimmy Carter chose to not be part of the dinner. President Richard Nixon also chose not to attend the event twice, in 1972 and 1974.
Trump Rallied With Supporters Putting Down Those at the Dinner
Trump gave himself high marks, at the rally, for his first 100 days in office. The president opened stating he was much happier being with them than back in Washington D.C. at the dinner. In reference to the correspondents and the Hollywood stars attending the dinner, Trump shouted out to the crowd:
A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now. They are gathered together for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Without the president.
He spent the first 10 minutes of his speech attacking the media, on a rant about the reporting of fake news by media sources like CNN and MSNBC. The president stated his belief that the press was sitting trapped at the boring dinner, while they really wanted to be with him at his rally.
The U.S. leader put off speaking about his first 100 days to continue focusing on the media. He gave them a huge fail putting the blame on the agents of journalism as “part of the problem.” Explaining his issues with the press, Trump stated: “Their priorities are not my priorities, and they’re not your priorities, believe me.”
He specifically spoke out about the New York Times and the Boston Globe. The president bad mouthed the two news publications, saying they were failing. He claimed that the New York Times is getting so small, “it’s starting to look like a comic book,” and will only be on the internet soon.
Trump Turned Attention to 100 Days of Achievements
Once he had finished attacking the media, Trump moved on to pat himself on the back as he listed, what he believed to be, evidence of achievements made in his first 100 days. He gave himself high marks for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. This is the one item the president actually achieved from his original 100-day plan.
Trump stated he followed through with the decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He added that his administration has been working on the immigration and terrorism issues. As far as the reversal of his stance on China from his 100-day plan, Trump said the U.S. needs China’s help with North Korea right now.
As you know I’ve been a big critic of China, and I’ve been talking about currency manipulation for a long time. So we have currency manipulation by China but China is helping us possibly or probably with the North Korean situation. It’s a great thing.
The president included the achievement of creating jobs, particularly in coal mining. He stated he was managing government guidelines by “clearing up an environment of bureaucracy,” to bring back the coal mining positions.
Even though he had not completed the 100-day promise to remove and replace Obamacare, he said it was nearing its end. The U.S. leader vowed that the Second Amendment, protecting gun ownership, would continue to be safeguarded, and he would rid the nation of gangs. As Trump congratulated himself in his rally speech for his first 100 days in office, he flaunted his border wall, which is still in the plans to be built.
Opinion News by Carol Ruth Weber
Edited by Jeanette Smith
Donald J. Trump: Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter
NPR: Trump Holds Rally In Pennsylvania As Journalists Gather At Annual D.C. Dinner
ABC News: Everything you need to know about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
NBC News: Trump Touts First 100 Days Record, Slams the Press in Campaign-Style Rally
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Gage Skidmore’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License