Taking the temperature of Trump voters: Donald Trump has retained a lot of his supporters from his time in the White House, but quite a few have also jumped off the Trump Train. This week on CNN, Jordan Klepper talked to one of them.
Donald Trump Losing Support?
Comedian Jordan Klepper, both on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and on his own series “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper” and “Klepper,” made a name for himself during the Donald Trump era.
His signature bit has been going to Trump rallies, protests against COVID restrictions, and other such events, and talking to people on camera.
This week, Klepper appeared on CNN and shared a “Daily Show” segment he recently did at the introductory rally for presidential candidate Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador who last week became Trump’s first official opponent in the 2024 Republican race.
Klepper spoke with one man who said he no longer supports Trump.
After Klepper suggested several moments when the candidate might have jumped off the bus — including Charlottesville, “kids in cages,” the January 6 insurrection, and the two impeachments — but then the man gave his answer: “Criticizing DeSantis before his election.”
It’s not entirely clear what the man meant; Trump’s first major volley against the Florida governor, in which he called DeSantis “an average REPUBLICAN Governor with great Public Relations,” came after DeSantis successfully won re-election in Florida, not before.
Klepper said on CNN that he was interested in speaking to voters who were appearing at Haley’s launch rally because it was an indication that they were at least open to breaking with Trump.
“That was the big question we had- who were these folks who were Trump supporters and now becoming Haley supporters,” Klepper said.
He added that another man at the rally had said he had moved on from Trump because the midterm elections showed he was a “loser.”
Klepper also described the Haley launch event as “more wholesome” than a typical Donald Trump rally, although he added that the event was small.
Haley drew attention on the day of her campaign launch with a proposal to require cognitive testing for politicians over age 75.
This was interpreted as a shot both at President Biden and at Trump — who are, respectively, 80 and 76 years old — as well as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who had announced her retirement a few days earlier after rumors of cognitive decline.
The proposal was likely meant as an applause line and is unlikely to ever be implemented, mostly because it raises so many questions.
Who would administer the tests?
Would it apply to everyone running for office, or only those already elected?
What happens if someone fails- immediate impeachment?
“If you’re gonna start down that road of saying people are unfit for office because of a personal issue, why limit it to age?” David Reuben, division chief of geriatric medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles Center of Health Sciences, told Slate. “Whether a poor decision is made because of intellectual capacity, or it’s because of a disease like alcoholism, then the poor decision stands either way.”
In addition, Politico reported that some older voters are objecting to Haley’s proposal.
At any rate, Trump this week made clear that he supports the idea of mandatory cognitive tests, and even took it further in a Truth Social post.
“ANYBODY running for the Office of President of the United States should agree to take a full & complete Mental Competency Test simultaneously (or before!) with the announcement that he or she is running, & likewise, but to a somewhat lesser extent, agree to a test which would prove that you are physically capable of doing the job,” Trump said.
“Being an outstanding President requires great mental acuity & physical stamina. If you don’t have these qualities or traits, it is likely you won’t succeed. MAGA!”
Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.