In a fiery interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace on Sunday, a Trump campaign adviser defended the crowd size at President Donald Trump’s comeback rally in Tulsa.
According to the Washington Examiner, Mercedes Schlapp slammed a lack of enthusiasm at a recent rally for Joe Biden and blamed “protesters” for discouraging Trump supporters from coming to Trump’s first rally in months last weekend.
“There were factors involved”
The lead-up to Saturday’s rally in Oklahoma was marked by racial tensions nationwide and negative press coverage, much of it focused on speculation that the event would become a petri dish for the coronavirus.
As the New York Post reports, the Trump campaign has blamed protesters and media fearmongering for the turnout at the Bank of Oklahoma Center, which, according to The Hill, ended up at around 6,200 rallygoers — a sharp contrast with the 1 million ticket requests that the campaign had advertised.
The arena has a capacity of about 19,000.
On his Sunday morning Fox show, Wallace grilled Schlapp over the relatively small crowd size — but she pushed back, arguing that families were dissuaded from coming, and were even blocked from entering, because of protesters, the Examiner noted.
Schlapp also pointed out that millions of people tuned in to watch from home online, echoing claims from the Trump campaign that the rally essentially migrated to the internet.
“So the key here that is important is to understand, and I had this with my own personal family who lives far away from Tulsa, that they were concerned. There were factors involved like they were concerned about the protesters who were coming in,” Schlapp said, according to the Examiner.
Wallace, for his part, argued that Fox reporters on the ground did not see protesters blocking any rallygoers, and remarked that Trump has often bragged about his ability to draw large crowds.
“He talks about how he can fill an arena and that Joe Biden can’t,” Wallace said, according to The Hill. “Protesters did not stop people from coming to that rally. The fact is, people didn’t show up.”
The exchange devolved into a shouting match as Wallace called on Schlapp to not “filibuster” and accused her of delving into a campaign speech. The adviser, in a final blow, railed against Biden’s “failed” record and the dismally low energy at a Biden rally in Philadelphia.
“I’d love to see a Joe Biden rally,” she said, according to The Hill. “Let’s bring it on, because there is no comparison.”