GOP nominee Donald Trump took apart malfunctioning teleprompters at a rally in Charlotte, N.C., and turned the scene into a demonstration of his promised ability to make government less costly.
“Many people in this room are making less money than 20 years ago, 18 years ago, 25 years ago, in real wages,” he told the cheering crowd. “They’re working harder—so am I, so I don’t feel so guilty about that,” he joked. “This is good work, because we’re getting to a position where we can win North Carolina, and we’re leading in Ohio … And we’re doing great in Florida, doing great. We are doing so great in Florida.”
“By the way, these teleprompters haven’t been working for the last 20 minutes,” he said. “And I actually like my speech better without teleprompters. And this way, what I like about it—wait a minute, let me see how this…” he trailed off and appeared to pull one off its stand.
“You know what? I like it better without the teleprompter,” he said. “And I notice, every time I look up, they’re trying, it’s straining, it’s straining,” he said. “Hey! Get this thing out of here, will you? Get it out. I like it much better without the teleprompter.”
“You know, it’s very funny. I went through 17 professional politicians, top people, and I went without any teleprompters,” he continued. “Then, all of a sudden. they said: ‘Well, now you are running in the election, you need teleprompters,’ And I like teleprompters, they are fine, but it’s sort of cooler without it. Right?” he said as his supporters cheered.
“And it’s a little strange with this glass,” he said, gesturing towards the teleprompters. “I watch Hillary and she’s got the biggest pieces of glass. They’re painted black on the other side because you see better. And she always just reads off the teleprompter. And it’s short, and then she goes home and goes to sleep.
“She’s not, she’s not going to campaign anymore until after [the debate], because she’s ‘prepping for the debate.’ Now, the last time she prepped for a week also, let’s face it, I have to say, I really beat her easily. That was an easy one.”
Trump then walked to the other side of the stage and unscrewed the glass top of the remaining teleprompter. He smiled at the crowd, walked back to the podium, and held the glass up to his face before setting it on the ground.
“So here’s the story—here’s the way government works, Trump said. “So the telemprompter is a bummer. It doesn’t work. That means the company doing the telepromompter is in the back. That means they didn’t do a good job. So I won’t pay them. I won’t pay them.”
“And tomorrow, I’ll have a story in the newspaper: ‘Donald Trump did not pay a contractor who put up the teleprompters,'” he said in a mocking, pompous voice. “Well, why should I? They don’t work! And they’ll make me [out] like a bad guy, like I’m a bad person, right?”
“But when you have a bum contractor—now here’s the thing. You have a bad contractor, don’t pay or cut the price. If you have a good contractor, get that money out fast. But the country should do the same thing.”