Monday’s NBC “Today,” while discussing the flooding in Louisiana with long time resident and Democratic strategist James Carville, co-host Matt Lauer asked if Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visiting the flooded area made him appear more presidential than his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Partial transcript as follows:
LAUER: They’re ahead, but there’s a kind of reboot on the Trump side of things right now. A little bit of a softer side of him, he’s walking back some of his most controversial policy issues, including this mass deportation. How worried should the Clinton campaign be that this is going to actually help him?
CARVILLE: Well, first of all, he’s on a little bit of an apology tour, but we don’t exactly know – he’s apologizing on this tour but he’s not – we’re not really sure for what. I saw a story this morning, I read about it, and his campaign manager is saying that he’s going to redo this, it’s not Trump himself that’s saying that. So let’s do this – and I think that – everything that I read indicates to me that they’re not doing things that a campaign does, they don’t have a field organization. Some people doubt that he’s trying to win, I don’t know. But that’s –
GUTHRIE: Reince Priebus, the Republican chairman, says by Labor Day this will be an even race. Would you like to take that bet?
CARVILLE: You know, I sure would like to take that bet, but it’s not Labor Day that counts, it’s election day that counts, and I think he’s gonna be way ahead – she’s gonna be way by then.
LAUER: On Friday, Donald Trump went down to Louisiana, you’ve got family in Baton Rouge.
CARVILLE: A lot.
LAUER: It’s a mess down there. He goes down there, looks at the damage first hand, talks to people, before President Obama. It wasn’t until after his visit that Hillary Clinton picked up the phone, called the governor there. Did he appear more presidential in the wake of that tragedy than Hillary Clinton?
CARVILLE: I think the timeline is, is that she and the Governor spoke. The Governor has said that he would prefer that people come later because they have – particularly the President comes. I’m grateful that he came, I’m not going to criticize the visit. He gave $100,000 to a church in Greenwood Springs, which is a hard-hit area. I’m sure the President is gonna come on Tuesday. But here’s one thing everybody agrees on down there, the federal response has been really good. That’s been a total agreement in Baton Rouge.
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN