So, hello to both of you on this Friday night.
I want to start with something both candidates did. They went to a city, David, that is — where people are truly in anguish over the shooting of a Black man. His name is Jacob Blake. It is Kenosha, Wisconsin.
We saw both of them go, make statements. What did you make, David, of their different approaches?
DAVID BROOKS, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, they were both very true to their core mission, what they have been running on, especially this year, but maybe since the beginning of their political careers.
Donald Trump has been running on a sense of menace, a sense that there is a lot of danger out there in the world and that he is the one to restore order. And so the keystone of his visit was the image of him standing behind — in front of a burned-out buildings, and he wants to convey that message.
Joe Biden has run as a uniter. And so he went to speak to the Blake family. He pleased them very much with his sensitivity of what they were going through.
And you would have to say the evidence so far is that the law and order campaign that Trump has been running since the convention has not shown much impact on the polls. He is still down seven or eight points.
If you ask people on a whole range of measures which candidate makes you feel safe, Biden wins on — any way you ask that question, Biden wins. If you ask people, is Donald Trump making it worse, 55 percent say Donald Trump is making it worse.
So, the law and order message, at least so far, and as expressed through Kenosha, not working…
BROOKS: Well, Biden did something he — his party failed to do during the convention, which was to acknowledge there is disorder in the country, crime really is rising, and there has been rioting and looting. It is not the mainstream of the protests, but it has been an element of the protest.
Maybe about 8 percent of the protests have turned violent. That is still a lot and it’s still on people’s minds.
And so, with that speech and then the ad they have cut out of it, he is acknowledging that, and he is making it a clear statement, which we talked about last week, of setting a boundary that rioting and looting are not protesting, and that he is going crack down on that.
And that was acknowledging a real flaw in the Democratic approach at the convention, where they just didn’t see that reality. And so I think he helped himself.
I mean, his team — the downside of his team is, they are really experienced. They have been a part of the Democratic Party for a long time. The upside of his team is, they are really experienced and they know how to run a campaign.
And so I think they have run a very effective campaign straight through. And it showed again this week…
WOODRUFF: Two other quick things I want to ask you both about.
And, one, David, has to do with several announcements from the administration in recent days about rapid testing for COVID, the president talking about we are going to have a vaccine this fall, maybe in October.
Is all this likely to be effective in changing the minds of voters who are skeptical about his leadership or just don’t know what to think?
BROOKS: Well, willing a vaccine into existence like a week before the election, probably not going to work. That’s not the way science works.
But I have to give the administration some credit on the rapid testing. And Abbott Labs apparently come with a breakthrough that gives you a chance to do testing fast. And the administration has poured a lot of money toward that, to get 150 million of these tests.
And for all the flaws of the administration’s COVID response, they have done a decent job of pouring money, both toward a vaccine and toward testing.
And so I give them some credit at that. The — from what I understand of this test, it’s not the ultimate solution for a testing. You want to be able to test at home and et cetera. But if we could do rapid testing, you could test as people go into schools and conferences and buildings.
If that could be effective, that is a step back toward normalcy. And I have to give them some credit where credit is due. They have put a lot of money into this…
WOODRUFF: Finally to both of you, this article that raised a lot of eyebrows that has just come out in “The Atlantic” overnight.
David, Jeffrey Goldberg reporting from anonymous sources, but, in his words, credible sources, that the president used words like suckers and losers over the course of his presidency talking about people who served in the military, people who died in war.
He’s — the White House completely denies this. Do you see something like this having an effect?
BROOKS: Yes, I mean, A, Jeffrey Goldberg has had a whole series of scoops coming out of the Pentagon and the Defense Department in administrations going back for decades now. So, he’s a high-credibility journalist.
This story has now been confirmed by several other news organizations, including FOX News.
And so we can fully expect that he — he did call — he dishonored the war dead by calling them losers and suckers. And it is no so far out of reach of what he’s said in public about John McCain and others. So, I find it completely credible.
And that the idea that a guy who is offended by Colin Kaepernick taking a knee, he says that dishonors the country, but calling the war dead losers, that is an absurdity.
And so people are rightly offended. I mean, we get offended by this guy on an hourly basis, but this is an offense that goes to the core of the conservative value system, the military value system.
And what has been shocking to me this year is, already, even before this happens, according to surveys of active military personnel, they were already for Biden, which is extremely rare, for the active military to be for Democrats.
And so he was already in trouble with this group, and it has got to trouble everybody who is in and out of uniform.