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Analysis: As Trump flails and shows no ability to reset, some in GOP voice concerns

October 17, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Nearly two weeks before Election Day, President Donald Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by wide margins. But he's still undercutting his own message, showing no willingness to stick to any strategy that would broaden his appeal beyond his base.

(CNN)As President Donald Trump began a packed day of events Friday, he delivered an unusually somber message to seniors -- a group he won in 2016 and desperately needs to win back -- speaking of the pain and grief inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly two weeks before Election Day, Trump is trailing former Vice President Joe Biden by wide margins in national and key swing state polls.

"We got very high marks last night, but they thought it was very unfair," he added, not specifying who "they" was, but accusing ABC News of taking a much softer approach questioning Biden during their policy-focused town hall -- even though Trump claimed earlier in the day that he hadn't bothered to watch Biden's simultaneous event.

Trump on Friday waved off the concerns, even among his allies, about the fact that his own campaign has fallen far behind Biden in fundraising, with September reports showing that Biden and the Democrats outraised Trump and the Republicans by $135 million.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who contracted coronavirus and spent seven days in an intensive care unit, bluntly expressed his regrets about not wearing a mask at the White House during debate prep sessions with Trump and at the Rose Garden ceremony where the President nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

The ways I criticized President (Barack) Obama for that kind of spending I've criticized President Trump for as well," Sasse said in comments on the call, which were confirmed by CNN with his office.

"If young people become permanent Democrats because they've just been repulsed by the obsessive nature of our politics, or if women who were willing to still vote with the Republican Party in 2016 decide that they need to turn away from this party permanently in the future, the debate is not going to be, you know, 'Ben Sasse, why were you so mean to Donald Trump?'" Sasse said on the call.

Former White House chief of staff, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, who has criticized the President before, has told friends that Trump "is the most flawed person" he's ever met, according to reporting in a new CNN special scheduled to air Sunday night.

And Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican who has broken with Trump in the past, released a statement on Friday stating that the President's refusal to denounce "the absurd and dangerous conspiracy theory" QAnon during Thursday night's town hall "continues an alarming pattern. "

The 2012 GOP presidential nominee said Trump was part of a pattern where politicians and parties "refuse to forcefully and convincingly repudiate groups like antifa, White supremacists and conspiracy peddlers. "

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