President Trump’s “Mr. Burns” Moment At Last Night’s Debate

Trump suggests people living in increasingly toxic areas near chemical plants and refineries shouldn’t complain too much because they’re “making a lot of money”. Really. He said that.

At debate

And they’re “making a lot of money” because they’re “heavily” employed at those very same plants. Those very same plants that are now allowed to pollute much much more, and dump out much much more toxic waste, completely due to Trump’s massive rolling back of all kinds of environmental and public health standards.

Which is very much something that could’ve come out of the mouth of Mr. Burns, the limitlessly greedy and uncaring nuclear plant owner on the long running Fox TV show, “The Simpsons.” Only Mr. Burns is fictitious. This is real.

We brought this moment up in our original wrap piece on the debate. But we’ve been surprised that not many media outlets, nor our friends on social media have picked up on it in a big way. Which is why we decided to do a little separate item on it today.

Trump’s answer came in response to a very good, and probably wholly unexpected question from debate moderator Kristen Welker, of NBC.

This is the question she asked:

President Trump, people of color are much more likely to live near oil refineries and chemical plants. In Texas, there are families who worry the plants near them are making them sick. Your administration rolled back regulations on these facilities. Why should these families give you another 4 years in office?”

This is Trump’s immediate answer:

The families we are talking about are employed heavily and are making more money than they have ever made. If you look at the numbers we produced for Hispanic or Black or Asian, it is 9X greater–the percentage gained in 3 years–than it was under 8 years of ‘the two of them’, to put it nicely. 9X more. I have not heard the numbers or the statistics you are saying, but they are making a tremendous amount of money economically.

And that kind of tells you all you need to know about Trump, doesn’t it?

Trump then goes off-topic, veering into how he propped up the oil industry when prices collapsed at the beginning of the pandemic. Wrapping up with “everyone has very inexpensive gasoline. Remember that.”

Biden’s response? He starts in a typically circumspect way: by telling a story about growing up in a similar neighborhood and how his mom would have to run the windshield wipers when they got into the car in order to get the oil slick off.

But then he says all that really needs to be said, and most any person with an ounce of empathy would say:

It doesn’t matter what you are paying them. It matters how you keep them safe.”

You can watch the whole extended segment of about 3 1/2-minutes by clicking here, or on the photo above.