Trump Responds to Leftists’ ‘Dictator’ Label

During a town hall forum with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, the former president also made a prediction about incumbent President Joe Biden.
Trump Responds to Leftists’ ‘Dictator’ Label
(Left) Former President Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association Convention in Indianapolis on April 14, 2023. (Michael Conroy, File/AP Photo); (right) Fox News host Sean Hannity in a file photograph. (Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images)
Janice Hisle

Former President Donald Trump seemed to catch Fox News host Sean Hannity off-guard with his response to a question about his plans for a second Trump administration.

During a town hall forum in Davenport, Iowa, on Tuesday, Mr. Hannity noted that “far-Left hacks and the media mob” have been predicting that President Trump would become a “dictator” if he retakes the White House.

When Mr. Hannity asked President Trump to promise that he would “never abuse power” in such a manner, the former president replied he wouldn’t–“Except for Day One.”

Mr. Hannity asked him to explain.

“We’re closing the border and we’re drilling, drilling, drilling,” President Trump said, adding with a wry smile, “After that, I’m not a dictator–okay?”

The audience responded with laughter and cheers. But the former president’s attempt at humor became fodder for some of his critics.

The campaign of his presumed political opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, posted a six-second clip on X, formerly Twitter, with the caption, “Trump: I will be a dictator on day one.”

President Trump’s supporters posted longer videos that included the full context of the exchange between the former president and Mr. Hannity.

The town hall was held in Iowa as President Trump and his Republican rivals are running full-steam ahead, seeking to win the state’s first-in-nation caucuses on Jan. 15.

Prior to asking the “dictator” question, Mr. Hannity pointed out that The Washington Post ran a Dec. 4 article headlined, “The Fear of a Looming Trump Dictatorship;” while on Dec. 5, ran a piece entitled, “Americans are Sleepwalking into a Trump Dictatorship.”
And the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., wrote on X;  “The Atlantic and other fake news frauds are calling my father a dictator and trying to normalize violence against him” and his supporters.
The Trump campaign is pushing back against the “dictator” characterizations. While the town hall was airing, his campaign posted on X: “Crooked Joe Biden is attempting to imprison his leading political rival. Biden attacks democracy.”

President Trump faces 91 criminal charges, many of which were filed by members of President Biden’s Department of Justice; the incumbent president has denied exerting influence over prosecution decisions.

The Trump campaign also released a lengthy statement on Dec. 2, enumerating steps that President Biden’s administration has taken to build “the most sophisticated censorship and information-control apparatus in the world.” These actions are intended to “crush free speech in America,” his campaign said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hannity noted that President Biden is showing signs of  “cognitive decline,” including often struggling to find words during public appearances.

Although President Trump has previously questioned whether President Biden would end up going through the full 2024 election campaign,  he revealed a stronger prediction for the first time.

“I personally don’t think he makes it,” President Trump said, adding he waited “for this big town hall” to disclose his opinion. “I think he’s in bad shape physically...and mentally.”

Earlier this year, the White House shared a doctor’s report declaring President Biden fit to fulfill the duties of the presidency. He recently turned 81 years old and is the nation’s oldest president.

President Trump, 77, recently released a document from a physician attesting to his good health and recent weight loss.

Former U.S. President Donald Trump joins South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on the field during halftime in the Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., on Nov. 25, 2023. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Donald Trump joins South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on the field during halftime in the Palmetto Bowl between Clemson and South Carolina at Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, S.C., on Nov. 25, 2023. (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

The audience in Davenport cheered when Mr. Hannity announced that President Trump is leading President Biden in nearly all major polls nationwide.

In addition, President Trump is ahead of his nearest Republican challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, by almost 30 points in the RealClear Politics average of Iowa polls.

Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley was drawing 14 percent of voters. But the most recent polls listed there were conducted in late October through mid-November. So, voters’ opinions may have shifted since then.

On Dec. 6, Mr. DeSantis and Ms. Haley will join two other Republicans, Ohio entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, for the fourth GOP debate of the 2024 election cycle.

The former president has skipped all of the debates; he is scheduled to attend a low-key, private fundraiser in Hallandale Beach, Florida, while the other candidates face off at the University of Alabama.

In several recent public statements, Mr. DeSantis characterized President Trump as a “keyboard warrior” who is afraid to debate in person. President Trump’s supporters, however, say that depiction is laughable. They say he has fought hard for the American people and has been attacked from all angles for doing so.

The former president has repeatedly stated that, while he is so far ahead in polls, he stands to gain nothing by participating in the debates, calling them a waste of time.
President Trump told the Davenport audience that he resisted attempts to knock Iowa out of its first-in-nation position on the election calendar.

“Iowa represents this country more than any place. And it also represents tradition,” he said, noting that when people think of Iowa, they think about farming and about politics—two hallmarks of the state.

President Trump said he intends to pay frequent visits to the Hawkeye State after the first of the year.

“The last couple of weeks, we’ll be blitzin',” he promised. Despite his large lead in the polls, “we don’t want to take any chances.”

Janice Hisle reports on former President Donald Trump's campaign for the 2024 general election ballot and related issues. Before joining The Epoch Times, she worked for more than two decades as a reporter for newspapers in Ohio and authored several books. She is a graduate of Kent State University's journalism program. You can reach Janice at: [email protected]