Internet Passionately Defends Mr. Rogers After Trump Staffer Mocks Tone of Biden Town Hall

The internet passionately defended beloved icon Mr. Rogers on Thursday night, after a staff member of President Donald Trump's campaign criticized the tone of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's town hall event.

"Well @JoeBiden @ABCPolitics townhall feels like I am watching an episode of Mister Rodgers Neighborhood," Mercedes Schlapp, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, wrote on her Twitter account.

When asked why she thinks that's a bad thing, Schlapp responded by writing: "No hard questions for @JoeBiden from the ABC townhall."

Shortly after Schlapp's comments about Biden's town hall, Twitter users took to the social media platform to defend the children's public television host.

Twitter user Tom Corsillo shared a photo that read "Be the person Mr. Rogers knew you could be."

"Absolutely wild and telling that the Trump camp would compare Joe Biden to Mr. Rogers and consider it an insult. Here's something I actually tell myself pretty often..." the caption to his photo read.

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill also backed Rogers: "She says watching @JoeBiden feels like she's watching Mr. Rogers* as if being intelligent, thoughtful, decent & inclusive is a BAD thing. I like presidents who aren't unhinged, conspiracy-minded, white-nationalist fans. *misspells his name, of course."

Andy Isaac of the entertainment and pop-culture site Uproxx, wrote: "Yo Mister Rogers was a kind, sweet, compassionate man and honestly one of the greatest Americans of the last 50 years."

"Put some freakin respect on his name," his tweet added.

California Congressman Eric Swalwell responded to Schlapp's tweet, writing that "America would rather have Mr. Rogers," and compared Trump to "Mr. Hyde."

MSNBC News analyst Zerlina Maxwell tweeted: "I will fight over Mr. Rogers slander."

Several other Twitter users simply shared clips of Rogers, such as Ellie Hall of BuzzFeed News.

"I think a lot about what Mr. Rogers said and did when he accepted his Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 Emmys," Hall wrote with a video of Rogers.

In the clip, Rogers can be heard saying: "So many people have helped me come to this night, some of you are here, some are far away, some are even in heaven. All of us have special ones who have loved us into being."

Twitter user Erick Fernandez also shared a clip of Rogers "from 1969 of him testifying in front of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communication to prevent budget cuts to public television."

"After a heartfelt six minutes, he convinces the chairman to not cut the budget," Fernandez added.

Raychel Proudie, a member of Missouri's House of Representatives, responded to Fernandez's shared video: "Mr. Rogers is so wholesome that after watching him speak, you feel like you've prayed, had a sensible breakfast replete with oats and other grains, and a cup of appropriately sweetened coffee."

Trump and Biden held competing town hall events on Thursday evening on what would have been their second debate. Many critics felt that moderator Savannah Guthrie grilled the president before opening up the floor to questions from voters at Trump's town hall that aired on NBC. Meanwhile, others felt moderator George Stephanopoulos fed the former vice president softball questions during ABC's town hall.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's campaign, for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Fred Rogers
Portrait of American educator and television personality Fred Rogers (1928 - 2003) of the television series 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,' circa 1980s. Fotos International/Courtesy of Getty Images/Getty
Internet Passionately Defends Mr. Rogers After Trump Staffer Mocks Tone of Biden Town Hall | U.S.