Documentary filmmaker Michael Kirk discussed with Hill.TV the two presidential candidates’ identities and how certain experiences helped shape who they are.
Kirk, director of PBS Frontline’s “The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden,” said Democratic nominee Joe Biden early struggle with stuttering and finding his political identity “manifests itself sometimes as this overreach that is sometimes motivated by anger.”
“He’s a guy who, I think, continues to worry about exactly who he is. A lot of people who know him love him, and a lot of people who follow him say, ‘I don’t know why he worries about that,’ but he does,” Kirk added. “He doesn’t like that feeling that someone is making fun of him or doesn’t trust him.”
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Kirk argued that Biden, unlike President Trump, has a “playbook” for dealing with past faults.
“He comes out and he admits the mistake, he apologizes — something I’ve never seen Donald Trump do — and he works really hard to repair the situation,” Kirk said.
Trump’s leadership, meanwhile, has been driven by a “composite” of influences, including his father with the “‘winners and losers” mindset, Roy Cohn and a reverend in New York who taught him the “power of positive thinking.”
Cohn was consequential in “teaching Donald all the tricks of the trade,” Kirk said. “To fight back, to attack your opponents, never apologize, all of the things you see on full display.”