Donald Trump’s town hall at the Perez Art Museum Miami struck a pretty serious note from the beginning with the POTUS attempting to answer some of the tough questions posed before him from South Florida voters. However, there was a much-needed light-hearted moment when one of the voters stepped up to the stage and before asking her question, paid Trump a compliment that made him blush.
The voter was none other than Paulette Dale, a registered Republican who’s was considering voting for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Although she took the microphone to ask the president a question about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the policy that allows young undocumented immigrants to remain in the U.S, she began by saying “I have to say, you have a great smile. You’re so handsome when you smile.” The compliment seemed to have made Trump happy as he beamed at Dale, thanking her and flashing his smile.
Dale is a former resident of Miami and presently lives in Palm Beach County in the town of Highland Beach. She retired a decade ago after working for 35 years as a professor at Miami Dade College. She has been a part of a focus group called Ask Miami for years and on Wednesday she responded to a questionnaire for voters who want to ask a question to Trump or Biden. That is how her last-minute TV appearance came to be. Someone at NBC contacted her hours later and said they liked a question she submitted for Trump about DACA.
At the town hall, Dale described having grandparents from Russia and Poland. “As the daughter of immigrants to the United States who fled Eastern Europe due to religious persecution, the United States’ immigration policies are very personal for me,” she said. “Surveys show that most Americans and the majority of Republicans support the Dreamers program. So my question for you, Mr. President, is: If you are elected to a second term, do you expect to pursue your previous efforts to cut the DACA program?”
Trump gave a rambling answer about the border wall and Mexico’s Covid-19 caseload. “We are working very hard on the DACA program and you will be, I think, very happy over the course of the next year because I feel the same way that you do about it,” the president assured Dale. She said she was pleased with Trump’s response, but it wasn’t enough to sway her vote.
“He’s very combative and he doesn’t believe in science, and that’s a big concern to me,” she told Miami New Times. “And by his own words, he knows more than the [military] generals, knows more than the public-health experts, knows more than anybody. I believe Joe Biden will listen to the experts.” However, she added that her compliment for Trump’s smile was a genuine one.
“I believe the man has a very nice smile; there was no reason not to comment on it,” she said. “Smiles are important to me. I like nice teeth. I wish he would smile more and talk less,” Dale said, adding that the president “steps in it every time he opens his mouth.” “I think the man has a nice smile. However, I’m not a fan,” she further clarified.
None the less, she became a viral sensation on the internet, with a fake Twitter account being created in her name just moments after her appearance on the stage. Social media also flooded with reactions from people, mostly appalled by Dale’s praise. “It’s sad because she obviously has severe vision problems, and under Trump’s health plan, her vision will be considered a pre-existing condition,” one wrote, while another said, “How does one begin to unpack it? I’ve watched 9 times and the horror & fascination only grows.”
Another simply said, “She needs new glasses,” and someone else quipped, “Surely she’s a plant.” And another commented, “So’s the Devil, honey.”