President Donald Trump, a man obsessed with television ratings, should really appreciate this fun statistic: His pre-Super Bowl television appearance got lower ratings than former President Barack Obama’s first interview. Sad!
The Sunday interview was part of a now-customary tradition giving the U.S. president a platform to speak prior to the Super Bowl. Speaking to Bill O’Reilly on Fox News before the big game, Trump drew a measly 12.2 million viewers in Nielsen’s overnight ratings, according to Variety. By comparison, Obama brought in 21.9 million viewers in his first pre-game interview in 2009. (He followed up with 18 million viewers in 2014, 16.4 million in 2015, and 14.9 million in 2016.)
During Trump’s weak interview performance, the president defended his buddy, Russian President Vladimir Putin, after O’Reilly called Putin a “killer.”
“But he’s a killer though,” O’Reilly told Trump. “Putin’s a killer.”
“There’s a lot of killers,” Trump responded. “We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?”
A smart question would be, “Well, who cares about television ratings?” We totally agree. Unfortunately, our president is more concerned with ratings than he is with, say, a white terrorist attacking a mosque.
In January, Trump blasted former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ― now the host of “Celebrity Apprentice” ― for having lower ratings during his premier compared to Trump’s final season on the show.
And last week, Trump thought it a good opportunity at the National Prayer Breakfast to “pray” for the show’s ratings.
“When I ran for president, I had to leave the show,” Trump said. “That’s when I knew for sure I was [running for president]. “And they hired a big, big movie star ― Arnold Schwarzenegger ― to take my place, and we know how that turned out: The ratings went right down the tubes. It’s been a total disaster.”
“I want to just pray for Arnold if we can for those ratings,” Trump added.
Maybe we should pray for Trump’s ratings, too. Because as bad as his pre-Super Bowl interview ratings may have been, they’re still far better than his overall approval ratings as president.