A mask-clad Acosta mentioned several times that the crowd size was smaller compared to previous rallies, reporting that the Trump campaign could "barely fill" the venue. Acosta claimed this is due to supporters having a negative reaction to the president's performance at the debate.
"This was sort of a low energy victory lap for President Trump," Acosta said. "He was declaring victory after last night's debate with Joe Biden. But keep in mind this was one of the smallest crowds I have seen in some time at a Trump rally, during the pandemic. And it was one of his shortest speeches. About 45 minutes. Not one of the hour, hour and a half long speeches we have seen in recent weeks."
"The other thing we should point out, you were talking at great length about the president's failure to condemn white supremacy and the Proud Boys at last night's presidential debate," the CNNer said. "Keep in mind tonight, the president was using more racially loaded rhetoric to try to whip up this crowd."
At one point he accused Joe Biden of trying to flood the state with refugees. He was going off on Congresswoman [Ilhan] Omar. Essentially asking the audience at one point where does she get off telling us how to run our country. He used those words -- our country. So it was a different night for the president, Don, but it was the same race-baiting playbook.
"Doubling down, Jim," CNN host Don Lemon said.
"I have to tell you, Don, we've been to a will the of Trump campaign rallies over these past several years. They are usually fiery. They are usually packed with people. They can barely fill this venue here tonight. It was rather stunning. It was almost as if some of his supporters saw what happened last night and just decided to stay home," Acosta surmised.