When President Donald Trump made a campaign stop in Unity Township last Thursday, it likely wasn’t a beautiful day in the neighborhood for Joanne Rogers, the wife of Latrobe’s beloved children’s television host, Fred Rogers, of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
In an interview last week with The Daily Beast, Joanne Rogers, 92, said of Trump: “I think he’s just a horrible person.”
Contrary to her open disfavor for Trump, Joanne Rogers told The Daily Beast that her husband largely avoided talking politics “for fear it would complicate the lives of kids at home.”
“Fred tried to stay pretty quiet about politics, basically because his program was for children,” she said.
Joanne Rogers does not limit herself to talk politics.
“I’m alone now,” she said. “I don’t do a program for children.”
Fred Rogers died of cancer in 2003 at his home in Pittsburgh.
Joanne Rogers told The Daily Beast that she is a “very big (Joe) Biden fan,” Trump’s Democratic opponent in the upcoming presidential election.
“I think he’s kind,” she said. “I think we all need somebody like Biden who can give us little pats on the back.”
She said if Trump gets re-elected, she will “probably go into mourning.”
“I can’t even imagine. I would feel so badly,” she said.
The Daily Beast asked Joanne Rogers why she feels the way she does for the current president.
“I think maybe the fact that Mr. Trump seldom tells the truth,” she said. “If he does, it’s just a fluke, I think. But the fact [is] that I can’t believe anything he says, not even the simplest thing.”
She went as far as to say, “This man is pathologically ill. Mentally ill.”
At the Republican National Convention last month, Trump took aim at his opponent, saying for nearly five decades Biden “took the donations of blue-collar workers, gave them hugs and even kisses, and told them he felt their pain — and then he flew back to Washington and voted to ship their jobs to China and many other distant lands.”
Joanne Rogers is not happy with criticism aimed at Biden for giving too many hugs.
“I said, ‘Listen, I understand that completely, I’m a hugger, and I would certainly want a hug from him,’” she told The Daily Beast.
At 25 years Biden’s senior, Joanne Rogers isn’t worried about the Democratic candidate’s age. “Seventy-seven seems still pretty young to me,” she said.
Trump has previously mocked Biden’s history of public speaking gaffes. Joanne Rogers said she suspects that Biden’s stumbles of speech are linked to a past struggle.
“Sometimes when Biden gets in trouble with his speech, I think it has to do with that old stutter,” she said.