Mister Rogers' Widow Chastises Donald Trump Rally in Late TV Icon's Hometown

President Donald Trump's most recent airplane hangar rally took place in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, the hometown of the late television legend Fred Rogers. His widow, Joanne Rogers, made it clear that she is no fan of Trump, calling him a "horrible person" and said she would "go into mourning" if Trump won reelection in November. The 92-year-old Joanne said Rogers would not comment on Trump himself if he were still alive though, because Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was meant for young children. Joanne put no limits on herself though when talking with The Daily Beast this week.

"I think he's just a horrible person," Joanne told the website, adding that she would "feel so badly" if Trump wins another term. One reason why she does not like Trump is that he "seldom" tells the truth. "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 said. "This man is pathologically ill. Mentally ill."

Joanne gave a full endorsement of Trump's opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. "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 also defended Biden's frequent hugs and his age. "Seventy-seven seems still pretty young to me," she said. As for Biden's speech trouble, Joanne believes that is due to his stutter.

Rogers was a registered Republican, but he never discussed politics on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year, Joanne described her late husband as "very independent in the way he voted, but he just didn't talk about it because he didn't want to lose the children." In that same interview, Joanne said she was more political than she has ever been because of Trump. "I want to vote for whoever is going to beat Trump," she said.

"I'm a hugger," Joanne told the Times. "I felt so badly for [Joe] Biden when they were going at him about hugging. I said, 'My gosh, I hug everybody.' I know lots of men who hug people. He's an old man. He's a hugger from way back."


Rogers died in 2003, but he remains an important pop culture icon. Last year, Tom Hanks earned an Oscar nomination for playing him in the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. He was also the subject of the 2018 documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, which was a surprise box office hit, earning $22 million.