"I think President Trump, on script, reading from a script, is not President Trump on the ad lib being spontaneous," Williams said during Fox News special coverage. "He has that magic when he's spontaneous, when he can stir a rally. That just didn't happen for him tonight.
"I expected that there would be fireworks before that amazing show on the South Lawn," added Williams, responding to the display at the conclusion of the night. "Those are, by the way, the best fireworks that a fireworks lover has ever seen … But [the speech] struck me more as a rerun.
"We've seen so many of those lines before. It just didn't have the punch I expected. And even as someone who can be critical of the president, I expected tonight to be a grand show. A grand speech. So, I'm wondering what happened there."
Williams' colleague, former George W. Bush adviser Karl Rove opted to go inside the numbers on Trump's 70-minute speech.
"Out of the 5,680 words to the speech, 564 are divided into going after Biden or the Democrats, about 10% percent of the speech," he said. "So, it was a relatively small portion of it, though it was effectively written and grabbed our attention …
"The biggest part of the speech was devoted to a defense of traditional American values, patriotism and American exceptionalism, about 20% of the speech, just under 1,200 words. The second-biggest portion was devoted to promises made, promises kept – about 956 words – and law and order came third [with]831 words devoted to that one issue.
"And finally, 636 words [were] devoted to COVID response … a robust defense of the administration's response to the COVID crisis."