Republicans Plead for Calm, But Trump Won't
Politico reports As Trump rages, Republicans Plead for Calm.
President Donald Trump spent Monday further fanning the flames of confrontation between protesters and police. And some Republicans are urging the president to extinguish them.
Some said they’d like to hear him make a national address, a move Trump had avoided for days despite deepening nationwide angst.
With more than a dozen major cities embroiled in violent clashes between police and protesters as well as riots and looting, Trump spent Monday dressing down governors as "weak" and ordering them to “dominate” demonstrators.
On Twitter, Trump bragged about his poll numbers and attacked former Vice President Joe Biden as “sleepy” and his staff as “radical” for donating money to help bail out protesters. He also endorsed an idea from Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to deploy the military to quell protests.
- “We are obviously in a divisive situation right now that’s escalating, and I think he needs to make more unifying comments,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).
- Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) agreed it would be a good idea for Trump to give a national address. But he declined "to comment about the tone of his tweets.”
- Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), a close Trump ally, took to the Senate floor on Monday afternoon and sympathized with peaceful protesters while urging an end to the violence and reading into the Senate record details of Floyd’s death.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the country “cannot deafen itself to the anger, pain, or frustration of black Americans,”
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said, “George Floyd deserved better — all black American do.”
Trump Backers Block Highways
Vehicles with Trump flags halted traffic on Sunday on the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey and jammed the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge between Tarrytown and Nyack, N.Y. Another pro-Trump convoy in Virginia ended in a tense shouting match with protesters as it approached a statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond.
In Georgia, a rally for Democrats was canceled shortly before it was scheduled to begin on Sunday, with organizers worried about what they feared would be a “large militia presence” drawn by President Trump’s own event nearby.
Sunday’s incidents came a day after a group of Trump supporters in Texas, driving trucks and waving Trump flags, surrounded and slowed a Biden-Harris campaign bus as it drove on Interstate 35, leading to the cancellation of two planned rallies. The F.B.I. confirmed on Sunday that it was investigating the incident.
On Saturday, President Trump tweeted a video of the incident with a message, “I love Texas!” After the F.B.I. announced it was investigating, he tweeted again, saying, “In my opinion, these patriots did nothing wrong,” and instead “the FBI & Justice should be investigating the terrorists, anarchists, and agitators of ANTIFA.”
This is minor stuff compared to looting, but causing a 5-mile backup for hours is certainly neither Law nor Order.
It will not take much to ignite riots. Some might suggest that Mr. Law and Order wants them.
My Suggested Three-Point Plea
- "Violence will not change the past. It will only hurt the future. And it hurts minority communities and businesses the most. Please do not react with violence no matter who wins the election."
- "I will honor the results of the election no matter who wins."
- "I will not preemptively declare victory until there is a mathematical certainty that enough votes have been counted and that includes honoring late votes in states that allow it."
The likelihood of that today is approximately zero, but Biden can and should say those things even if Trump never would.