With CNN declaring President Donald Trump guilty of committing crimes during the 2016 election ahead of Robert Mueller’s final report, the network went to work over the weekend in trying to drive a wedge between the president and fellow Republicans.
CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield, who was freely tossing around the “I” word, as in impeachment, featured former congressman Charlie Dent, a moderate Republican and frequent critic of Trump, along with Anna Navarro, the network’s favorite Trump-bashing Republican, to speak for the GOP.
“What I think happened is many congressional Republicans have made the political calculation that it is safer for them politically to stand with the president,” Dent said, when asked why there has been silence from key leaders in the party.
“They are conditioned to be concerned about primaries, but I don’t think this is a very good long-term strategy,” he added. “There were many Republicans who were in heretofore safe seats and barely won their elections. Many others are not in such safe seats lost their elections. So at some point, maybe when the economy turns or maybe when this Mueller bombshell drops, maybe some will turn.”
In making the observation, Dent’s disappointment that more Republicans haven’t turned on Trump is hard to conceal.
More instructive is that he did not say “if” the economy turns or a Mueller bombshell drops, but “when.”
Dent, who resigned his seat midterm earlier this year, went on to say in the short term, Republicans tend to stick with President Trump — perhaps because they know success when they see it?
“Over time, they will realize it’s a perilous place to be,” he said. “Independents voters turned on Republicans by 12 points. I have always been surprised that so many are willing to stand next to the president knowing his approval numbers are so dismal and so many more shoes are about to drop.”
Navarro picked up on the mischaracterization of the midterm election results, saying loyalty to Trump is damaging to the GOP.
“They paid a high price already. Over 40 seats have been lost,” she said. “Maybe over 40 after the North Carolina situation is resolved. Governor seats and legislatures.”
Note that she failed to mention Republicans picked up two seats in the U.S. Senate.
Adding a little context to the election results, it’s common for a sitting president’s party to lose seats in a midterm election. Just ask former President Barack Obama, whose Democratic Party lost six seats in the Senate and a whopping 63 seats in the House in 2010 — the largest loss of power since President Dwight Eisenhower.
“They paid a high political price for silence and complicity with Donald Trump,” the Trump-hating CNN contributor said, before trashing the president. “I think they are scared and they should be scared. Donald Trump is a guy who has no qualms about coming after other Republicans.”
As for what’s damaging to the GOP, can anything be more damaging than having the likes of Navarrro and Dent paraded out as voices of the party?
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