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With President Trump now setting his sights on reopening the country and getting the economy going after a prolonged shutdown to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, which translates into Americans going back to work and earning paychecks, Trump is getting fierce resistance from Democrats and their media enablers.
Leading the charge is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who some believe will emerge from the Democratic National Convention as the party’s presidential nominee.
Looking to pit the president against governors around the country, Trump was asked at Monday’s briefing how he would compel states to reopen their economies.
His answer set off a firestorm.
“When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total. And that’s the way it’s got to be,” Trump said.
“The federal government has absolute power,” he also said. “As to whether I’ll use that power, we’ll see.”
The president added, “I’d rather have [the states] make decisions, but I have absolute right to make the decision if I want to. The relationships we have with the states and governors is very good.”
Trump would also reiterate that position on Twitter:
….It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2020
While the media rushed breathlessly to report that this is not true, what’s lost in the mix is Trump did not say specifically what he believes to be the federal government’s authority.
“Why he would even go there, I have no idea,” Cuomo said Monday in an interview with CNN.
“The constitution says we don’t have a king. To say I have total authority over the country because I’m the president, it’s absolute, that is a king,” Cuomo explained. “We didn’t have a king, we didn’t have King George Washington, we had President George Washington.”
“I don’t know why the president said it,” he added. “I don’t know why he would take us down this path because it’s the exact opposite of everything he’s been trying to say.”
“It’s not legal. It’s a total abrogation of the Constitution,” Cuomo insisted. “The Tenth Amendment specifically says ‘powers to the states.’ Alexander Hamilton, all the Founding Fathers, talked about the power of the states and how repugnant it would be for a federal head to say that they have eminent authority.”
Having declared that “the worst is over,” Cuomo is leading a “Coronavirus Council” of Democratic governors to coordinate the reopening of their economies, while working to continue mitigating the spread of the virus.
The states of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island are included in the council, which was announced Monday, after Trump took ownership in reopening the country.
On the west coast, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington announced a “western states pact” Monday that will work together to re-open their economies.
“Covid-19 has preyed upon our interconnectedness. In the coming weeks, the west coast will flip the script on Covid-19 – with our states acting in close coordination and collaboration to ensure the virus can never spread wildly in our communities,” the west coast governors said in a statement.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont also criticized Trump for saying the president has the authority to reopen the country.
In a remote appearance on CNN, the governor said Trump was throwing “verbal hand grenades.”
“Two weeks ago, he told your brother [Gov. Cuomo] and myself, I want a mandatory quarantine of the New York metropolitan area,” Lamont said.
“We called him up and talked him down. We got something more reasonable. Now, two weeks later, he wants the mandatory opening up of everything,” he added. “I just think he likes us to run down these rabbit holes. You’re right, the governor is going to make the determination what’s best for their state. We care deeply about the health and safety of our citizens and get our economy going in a prudent, thoughtful way.”
Under the guise of keeping people “safe,” Democratic governors are taking control of reopening their states, potentially slow-walking the process as the November election looms in the windshield — with an ailing economy hopefully helping their chances of defeating President Trump.
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