It was a rough weekend Donald Trump. In the aftermath of his disastrous decision to do a photo-op at Saint John’s Church near the White House–requiring the brutal removal of peaceful protesters from the area–more Republicans seem to be turning on Trump.
By Friday several prominent retired military Generals had criticized and repudiated Trump, and the procession of Republican rebukes continued over the weekend. Former Secretary of State and retired four-star General Colin Powell called Trump a danger to the nation and accused Trump of “drifting away from the Constitution,” announcing his support for Joe Biden.
Former Navy Admiral William McRaven also spoke out, saying “This fall, it’s time for new leadership in this country – Republican, Democrat or independent. President Trump has shown he doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be a good commander in chief.”
George W. Bush also made news by announcing that he would not support Trump and would not vote for him. Republican Cindy McCain also said she would not vote for Trump and would instead vote for Joe Biden. Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who participated in a Black Lives Matter protest yesterday, also said he would not support Trump, and may instead write in his wife’s name on the presidential ballot. Even Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski is considering whether or not to support Trump in November.
Many of these prominent Republicans didn’t vote for Trump in 2016, but for them to publicly oppose an incumbent president of their own party creates massive problems for Trump, and his problems are really showing in recent polls. An ABC/Ipsos poll found that only 32% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the George Floyd killing while 66% disapprove. It’s also notable that 74% of Americans consider Floyd’s death “a sign of broader problems in the treatment of African Americans by police,” while in 2014 only 43% of Americans thought that the prominent deaths of two African American men at the hands of police indicated a broader problem.
Trump’s response to the coronavirus has also been a disaster. Despite the numbers continuing to go down in New York, many other locations are seeing spikes in transmission following easing of restrictions. Florida saw a large uptick in new coronavirus cases, with cases in the last four days exceeding the number of cases in the worst four day period when the state went into its state-wide stay at home order. It will also be interesting to see whether the case numbers rise in places where large protests took place.
In local news, keep in mind that the Republican primary date is June 23rd, where we will learn who Rep Antonio Delgado’s opponent will be this November. I’ve seen “Ola for Congress” signs popping up in the Rhinebeck area but the Republican race has otherwise been very quiet on social media. Please also note that some local elections are taking place this Tuesday, June 9th. In the Rhinebeck area, for example, we are voting on the school budget and on several members of the Board of Education.