Posts tagged with "The Washington Times"

Virginia State Dems and Black Caucus boycott Trump speech at Jamestown ceremony

July 31, 2019

In a speech interrupted by a Muslim lawmaker who heckled him—and boycotted by the Virginia State Democratic legislative caucus, as well as the Black Legislative Caucus—President Donald Trump commemorated the 400th anniversary of American democracy in Jamestown, Virginia, on July 30.

Indeed, as Trump delivered a text intended to celebrate America’s self-rule and to dispel his own image as a racist—following a week in which he had disparaged legislators and activists of color, including The Squad of four progressive female lawmakers in the House; Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), and the Reverend Al Sharpton—a lone protestor rose from the audience to take him to task.

Ibraheem Samirah, a Democrat serving the state’s 86th District in Virginia’s General Assembly—and a son of Palestinian refugees who was separated from his father in middle school when the senior Samirah was not allowed to return to the United States—stood and held up signs that read “deport hate” and “reunite my family.”

A third message said “go back to your corrupted home,” the Washington Times reported.

Although he was escorted out of the venue, Samirah said in a statement that he was confident his constituents would rather have him protest than “passively accept” Trump’s presence.

Other lawmakers had voiced their disapproval before the speech. The Black Legislative Caucus announced on July 29 that its members would not attend the celebration, saying that Trump’s participation is “antithetical to the principles” for which the group stands. Caucus members instead planned alternative commemorative events in Richmond.

“Surely there’s a better voice for such an occasion,” Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-74th District-Virginia)  –who heads the Black Caucus– wrote on Twitter.  

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney resigned from the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation’s steering committee for the commemoration event, writing in his resignation letter that Trump “denigrates our democracy” and has no place at the event, the Times reported.

“We will not be attending any part of the commemorative session where Donald Trump is in attendance,” the Virginia House Democrats said on Twitter. “The current President does not represent the values that we would celebrate at the 400th anniversary of the oldest democratic body in the western world.

According to a report on the event by The New York Times, as he took questions for over ten minutes following his speech, President Donald Trump appeared not to know that a boycott was in place, saying he would be “shocked” if opponents of color were declining to attend the event.

“If that’s the case, they’re fighting against their people,” Trump said, repeating an unverified claim that his administration had been receiving calls nonstop praising his comments on Baltimore as a vermin- and rat-infested city. “The African-American people have been calling the White House. They have never been so happy about what a president has done.”

“I think I’m helping myself,” Trump said. “These people are living in hell in Baltimore.”

Research contact: @WashTimes

Voter concerns could sweep GOP out at midterms in ‘blue tsunami’

April 9, 2018

At a press conference on April 4, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he feared the Republicans would be swept by the Democrats in the midterms—noting, “We know the wind is going to be in our face. We don’t know whether it’s going to be a Category 3, 4, or 5,” according to a report by The Washington Times.

He just might be right: Heading into the midterm elections, American voters say they are more focused on healthcare than on any other political point of contention, based on findings of a HuffPost/YouGov poll released on April 6. And a vote for better healthcare, even the GOP concedes, would be a vote for the Democrats.

Asked to select their top two issues from a list in the recently conducted poll, 30% of 872 registered voters picked healthcare as most important.

The researchers reported that “an unusual trio of issues tied for second place,”with each named by about 25% of voters as a top priority—the economy, which perpetually ranks as a top campaign topic; but also gun policies, which rarely garner that level of attention; and immigration, a mainstay of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

With the caveat that, this far ahead of the election, there’s still plenty of time for campaign narratives to develop and change, if healthcare does play a prominent role , it would give an advantage to Democrats.

Healthcare, which, the researchers note, “likely contributed to Democrats’ midterm shellacking in 2010,” is now an issue they feel free to embrace. For the first election cycle since its passage, a majority of the public now approves of President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and Democrats enjoy a sizable advantage over the GOP on handling related issues

The poll also suggests that gun issues, which have long ranked low on Americans’ priority lists, are continuing to draw heightened attention in the wake of the Parkland, Florida mass shooting, especially among proponents of gun control.

By contrast, the economy — one of the relatively few bright spots for the GOP—remains a top issue, but isn’t overwhelmingly at the front of public opinion the way it was in past elections. And tax reform, which Republicans had hoped would serve as a midterm asset, has stalled out in popularity and doesn’t appear to be at the top of voters’ minds.

The survey also looked at which issues each party is perceived as focusing mostly on. In the case of the Democratic Party, that’s guns, followed by Trump’s record. In the case of the GOP, it’s taxes, immigration, and the economy.

Nearly 70% of voters say they are somewhat closely following news about the midterms and 30% say that they’re paying very close attention. Forty percent of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, but just 23%t of Republican and Republican-leaning voters, say they’re already paying very close attention.

Research contact: @aedwardslevy